Ian Leach has been a Warwickshire Member for 30 years.
That’s a fair old time, but Ian still isn’t even halfway to matching the man from whom he inherited his love for the Bears.
“My dad was a big Warwickshire fan and a Member for 73 years,” says Ian. “We have got a stone in commemoration of him on the wall outside reception at Edgbaston.
“I got my love for the Bears from my dad and first became a Member in about 1990, but my first game was in 1986 when I was about nine. I remember Dennis Amiss, Bob Willis and Anton Ferreira.
“Then I was fortunate enough, with my dad, to see the brilliant side of the ’90s. My first final was in ’93 against Sussex and what a final that was! Then in ’94, dad and I were there against Durham when Brian Lara got his 501.
“I remember the great support that Warwickshire had. When we won the Sunday League in ’94, we went down to Bristol for the last match there were about 30 coachloads of supporters.
“Another great moment was the CB40 final in 2010. It was my son’s first final and I was just wishing Warwickshire to win it because it was his first. We beat Somerset and it was a brilliant day!
Ian wears his love for the Bears on his sleeve…and his body!
“I’m a mad Warwickshire fan,” he said. “I recently had the Bear & Ragged staff tattooed on my leg! It’s a family thing and my son is now well into it. I shall have a Membership until I can’t physically get to Edgbaston.
“I like all formats. I like the T20 because there’s a bit of razzmatazz but I love the four-day games. If it’s a nice day, having a couple of pints and just relaxing watching the Bears, you just can’t beat it.
“We’ve had some amazing players over the years. My favourite player of all-time, a bit of an unsung hero, was Paul Smith. He was brilliant, bowling and batting. Dermot Reeve was a great captain, so was Jim Troughton. Ian Bell – a great player. And my dad’s favourite was Jonathan Trott.
“Warwickshire have always produced some great players of their own, like Rob Yates who looks absolutely brilliant now. I donated my Membership fee to help the club in any way I can.
“It would be great if it means the club can invest it in bringing on more talent because we’ve got a great academy with players coming through like Rob Yates, Ethan and Henry Brookes and Dan Mousley. If my little donation can help towards that, I am more than happy.”
2023 Membership: Join the Bears family
Membership for 2023 is on sale now and is the best value way to support the Bears this summer.
A variety of Memberships are available from as little as £95, including Full Club Memberships which offer entry to every home Warwickshire match plus a host of exclusive benefits.