DAVE Batty celebrated a lifetime in cricket as a player, official, manager and coach with a trip to the home of the game.
The 70-year-old, who remains actively involved with his beloved sport, was nominated for the OSCAs (Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards).
One of a dozen in the county - but the only person from Halton - to be put forward by the Cheshire Cricket Board this year, he enjoyed a VIP visit to Lord's for the volunteer appreciation lunch hosted by the national governing body, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and NatWest.
Guests had a chance to look around one of the world's legendary sporting venues while mingling with England officials and play-ers plus fellow nominees from all over the country.
The ceremony was attended by ECB chairman David Morgan, new Marylebone Cricket Club president Robin Marlar and England cricketers Vikram Solanki and Clare Taylor.
For Dave, from Norleane Crescent, Runcorn, it was a perfect end to an Asheswinning summer, which has given the game fresh impetus and will help it to build on the extensive grassroots development work carried out over recent years.
He said of the Lord's trip: 'I suppose over the years, I have worked quite hard for cricket in general and it was nice to get an invitation.
'It was something special.'
A stalwart of his adopted hometown club, Dave chairs the Halton Cricket Development Forum, is secretary of Cheshire Youth Cricket and the Cheshire Coaches' Association.
A former umpire, he also manages the Cheshire Under-14s team and is a North of England selector.
But his cricket involvement goes back to 1947 when, aged 12, he became scorer for Ainsdale CC in his native Southport.
The following year he made his playing debut - ironically enough against Widnes 2nd - and after skip-pering Ainsdale's U15s and 18s teams, he graduated to the first-team captaincy.
Under Dave's leadership, they were Merseyside Competition champions in 1959.
Dave also captained the Merseyside Competition representative side many times.
One of the most memorable games was against a Lancashire Club and Ground XI on the practice ground at Old Trafford with Red Rose first teamers Harry Pilling, Tommy Greenhough and Kevan Tebay in the opposition ranks.
Dave was surprised, on arrival, to discover that as opposition captain, he had his own dressing room!
It was only after a lot of persuasion the authorities allowed him to get changed, as normal, with the rest of his team-mates!
On moving home to Run-corn, Dave joined Widnes CC in 1974, becoming first-team captain in 1977.
Two years later, he moved across the river to Runcorn CC in Moughland Lane.
He has chaired the cricket club and its parent sports club and was involved in negotiations which led to a new clubhouse and changing rooms in the mid-80s.
Dave also captained the first and second teams on and off until 1995 and continued playing until retirement in 1998. Even then, he would turn out if the Sunday team were short.
He overhauled Runcorn's junior section in 1984 and within two years, it had joined the North Cheshire Junior Cricket Association which Dave has chaired since 1990.
Manager of the Association's U13s side, he is also a level-two coach who has played a part in the development of England youth and Lancashire Academy players.
He said: 'There has been an upsurge in junior cricket which began before the Ashes, although no doubt that will help.
'In Halton, we have done a lot of work with the Halton Cricket Development Forum in primary schools and with kwik cricket.
'And I know that at Widnes, Runcorn and Moor-field clubs, the junior sections are all full and they are going to need more coaches to be able to take in more kids.'
Dave added: 'Cheshire is also very well organised for getting youngsters involved and runs winter coaching courses for boys and girls at various centres.
'There are about 350 qualified coaches within Cheshire, connected with various clubs.
'There are about 120 clubs and three quarters of those have really active junior sections.'