Keith Piper has been voted the Greatest Ever Bears Wicketkeeper by Warwickshire supporters.
Six great Bears were on a short-list which also included Dick Lilley, Tiger Smith, Dick Spooner, Geoff Humpage and Tim Ambrose but Piper came out on top with 44 per cent of the vote.
All on that list were huge influences on their era but Piper, most of all, did what all great exponents of any difficult art manage to do – somehow make it look easy.
Whether standing back to the lightning pace of A.D or up to the spinners or medium-pacers, Piper’s skills were exquisite – and a massive factor in the Bears’ success of the mid-90s.
His value to the team, in terms of both keeping skills and his cricket brain was immeasurable, according to Dermot Reeve, captain of the Bears in that golden era.
“Keith was a phenomenal wicket-keeper but much more than that,” Reeve said. “He would spot things and come up to me and say like: ‘Captain, Glad’s not got his hand behind the ball like he does normally’ and I’d have a word with Glad and he’d nod and put it right again.
“The number of little things Keith said that helped…he was a very influential guy.”