A new play on the tragic decline of former England and Northamptonshire batsman Colin Milburn will visit all 18 county cricket clubs in 24 days in November.
‘When the Eye Has Gone’ is a one man show that has been written by James Graham-Brown, the former Kent and Derbyshire all-rounder turned playwright, and is being produced by Live Wire/Roughhouse Theatre in association with the Professional Cricketers’ Association.
The play is set in the North Briton pub in Newton Aycliffe in County Durham on February 28 1990, the last day of Milburn’s life during his cabaret performance as ‘Jolly Ollie’, the character he had developed to conceal his insecurities and suffering.
This new, exciting initiative focuses on what can happen when a playing career suddenly ends and a player struggles with a difficult transition.Jason Ratcliffe
Milburn, who was brilliant career was cut short by the loss of the sight in his left eye in a car accident in May 1969, died in the North Briton car park aged 48 after he drifted into chronic alcoholism.
All county clubs have agreed to support the PCA in putting on the play around the country to help current players appreciate the importance of planning for life after cricket.
“Health and wellbeing is a very broad area and we endeavour to cover as many areas as possible,” said Jason Ratcliffe, PCA Assistant Chief Executive.
“This new, exciting initiative focuses on what can happen when a playing career suddenly ends and a player struggles with a difficult transition.
“Recent research from our Personal Development and Welfare Programme (PDWP) shows that working at something during a career can enhance performance but also help with a smooth transition, whenever it comes.
“Ollie’s story puts this into sharp focus and will hopefully enforce our PDWP and the associated messaging to be proactive with your career on and off the pitch. We’re very thankful to James for creating the unique play and look forward to rolling it out around the counties.”
Edgbaston will showcase the play on Monday 7 November at 7:30PM. Tickets are priced at £10 for Adults and £8 for Concessions and Under 18s.