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Stephen Bexfield

aka Simon Bexley

aka the PadMan


Steve Bexfield: Debut: 1998. Best Ever Captain until 2006

Bexfield led the team in their first fixture and since then has played a prominent role in the club’s progress on and off the field, often skippering the team and never afraid to offer helpful and constructive advice to other captains. A dedicated exponent of pad play, the gritty Bexfield has worn out several pairs of pads and even a couple of bats in the cause of Offley & Stopsley, guiding the club to the Millman League title in 2000 and helping them to lift the Saracens League title in 2006 thanks to his motivational captaincy rather than his inept batting.

Over the years Bexfield has established himself as a sort of Brian Potter figure, with Offley taking the role of his own personal Phoenix Club. The leaders of some religious cults have displayed less commitment to their cause than Bexfield does for his club and he is regularly to be found cutting and rolling the wicket.

The angry young man of Stopsley has been replaced by a more mellow character at Offley as he heads towards his 40th birthday although in recent times there has been enough evidence to suggest that Captain Bligh is alive and well and using Bexfield’s body as temporary accommodation. Old adversaries such as Mansfield and Willis may have been embraced with friendship (regardless of the raised eyebrows from some of his more unforgiving colleagues) but he still possesses the ability to lose it at any time as he demonstrated in 2006 at West Herts.

Enraged by a perceived lack of support from some of his players, Bexfield flung his captain’s tiara on the floor and flounced off to his car and drove home across the outfield while the game was still in progress and the outcome far from decided. The thought of having to explain potential defeat to their aggrieved skipper persuaded Offley’s players to dig in at the crease and secure victory.

It’s fair to say that 2006 was something of an annus horiblis for Bexfield as he made a pig’s arse of every trip to the batting crease, failing to register a single half century and averaging just 23 prompting widespread debate as to whether his eyesight had gone. He laid that particular ghost to rest at the start of the 2007 season against Ickleford and has begun to find the runs again although he has dropped down the order after abandoning his position as opener in favour of younger players. He still pads up with a flourish and the old intensity is never far from the surface when the umpire raises his finger to send him on his way after a particularly fine piece of pad play.

His eyesight may not have failed him yet but his body has shown signs of wearing down. He is no longer the greyhound he once was between the wickets (or if he is a rather slow greyhound with asthma) and his bowling career has been restricted due to a shoulder problem as he nears his 41st year. Despite that he has taken over 100 wickets for the club and became the second player in club history to score 7000 runs.

His fielding remains one of the last great mysteries of modern times. He is the best fielder in the club when it comes to throwing down the stumps and is also blessed with a great arm in the deep. Unfortunately he is rather less accomplished when it comes to catching a cricket ball and the little hands that once earned him a squashed nose during his Stopsley days continue to plague him at Offley.