A MUCH respected Oulton Park coach has been awarded an MBE in recognition for his 50-years service to cricket.

Tony Eustance, who is known for his efforts in coaching and helping talented youngsters, received his award from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Eustance, now living in Holmfirth, was instrumental in forming Oulton Park’s impressive junior section which has recently seen Jonny Kettle graduate up to the Lancashire Academy.

Before enjoying success at Park’s Little Budworth ground, he was also a popular coach at Bunbury CC.

Park’s first XI skipper Nathan Dumelow said that Eustance’s honour was richly deserved.

He said: “He is a fantastic coach and a very down to earth guy. He puts all his time and all his effort into cricket as it is his passion.

“A lot of the kids coming through now at Oulton Park have all been coached by Tony and are becoming class players on a senior level.

“He spent hours and hours putting the youngsters through their paces and now the likes of Jonny Kettle and Jimmy Guest are breaking through.”

Eustance received his award after being named on the New Year’s Honours List.