More often than not you'll find one major driving force at every club and there is no doubt that at the home of current North West champions Brigade, that man is Bertie Faulkner.

He may not be the first person you see when you arrive at Beechgrove at lunch time on Saturday and he certainly won't be pushing the skipper out of the way to collect a trophy.

Indeed if you want a chat with the now sprightly 80-something, you're more likely to find him pulling a roller up and down the square at 9am on a Wednesday morning, or re-doing the lines at the break in a Second XI game.

Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the club's first ever trophy success when they beat Sion Mills to collect the coveted senior cup and James Faulkner, Bertie's father and a founder member of the then Church Lads Brigade, was part of that successful team.

His own involvement at the Limavady Road outfit started as a teenager in the late 1940's and his first team debut was as a 17-year old at home to Donemana.

His brothers, Stanley and Victor were part of the club then too, however work committments in a good job with a local shipping Agent ruled out cricket for a number of years after that.

In 1966 he started a new post at the Du Pont plant which allowed him back into the game, however a spell in politics from 1973 meant that cricket again took a back seat.

By that stage Bertie was involved in committee life both with a group trying to secure a University facility for the North West and local church and scout associations. He was asked if he would put his name forward for the local election and while he wasn't overly interested in party politics he agreed to stand in the '73 Councils as an Alliance candidate. He was elected for two successive 4-year terms before standing down in 1981.

It was far from the end of committee life however and having been courted by the Sports Council for NI and the Western Education and Library Boards to be part of their make-up, he managed to keep himself very busy.

Brigade came calling again in 1992 and just a week after agreeing to re-join, he was elected club chairman. Since then, very little happens at Beechgrove that hasn't had Bertie's seal of approval.

He was elected chair of the NWCU in 1994 where he and the late Bob Kerr were also on the Irish Cricket Council.

Bertie recalls that the pair were on their way to a meeting in Dundalk a number of months ahead of Australia's 1997 visit to Ireland but they were unable to get through Aughnacloy because of heavy snow. The men knew the venue for the game was being decided that night so they used a payphone in the Tyrone village to give their input and the rest is history!

It will be for his beloved Brigade that Bertie Faulkner is best known however and a lot has changed in those intervening 28 years.

Major work has been undertaken at the ground including clubhouse renovation and fencing and seating around a venue that many feel on its day epitomises the sport in the region. Although Brigade enjoyed success in the 70's and 80's as well, they won two All-Irelands and a host of domestic leagues and cups in the 90's and 00's- an era the now club Trustee looks back on with great fondness.

The Beechgrove boys were late to the party in bringing an overseas professional to the club- Akram Raza the first to arrive and remembered fondly. Doubtless however that Wajahatullah Wasti- capped 21 times by Pakistan including the 1999 World Cup final at Lord's- was by some way Bertie's favourite.

"He won everything it was possible to win here except the senior cup, but he made up for that with five league winners' medals.

"Wasti was the model professional- practiced hard, played hard and was the nicest guy you could meet."

He doesn't ever talk about personal achievements but I trust Bertie won't mind me acknowledging that he was appointed an OBE in 2002 for Services to Education and the Community.

As with every other club, these are testing times for Brigade, but Bertie can still be found at the ground every day. He can't keep away as he looks ahead for more success at the club which won both league and cup last season.

"The ground looks amazing, honestly. We've done a lot of work here over the last few years and it is paying off. We've had great help in that time but I have to say getting Roy Torrens back was vital for the club.

"We now have up to 50 youngsters at our youth training sessions and have an under-11, under-13 and under-15 teams working with Lee Williamson and Mark Simpson.

"It's very much a team effort here and we are continuing to build. There's still plenty to do however and as long as that is the case I'm happy to be here."

No doubt the players, committee members and supporters of Brigade CC will be happy about that!