Gary Porter is celebrating 30 years with the Lancashire CCC Development Association – and has helped donate £3million back into the game.

Gary, 62, from Tyldsley, joined the club in 1994 after working at Wanderers, where he was integral in establishing the Goldline draw which still runs today.

He then set up the Lancashire Line, although the club had tried similar schemes in the past and failed to get them off the ground.

Gary worked tirelessly to make it a success and the draw attracted more than 1,000 members in its first week, with these numbers growing rapidly in the following years. He has also organised sporting dinners headlined by guests such as Sir John Major, Sir Michael Parkinson and Andrew Flintoff.

The funds raised by the lottery team have had a big impact at Lancashire, funding a hover cover for a six-figure fee in 2005 which has proven to be an important asset. The donations were also crucial during a challenging period off the pitch between 2010 and 2013.

Countless cricket clubs in the North West have benefitted from the funds raised, along with a number of charities.

A plaque was unveiled at Old Trafford ahead of the County Championship match against Kent last month in recognition of the work carried out over the past 30 years.

“I got a call to say they were looking at starting a lottery at Lancashire in ’94, which ironically was the year that the National Lottery started and eventually killed a lot of sports clubs,” Gary told The Bolton News.

“Lancashire had tried this sort of thing for 20 years before but couldn’t get it off the ground. To be honest, it was a real challenge.

“Bolton is a massive community club, you could get people who would collect for you on the local housing estates. Lancashire didn’t really have that community feel so when we first started, the only scope on our side was the members attached to the club.

“The first 12 months were so hard, trying to get it established. We had to think outside of the box and managed to get that community feel by linking it to local cricket clubs in the county.

“There are around 100 local clubs still linked to it and every year, more than £40,000 goes back to them.

“Over the years, the money has gone towards the cricket Academy and we bought the hover cover that is still going strong now.”

Gary started working at Wanderers in 1986 after he was invited by Alf Davies to discuss a new opening at the club.

During his eight years there, he worked with the legendary Nat Lofthouse. The pair would regularly visit local pubs to hand out cheques to the winners of the weekly draw.

“He was fantastic. Everywhere we went, people would always recognise him – even the Isle of Man,” Gary continued.

“He would thank people who asked him for an autograph, we was a true gent. He would always be more interested in others, he was such a lovely guy and I can’t speak highly enough of him. He was so loved by people and such a warm fella.”