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Steve Hoar


Steve Hoar: Debut: 2000.

Offley pulled off one of the greatest transfer coups of recent times when they prised Hoar away from the clutches of Luton Town & Indians on a permanent basis at the start of the 2007 season. The club secured Hoar’s signature after a lengthy courtship that involved sending Michael Cunningham’s Saracen League rights and six poppadoms to Luton Town & Indians as part of the deal. (That isn’t strictly true.)

Monty Panesar’s former teammate had already made his mark in Offley colours when he set the (since broken) record score for the club in 2003 with a classy 166 not out against Codicote. He also contributed a century to the Offley cause against Minehead during the 2005 Tour.

Hoar started the 2007 campaign in fine style, annihilating the Lilley attack with a century in the opening game and subsequently contributing valuable runs in every game he played. Mixing cover drives with fluent shot making on both sides of the wicket, Hoar reveled in his role of opener and seemed poised for a huge season before breaking his wrist in a freak footballing accident. His final display against Ickleford was pitiful to watch, as he struggled to lift his bat at the crease looking for all the world like Stephen Hawking cast adrift from the sanctuary of his wheelchair and forced to operate heavy machinery.

Despite his prowess with the bat, Hoar is widely regarded as the worst bowler at the club while his fielding is also somewhat inconsistent. Although Hoar has proved that he has the ability to hold on to the most difficult opportunity, he has also demonstrated an unfortunate talent for dropping sitters. At times it seems as if he would struggle to hold on to a beach ball and his propensity for reserving his worst misses for chances off the bowling of Mark Tattersall have been noted by the bowler as evidence of a personal vendetta.

It’s not – it’s nothing more than sheer incompetence.