A man who spent more than 20 years working with disabled cricketers and a nurse dedicated to improving end of life care have been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Roger Fuggle, 69, of Kelthorpe Close, Ketton, found out in May he had received an MBE for services to disabled cricket but was sworn to secrecy until the list was unveiled on Saturday.
He said: “It’s a complete mystery who nominated me but I felt very proud when I opened the letter. The letter from the cabinet office said it was in the strictest confidence and it has been difficult to keep it a secret.” Mr Fuggle, who was born and bred in Birmingham, first got involved in disabled cricket in the 1980s when he was invited to watch a game. Up until then, he had been a cricket fan and had only played himself while he was at school.
He said: “I was invited to watch a game when I was a director at BSS in Leicester and I had always loved cricket. At first, I felt sympathy for the players who had both physical and learning disabilities.
“But after a couple of hours I started to admire the way they coped with their abilities and by the end of the day, my attitude had completely switched to respect for their ability rather than their disability.”
Mr Fuggle went onto get involved with the British Association of Cricketers with Disabilities, which was founded in 1991, and works to promote the sport and encourage players, umpires and coaches to participate in the game at all levels.
It also organises matches and tournaments and in 1995, when Mr Fuggle took over as president of the charity, he was the driving force behind the establishment of the first ever county championships for cricketers with disabilities. He was also involved in international tri-nation tournaments.
In 2005, he was appointed as disabilities consultant for the English Cricket Board, a role which he stepped down from in 2007. In 2008, he was made life president of the British Association of Cricketers with Disabilities.
He also worked hard to develop deaf and blind cricket, taking players to the Deaf Cricket World Cup in India, and still remains hugely passionate about the sport.
But Mr Fuggle said all of his hard work had been inspired by the cricketers around him and by his family, in particular his wife Vivienne.
He said: “When you see these young people with severe difficulties in mobile wheelchairs playing tabletop cricket, that is what it makes it worthwhile.
“One of my proudest moments was seeing this one lad, who only had movement from his neck upwards, wearing a cricket bat on the top of his head and playing with that. Cricket can be played at all sorts of different levels and they get immense enjoyment from the game.”
Mr Fuggle still tries to raise the profile of the sport by giving talks on disabled cricket to Rotary clubs, WI meetings and more recently at Lincoln University.
Mr Fuggle said: “I retired from the English Cricket Board in 2007 because I was working part-time as a consultant and it had grown to such an extent that the role was replaced with a full-time post.
“At the end of the day although I’ve ended up with an MBE I just hope I have made a difference to the people I have worked with. I’ve also had tremendous support from the people around me, especially my wife Vivienne when I’ve spent many weekends at cricket matches.
“The English Cricket Board has also been amazing in terms of the support given to disabled cricket.”
The Cabinet Office said Mr Fuggle had been chosen to receive the honour because the spread of disabled game, both nationally and internationally, was “in no small way due to his dedication and enthusiasm” and described his contribution as “immeasurable”.
Claire Henry, of Uppingham, was also made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, for services to improving end of life care. She is director of the National End of Life Care Programme and earlier this year, she received a lifetime achievement award at the International Journal of Palliative Nursing Awards, sponsored by Macmillan Cancer Support.