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 over 40 both in that year and summer which 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, though his fielding remained exemplary.
On the odd occasion when he was placed in the Second Eleven, Archer proved he was a class above.