Warwickshire sprung a surprise on a lifelong Bears fan and esteemed cricket writer by presenting him with a special signed shirt to mark his 80th birthday.

Terry Wright – a former Wisden Cricket Magazine reporter – was handed the “T Wright 80” Warwickshire shirt by captain Will Rhodes ahead of the LV= Insurance County Championship match against Northamptonshire. He first watched the Bears as a schoolboy in August 1953 (taking three buses from Bentley Heath to the ground) and has been a regular face at Edgbaston ever since both in the members’ lounges and press box.

“Edgbaston has been a special, welcoming place to me for 70 years,” said Terry, who still covers Bears games for the website Deep Extra Cover, “and I feel very privileged to also have been able to report on the Club I love. I started playing cricket at school aged nine and immediately fell in love with the sport and the camaraderie.

“I knew fairly early on I wasn’t quite in the same league as Dennis Amiss – though I did play on the sacred turf here a couple of times – but I made lifelong friends playing for many years at Hockley Heath Cricket Club. I still get a buzz coming to the ground now, all these years on, and to be presented with my own Bears shirt is amazing.”

The Club hatched a plan with Terry’s daughter Gemma, a former Junior Bear, to surprise him with a pitch-side presentation of the shirt which had been signed by the Warwickshire squad.

She added: “I just about managed to keep it a secret. There have been quite a few surprises for dad’s birthday and this was a perfect way to end the celebrations.

“It’s a lovely gesture by the Club and I can’t thank them enough for helping to make it a birthday to remember. I know dad was bowled over!”

A range of membership options for the 2024 season are now available through the Warwickshire CCC website.