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Warwickshire’s Cricket Operations Manager Keith Cook was at Buckingham Palace yesterday to attend garden party following his award of the British Empire Medal.

Keith, whose reputation both as a top-drawer sporting administrator and great bloke spans the cricket world, was awarded the BEM for his services to cricket. 

He received the medal at a ceremony at the University of Birmingham last September but yesterday was among thousands of guests, all of whom have made outstanding contributions to their community, in the sunshine at the Palace. 

Keith’s contribution to Warwickshire cricket since he joined the club in 1973 is beyond measure, but the respect and affection for this most talented yet self-effacing of men stretches far beyond Birmingham, around English and international cricket. 

“It was a lovely day, the weather was perfect and I felt very proud to be there,” he said. “The Queen could not be present, unfortunately, but Prince Edward and the Duchess of Cambridge were there and there were so many people who do such brilliant things with their lives, like nurses and people from the Services, I was honoured to be amongst them. 

“It was amazing to be able to call my family and talk to them from Buckingham Palace. My mum said my dad would have been very proud – it was a day of very special memories.”