World of Sport

Ashes hero Old now working at Sainsbury’s

World of Sport

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The 1981 Ashes series is considered among the best ever and one of the unsung heroes of the team was bowler Chris Old, who helped England come from behind to beat Australia 3-1.

Old played 46 Tests and 32 ODIs for England between 1972 and 1981, while he also had a successful county career, most notably at Yorkshire.

However, he now spends 24 hours of his week in the rather less glamorous surroundings of Sainsbury's in Truro, Cornwall working for £6 per hour in the newspaper and magazine section.

Nevertheless, Chris happily gets on with his job and makes no big deal about his former profession - although he sometimes gets recognised by customers.

"Some customers do recognise me - and it's pleasing when they do because I'm still very proud of my cricket career," he is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail.

"It's generally older people because it's over 30 years ago since I played in Test matches for England.

"And I think some of my colleagues at Sainsbury's are aware of that history too - but a lot aren't.

"The Ashes series of 1981 still seems special to people. A lot of people say they remember where they were when they watched it. So it's nice when you get recognised for that."

Chris has lived in Cornwall for the last 20 years and still has a deep passion for cricket, coaching youngsters at the Falmouth Cricket Club.

While modern day cricket internationals earn between £250,000 and £400,000 per year for England — and thousands more in sponsorship deals — Chris earned just £1,300 for a four-and-a-half-month tour of Pakistan and India in the early 70s.

He has worked in Sainsbury's for two and a half years after being forced to close the restaurant at Praa Sands he ran with his wife Letitia in 2009 because of the recession.

He is more than happy to talk about his cricket life with his new workmates — but only if somebody else initiates the conversation.

"Some colleagues know about what I did and some don't. I don't push it out but if people ask then I'll let them know — that's me," he said.

"Perhaps I could have made more of it, but that's not the sort of person I am."

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