The shining light for Derbyshire in their miserable 2005 season and was appointed captain in 2006 following the departure of Luke Sutton.
He took a remarkable 58 wickets - the third highest in County Championship Division Two - during 2005 and also hit only his second-ever first-class century and four fifties to tot up a batting average over 30.
That form saw him named the club’s player of the year and he was rewarded with a new two-year contract at the age of 33 before being named as skipper.
Welch began his cricketing career at Warwickshire but signed for Derbyshire after finding first-team opportunities limited at Edgbaston.
He made his Derbyshire debut in 2001, earning his county cap in the same year.
He enjoyed highs and lows while at Warkwickshire, where he won the treble in 1994 but also became the first bowler to concede 100 runs in a Benson & Hedges match against Lancashire in 1995.
He hit his first championship century in his 200th first-class innings against Leicestershire at Oakham School in 2004.
Under his leadership, Derbyshire just failed to gain promotion in the County Championship in 2006 but they did end their four-year run without a home championship win when they beat Somerset.
Welch underwent surgery to repair a torn Achilles before the start of the 2007 campaign, but his recovery was cut short when he snapped the Achilles midway through the season.
Though a second operation was successful, Welch was told he would never play again, forcing him to announce his retirement in June.
He was appointed Essex seam bowling coach late in 2007.