At 5 foot 4 inches, Tony Cottey was known as the small Welshman with the big heart who played professional football and cricket (1986 – 2004) and was sometimes mistaken for the more eminent footballer Tony Cottee.
Tony Cottey began his career as a professional footballer with Swansea City, but it was only when he was released by them that his cricket career took off. He soon established himself in the Glamorgan side and for several seasons he was one of their most dependable batsmen, with a reputation of being a skilful player of spin. He was part of the side that won the Sunday League in 1993, the county’s first title in 24 years. There were singing in the valleys that night and chants of “there are only two Tony Cotteys” were ringing round Canterbury when he struck the winning runs against Kent to take Glamorgan to the Sunday League title. Just four years later Glamorgan went one better winning the county cricket championship (1997). This was a fantastic achievement for such a small county even though they had signed the great Viv Richards.
At the end of the 1998 season Tony moved on to Sussex where he was a regular in the first team, going on again to win the 2003 county cricket championship with the club.
His autobiography was published in 2008 ‘There’s Only 2 Tony Cotteys’ a great insight into life as a regular sportsman with it’s up and downs, fears and self-doubts. In 2004 Tony retired having made a total of 15,000 first class runs and in five seasons (1992-1996) he had a better first class average than Mike Atherton, Alec Stewart and Nasser Hussain. In his modesty, he never claims to have been a better player than those guys
Tony has stayed in the game as Corporate relationship manager with Sussex county cricket club, where he manages a team dedicated to looking after the sponsorship & events side of the organisation. He also is in strong demand for his after dinner speaking & hosting with hilarious stories of batting with Viv Richards and Alan Butcher’s fear of hitting motorway cones.
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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