Where are they now? Charl Willoughby
Charl Willoughby celebrated his 41st birthday last week by returning to the County Ground where we were lucky enough to catch up with the man who helped to bowl Somerset back into the top division of the County Championship in 2007.
The left arm seamer joined Somerset from Leicestershire before the start of the 2006 and proved to be a very shrewd signing.
Opening the bowling with Andy Caddick in 2007, Charl took 62 wickets at an impressive average of 24.68.
During his five year stay with the county Charl played in 95 first class matches and took 347 wickets, and in 2011 a presentation was made to commemorate his 800th career wicket.
Charl, who lives in Taunton with his wife and two sons said: “It’s always good to come back to the County Ground, in fact I don’t get here often enough.
“It’s nice to see all the changes that are happening here at the moment. The new Somerset Pavilion looks a really good addition and now that it’s open I must pop inside and have a coffee sometime.”
Charl talked about what he is doing outside of cricket.
“I am currently working for a company called MoveGB. They are an on-line fitness community which is basically one membership for hundreds of thousands of different partners around the UK.
“Coincidentally Mark Turner also works for MoveGB and we are called activity scouts and we introduce MoveGB to all of our fitness partners. It’s a start up business based out of Bath and it’s a great concept and we are really going places at the moment.”
Talking about his cricket currently Charl said: “I had some lucky times when I was here and I am still playing a bit of cricket for Weston super Mare in the WEPL. I am also playing for Lashings All Stars, where I am a brand ambassador and looking after all things Lashings in the south west, which I am quite enjoying.
“It keeps me in the game and it’s just nice to be involved with some ex-professionals again. There is a lot of banter so it’s good to be in that set up.”
Reflecting on his time with Somerset the left armer, who doesn’t look any different from the time he left, said: “I have got so many fond memories of my time at the County Ground because it was some of the best cricket I played in my whole career and the most fun I have had.
“Obviously winning Division 2 and getting promoted was fantastic and will go down as one of the best seasons that I have ever been involved with. I just think my whole time with Somerset was a lot of fun and was the happiest I was as a cricketer.”
Regarding his new ball partner Charl said: “Caddy still moans when I see him and he has still got his knee and back problems and everything else, but he is a good man and he helped me a lot. Hopefully I helped him a bit as well to get a few wickets.”
He added: “Caddy was the best bowler I ever played with and he is an icon around here so its good to have him as a mate! I have got a lot of fond memories that I will cherish forever.”