An inspirational dad who has devoted hours to helping children play cricket will be the guest of honour at Deserving father of three to light up the night sky at Derby’s biggest fireworks extravaganza this weekend when the Derbyshire County Cricket Club plays host to the annual Fireworks Night and Fun Fair.
Martin Forster, who uses a wheelchair after suffering chronic spinal injuries in a workplace accident, spends up to five hours a week coaching youngsters at Wirksworth and Middleton Cricket Club.
Now his dedication to the sport he loves has been recognised after he was chosen to set off the fireworks display at the Pattonair County Ground on Sunday.
By his side will be his wife Katie, a deputy head teacher at a primary school in Derby, and their children, Martha, 11, Theo, nine, and seven-year-old Joss.
Martin, 53, said he was honoured to have been invited and added: “We are absolutely thrilled – it’s nice to be part of something like this – and it’s a great opportunity for my kids.”
The invitation is a fitting tribute to Martin’s devotion to cricket and the time he spends with the club’s youngsters nurturing and developing their skills and talent.
“I’ve been watching cricket for the last nineteen years and haven’t been able to play but being part of something with young kids and watching them develop their love for the sport has been a joy and delight,” he said.
Martin suffered his life-changing injuries in June 2000. He was left with extreme mobility problems which means he needs a wheelchair for the rest his life.
His friends and family encouraged him to be involved in the Wirksworth and Middleton CC, his local cricket club, where he became an All Stars Activator – a key volunteer who creates a fun and inclusive environment for children and parents.
He now uses a specialised sports wheelchair, paid for with the help of a fundraiser organised by the club, coupled with generous donations from friends.
“The new wheelchair allowed me to take part in something which I thought I would never be able to do again,” said Martin, who is a stay-at-home dad. “Over these past six months, it’s given me an opportunity to be involved in cricket again.”
In recognition of his efforts, Martin was recently presented with the 2019 Junior All Stars Activator for Derbyshire award by the Derbyshire County Cricket Board.
Pattonair, the leading global aerospace supply chain service provider, is the Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s principal partner and supports its affiliated club