Brian Rose hailed as a Somerset 'legend' after emotional farewell
More than 2,000 supporters crowded on to the County Ground pitch at the end of the Somerset's LV= County Championship victory over Worcestershire to say their fond farewells to Brian Rose, who has stepped down as director of cricket after eight years.
When Rose took over the role back in 2005, Somerset were floundering at the bottom of the second division of both the championship and the 40-over competition, but he has transformed the team into one of the most competitive outfits in all formats of the game.
On Thursday afternoon, club president Roy Kerslake told those present: "Brian has served Somerset County Cricket Club with great distinction for more than 40 years, as a player, captain, chairman of the cricket committee and most recently as director of cricket."
As a captain, Rose led the county to five one-day trophies between 1979 and 1983 and before presenting Rose with a montage of images relating to his time at the club, Kerslake said: "Quite simply, Brian Rose is a legend of Somerset County Cricket."
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Yesterday morning some of the players shared their thoughts on Rose.
Skipper Marcus Trescothick said: "Brian has been at Somerset for a very long time – in fact most of his life has been spent working for the club in one way or another, playing to start with, then cricket chairman and now as director of cricket.
"In my era he gave me my first opportunity and he has done a lot for the club to get it going forward, particularly in the last five or six years.
"Brian has got a good track record in recruiting players and that is part of what we are going to need to keep tapping into to get an understanding of how he operated over the last few years."
All-rounder Pete Trego, who started his career with Somerset before leaving for Kent in 2002, was brought back by Rose ahead of the 2006 campaign.
"To see Brian Rose moving on from a personal point of view is pretty sad because we are both 'Westonians' and I regard him as a friend even through there is a bit of an age gap between us," said Trego.
"He has been a cracking mentor for me and I will forever be indebted to him for bringing me back home to Somerset and it's sad to see him go."
Alfonso Thomas is another who Rose brought to the club, when he signed the little-known paceman in 2008.
"For me it is a sad day because Brian Rose took a massive punt on me and signed me for Somerset back in 2008 so I owe a great deal to him and I'm sorry to see him make way for somebody else," he said. "He has been a fantastic servant to this club."
Reflecting on the occasion, Rose said: "It was a wonderful thing to receive the applause of the supporters who I played in front of and worked for virtually all of my life and I will always remember that – it was fantastic."
Derbyshire were crowned LV= County Championship Division Two champions after recording a six-wicket victory over Hampshire at Derby yesterday.
The home side, who sealed promotion to the top flight on Thursday, easily chased down a target of 196 in only 41.5 overs to clinch their sixth four-day victory.