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Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave praises fellow Marlow hero Andrew Strauss
FIVE times Olympic gold medal winner Sir Steve Redgrave has hailed Marlow's newest sporting hero – England cricket captain Andrew Strauss.
The riverside town's original sports icon, a lifelong Marlow Bottom resident, praised the batsman and his team after England retained the Ashes in Australia for the first time since 1986.
Strauss, who played colt cricket for Gerrards Cross, now lives in the Marlow area with his family.
Sir Steve said a reception would perhaps be fitting on his return home, but said a statue of the Middlesex player – like his own in Higginson Park - would be going too far.
Cricket fanatic Marlow Mayor Cllr Roger Wilson said the town council would have to think of an appropriate way to honour the achievement.
Sir Steve stayed up late to watch the final Aussie wickets tumble, as England wrapped up a crushing innings and 157 run victory.
With an unassailable 2-1 lead going into the final test and having won the last series in 2009 at home, it meant the famous urn was regained.
Sir Steve said: “It's fantastic they have won on Australian soil. Now they want to do it in style, they want to win 3-1.”
A statue of the record breaking rower stands in Higginson Park, but asked if he could see the two time Ashes winning England captain alongside him, he said: “I think that would be going a bit too far at this stage, maybe at the end of his career if he's still around.
“But maybe there should a reception or something like that, it's a great achievement.”
Cllr Wilson said: “I think they've played really well and been a really organised, good team this time. Their fielding has been absolutely unbelievable.
“Strauss has really been able to get them together as a team. If they can wrap it up in Sydney that would be absolutely tremendous.”
Cllr Wilson, a regular at Lords, said he had not been aware the England captain had moved to the Marlow area.
“It would be jolly nice to see him in Caffe Fego (in Marlow High Street),” he joked.
“I think it's absolutely splendid and if he can bring more spotlight to cricket in this area, much the better.”
He said he hoped it would encourage more youngsters in Marlow to take up the sport.
He agreed a statue would be a step too far and the two achievements were quite different.
“Steve Redgrave did something quite incredible, winning five gold medals in succession, I don't think anybody will do that again,” he said.
But he added: “It would be nice to in some way honour him (Strauss). I think we will have a discussion on what we can do about it.”
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