As a new season dawns we watch the waters recede at New Road, Worcester, & hope that the River Severn behaves itself for the next few months.

My affection for the area is threefold. The mighty Norman cathedral which bestrides the ground, the memories of cakes in the Ladies Pavillion ( I’m

diabetic ) & the most extraordinary interview ever conducted in the BBC commentary box.

By the mid 1980’s Ian Terence Botham had become a good friend. His innate ability to befriend & communicate with members of show business

was a fascination to me & many others – pretty obvious really – all great entertainers on the stage of life.

He arrived in the BBC box to inform me that I would be having a special guest during the match who would be on the ground soon!

The person concerned had entertained an amazed audience in one of the county’s finest hostelries the previous evening. Imagine going to your

local to find one of the greatest guitarists Britain has ever produced playing for free in the corner of the pub!

Soon a red car pulled into New Road & parked at the Diglis End. Out of it stepped a man with strong connections to the mighty cathedral & made

his way to the box. We were introduced & I contacted my producer,  Emily McMahon, to agree on which records we would play.

The interview was a joy as my guest demonstrated a good knowledge of the game & told wonderful stories about a life in music.

His connection with the cathedral was simple. In the 1960’s when he played with The Yardbirds & John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers many walls

around the country bore the legend ” Clapton Is God “. My apologies to the Bishop Of Worcester but Eric’s guitar playing was deified in the

extreme!!

The presenter of the programme on that Sunday afternoon is currently spending time at Her Majesty’s pleasure. As we’re talking the Great Western region

we are talking Hall class!

250px-Eric_Clapton_2220px-New_Road_Worcester_-_3_-_geograph-891443300px-GWR_4900_Class_4953_Pitchford_Hall

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