500-club member Broad continues to inspire at Egerton Park
When Stuart Broad took his 500th test wicket last week, nobody felt pangs of pride more than those at his former club Egerton Park.
The England bowler joined an elite group, becoming just the seventh player to have reached the milestone.
And it is hoped that this latest superb achievement will be one further inspiration for the youngsters coming through the ranks at the club, dreaming of becoming future international stars.
“It’s fantastically inspiring,” said former chairman Geoff Goodson, who says Broad sets an example both on and off the field of play.
“We’ve got his first shirt up in the club, that he gave us when he first broke into the international scene.
“We’ve got photographs and articles up. I think everybody appreciates what an inspirational character he is, and so modest as well.
“He’s not somebody who comes and lauds it over people, he just comes and he’s back to being Stuart Broad, Egerton Park.
“In the past, if he’s ever had any kit he’s grown out of when he was younger, he brought it down and gave it to the juniors.
“Any shirts that he’s had and training tops and things he’s given to people at the Park. He’s helped with fundraising and spoken at events.
“He’s an inspiration to people all round.”
Mr Goodson, who has watched Broad play for England from Cardiff to New Zealand, admits he finds it hard to pinpoint a time when he suddenly realised the player was destined for the big time.
“When you’ve known somebody from under 11 to adulthood it’s very hard to say at what point,” he added.
“When he was a junior up to 17 he was an opening batsman and he grew and grew.
“All of a sudden he put on about six inches of height and was able to bowl fast.
“That was what really got him noticed at Leicestershire.”
But, of course, a growth spurt isn’t enough to propel someone to international stardom and Mr Goodson believes Broad also has many positive attributes that have helped him.
“Taking 500 wickets is a fantastic achievement,” Mr Goodson continued.
“We’ve got wonderful memories and, credit to Stuart, he’s strong willed, determined and that’s what’s kept him going.
“Also he has strong support from his family.”