I am a fan of many sports but my first and still biggest love is the sport of cricket. Whether playing it, going to matches, watching it on TV or reading about it, this wonderful game has always been a big part of my life.
I’ve been enthralled by Test cricket since as a 12-year-old schoolboy at Bourda Oval in Georgetown, Guyana, I witnessed a rain-affected draw between West Indies and England. Unfortunately, under Barmy Army ‘rules’ I can't claim this as my first England overseas tour because in 1974 I was living there with my family, though I have tried!
My first proper overseas tour was the 2002/3 Ashes when I took an extended period of leave from my former job as a Police Officer. This is when I first encountered the Barmy Army ‘in the flesh’ and experienced what I had only seen on TV, heard about from friends and if I’m honest, even dreamt about. From that tour onward, watching the England cricket team on a foreign field became what I used my annual leave allocation for.
In 2010 - after 30 years' service - I retired just in time for the victorious 3-1 Ashes Series and became involved in the merchandising side of the Barmy Army. In 2012, I was approached by the Army co-founder Paul Burnham who asked if I would take on the role of Tour Manager for the next tour to Sri Lanka. Despite never working in the travel industry before, I jumped at the chance and it turned out to be the best on-the-job training course ever. I will be eternally grateful to those people that gave me the opportunity to do this and helped me to become proficient at what I do.
Some nine tours later, I’m still here and the fact that many of that original 90 odd strong group remain loyal to Barmy Travel, must mean I’m doing something right! I always look forward to receiving the latest tour booker's list and seeing familiar names.
When you book with Barmy Travel, you can be confident that if you are a single traveller, a couple or a group of family or friends, that I or one of my colleagues will always be available to ensure everything runs smoothly on your tour, from the time I meet you off the plane at arrivals until I wave you off at departures (hopefully after a winning series!).
I look forward to welcoming both new and familiar faces on future tours. Rest assured, I never lose sight of the fact that it’s your holiday and will always work hard to make sure it will be an enjoyable and memorable experience.