Meet sporting all-rounder, Upminster's Steve Wright
PUBLISHED: 10:05 30 November 2012
Upminster's Steve Wright is a true sporting all-rounder.
He represented Coopers Coborn at 10 different sports as a schoolboy, including football, golf, tennis, table tennis, swimming, rugby, athletics and cross-country.
And, now aged 30, he is starring for his local cricket and hockey clubs.
He said: “We moved to Upminster when I was eight years old and I joined the local cricket club when they had only eight colts, run by John Sutton.
“My family always encouraged me to take part in sport and this was the main reason I joined the hockey club, who were affiliated with the cricket club.
“I’ve never been tempted to move clubs, which may be disbelieved by many. I’ve been part of the cricket club moving from Morrant League Division Two to the Shepherd Neame Premier and the hockey also go from strength to strength.
“There is a huge social side to any sports and this is a massive bonus. To be able to have a beer after the game with a team of very close mates is a huge plus.”
Wright, who names Ricky Ponting as his cricketing hero, averaged 33 as an opening batsman when Upminster gained promotion to the top level of Essex cricket in 2007 and shared a club record 276 stand in a 20-over match with Mike Rath.
“My strengths as a batsman would be facing pace attacks. Maybe being small helps to avoid getting hit.
“My favourite innings of all time was 96 not out against Hornchurch in a league cup match at Harrow Lodge.
“I am a decent fielder and enjoy being involved in the action, but was always heavily underused as a bowler, although I did get Graham Gooch out in the benefit game one year, after he had scored 160-odd!”
Wright, who says his hockey really improved during his time at Birmingham University, captained the hockey club to promotion to East League Division One in 2009.
And he is currently trying to repeat that feat this season, with Upminster topping the table ahead of the Christmas break.
“I play all my sports in the same way, competitively,” added Wright, whose long-term girlfriend Michelle captains the women’s first team at Upminster.
“I don’t want to play for the enjoyment, I want to play to win regardless of whether it’s a cup final or a game in the garden.
“I could perhaps gain an extra bit of fitness if I put my mind to it, which would help me across the board, but that would mean cutting down on the social side which I can’t see happening! “My biggest weakness by a country mile would be my injuries, which surely stem from the fitness. I have an injury list as long as my arm. I’ve torn more hamstrings than I’ve scored goals for the hockey club!”
Injured or not, Wright knows he has the backing of his family and friends.
He added: “My parents must get a mention. It doesn’t come cheap playing all these sports and I can’t say they have ever been anything but supportive.
“I’ve also been very lucky to play for Upminster cricket and hockey clubs at very competitive levels and have been surrounded by some excellent talent.
“You need no more motivation than playing with a great bunch of lads that are all in it together!”