If this was Dickensian England, Archer would be affectionately regarded as a rapscallion. His family had originally come from Barrow in Furness but as a schoolboy he grew up in Staffordshire and was an all-round sportsman, playing not only cricket, but soccer, badminton and table tennis at county level.
In 1991 he joined the Trent Bridge playing staff; three years later he had gained a regular place in the First Team, usually batting at number 3; In 1995 he topped 1,000 runs and received his county cap. It seemed as if his career in county cricket was assured. Apart from his batting he was the best slip fielder Nottinghamshire had possessed for some little time, few chances going astray.
He averaged more than 40 in that year and in the summer that followed but in 1997 came an abrupt change – his record in the Sunday League was far and away an improvement on any previous season, but his form in four-day matches was very modest. In his last three seasons, he scored just two of his 10 first class hundreds. Archer scored 5,354 First-Class runs, with a best of 168 against Glamorgan - one of three centuries he recorded against the Welsh team - at 32.44 and, to underline that his fielding remained exemplary, took 127 catches. His 14 First-Class wickets cost 46.28. the best return being 3-18 against Hampshire.
In 109 List-A games, he made 2,307 runs at 27.46 with two centuries - top score 111no v Durham - and took a further 41 catches.
Archer moved into Minor Counties cricket, playing for Cheshire and Staffordshire, where he was awarded his county cap in 2002; his highest score at that level was 201no for Staffs v Norfolk. In 2002 he was also playing for Clifton Village in the Nottinghamshire Premier League and won the League Award for the Best Batting Average at 56.50 and later played in the Derbyshire Premier League.