IMG_3314-300x225Right-hand batsman; Right-arm medium pace bowler

‘Stears’ joined Melton at the same time as Martin Bunn in 2006, following Norwich Union’s decision to withdraw its first team from the Alliance. A brilliant fielder, effective medium pace bowler and destructive batsman, Paul initially played for the A Team taking 18 wickets to help the As gain promotion from Division 5. Paul took 8-23 against Garboldisham in 2007 and, but for a dropped catch, would have surpassed Chris Betts’ best-ever bowling figures of 8-7 set in 1980.  He was an important member of the A Team’s Division 4 championship-winning side the following year.  A sparky by trade and now working at the UEA, Paul certainly lights up the cricket pitch with his high-energy performances and in 2011 at Stow he got a little too fiery on the pitch he helped the As to another promotion. In 2013, at Mundford, Paul produced perhaps his best-ever individual performance scoring a blistering 129 before following it up with 4-45.  Unsurprisingly he was voted A Team Player-of-the-Year. Over the past 2 seasons the loss of players from the top end of the club has seen him back in the 1st Team where he topped the batting averages with 240 runs at 26.67 in 2015. Despite being hopeless with names – he couldn’t the names of the players let alone the parents – Paul managed the successful U11s in 2011. In winter, he is seen trying to keep order on the football pitches of East Anglia having has risen through the refereeing ranks.  Stears is now 50th in Melton’s all-time appearance list having played 164 games, scored 2426 runs at an average of 21 and taken 179 wickets & 53 catches.