STEVE Clarke began his 50th season as an Ottershaw player by making his 1,000th appearance for them.

To mark the occasion, his team-mates staged a guard of honour for him as he walked on to the pitch at Ottershaw Memorial Fields recently.

Club treasurer Richard Bowden said: “Steve made his debut as a 15-year-old against our local rivals Chobham on 27 May 1972 and has gone on to take 1,108 wickets, score 5,656 runs and hold 306 catches.

“He has captained the Sunday XI for the past 15 years.

“It is testament to his fair, friendly approach that the team has gone from strength to strength while other clubs have struggled to field Sunday sides.

“This long-playing record was detailed on a ‘gold disc’ presented to Steve. It seemed an appropriate memento for the owner of a record shop.

“The clubhouse, which is currently being refurbished, has been renamed The Steve Clarke Pavilion in his honour.”