ONE of Tamworth cricket's longest-serving members has been honoured with Intersport's December community sports award.
Doug Crowell has been recognised for his years of dedication as a player, umpire and official.
The 89-year-old played a pivotal role in the creation of Tamworth's Vets Cricket and still plays the game regularly.
Crowell said his love of cricket had "kept him coming back" after 73 years.
"I just love the game so much, I honestly don't know what I would do without it," Crowell told the Leader.
"I started playing when I was 16 and still love to have a hit now.
"Even now, I love to have a run in the over-70 team and recently played at the national championships."
Beginning his playing days with Winton, Crowell went on to play the rest of his career with Bective-East, before helping create the Tamworth Vets.
"It was really pleasing to sit back on the weekend and watch our vets take on the England vets," he said.
"Just to think how far it's come and how quickly its taken off is really special.
"I'd have to say that and being involved in the fundraising to help refurbish the pavilion at Tamworth No.1 Oval would be two of my greatest accomplishments in cricket."
Crowell said his work as an umpire and administrator had been "very rewarding".
"I have a lot of really great memories from my time involved in sport here in Tamworth," he said.
"This award is very humbling and I encourage everyone to get to Intersport because it really has everything.
"I want to thank them for choosing me for this award."
As for plans to retire from the game, Crowell said he "wasn't finished yet".
"I keep thinking about when I will finally stop," he said.
"I'm the oldest getting around in Tamworth and often at all of the carnivals.
"But I'm feeling pretty good, so I'll keep going until I don't feel like I can anymore."