It's certainly not hard to feel Geoff Humpage's love for the Bears.

Born locally in Sparkbrook, the right-handed wicket-keeper batter lived the dream of so many.

As Warwickshire legend in the record books and a folk hero in the stands, Geoff is rightfully recognised as one of the great Bears.

An attacking batter by nature, he made 662 appearances for the Bears in all formats, firing 24,317 runs with 32 centuries across a remarkable 26-year career.

Ranked 18th in First Class appearances and fourth in List A, Geoff also holds the record of the highest fourth-wicket partnership with Alvin Kallicharran, when they reached a mammoth 470 against Lancashire in Southport.

Crazily, it could have been so different.

A keen Birmingham City fan, his original dream was to represent ‘The Blues’ in B9 and he would later have trials at St. Andrew’s and Walsall.

But a letter from his mom at the age of ten led him down the cricketing path and I’ll speak for all the Bears fans when I say ‘thank you’.

“At ten I had a trial at the back of the Rea Bank where there used to be a set of nets on tarmac,” said Humpage. “That was thanks to my mom’s letter and I’ve been here ever since, which is absolutely wonderful. I adore them.

“I watched players at 11, 12 and 13 and then got to meet some of them later when they retired or when they were part of this Club. Amiss, Kanhai, Kallicharran, MJK, A C Smith, DJ Brown it was just sensational.

“I loved football because that’s what you played. We had cricket in the summer, but not much else the rest of the year. Cricket was my luck and I loved it.”

Now 69, Geoff looks to attend Edgbaston as much as he can, although he still follows the team’s progress religiously.

“It’s difficult to come down all the time at my age and the condition I’m in,” he added. “They’ve got a lot of good players, but a lot of sides are similar. They’ve got a good bowling attack that can go far and they’ve got two good wicket-keepers. That’s good as far as I’m concerned.

“They won’t break my records obviously, because they don’t play as much cricket as I did, but they are very talented and multi-skilled.”

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