Tom Haworth - The Ultimate All Rounder
One of our LCB OSCAs winner Tom Haworth from Longridge CC was featured in the 4th Investec Test Match between England and India Official Match Programme.
Read about Tom in the official match programme from the recent Investec Test Match at Emirates Old Trafford. His years of dedication to Longridge CC was awarded at the LCB OSCAs earlier this year with him winning the Behind the Scenes Award sponsored by Keyteq.
From pages 70 and 71 of the Official Match Programme for England v India 4th Investec Test Match.
The ultimate all-rounder
Sixty-five summers after first helping out at Longridge Cricket Club, Tom Haworth is still there.
It was 1949 when Tom Haworth first answered the call of duty at his beloved Longridge Cricket Club – although he thinks it could have been 1950. Either way, the boy handed the scorebook while still in short trousers was starting a sporting love affair that’s still in bloom at least 64 summers later.
The exact details are less than pin-sharp these days, but one cast-iron certainty is that 74 year-old Tom’s ‘Mr Longridge’ epithet is entirely justified. His devotion to the club, which is just a short walk from his birthplace in Lancashire’s Ribble Valley, is unending. In his time he’s seen the club rise from a modest timber hut to a spanking new pavilion and done almost everything, on and off the field. “I’ve not been groundsman, though I’ve cut my share of wickets,” he says.
He played into his 40s, captained the first team, started the club’s junior section in 1972/73, is still club chairman and only recently relinquished his position as treasurer after 30 years. Even now, when he’s “taking a step back” he co-ordinates the junior teams, and manages when required. Longridge puts out 24 sides a week, including eight senior weekend/midweek teams; junior sides aged nine and up in the Lancashire League and Palace Shield – plus indoor cricket in winter.
“I have to take my grandson and put myself down as manager these days,” Tom says. “He’s a level 2 coach – I haven’t got any badges.”
There can’t be much about the game Tom hasn’t seen while he went about his work – voluntary duties recognised in July’s LCB OSCAs (Outstanding Services to Cricket Awards). While it was an accolade he seems embarrassed to accept, he admits to having had “a wonderful response.”
He’s happier to talk about his old opening partner Bill Gornall, Longridge’s resident archivist. Curating records that go back to 1886, Bill is still umpiring at 68. “He still goes to the club regularly, and still picks cigarette butts off the floor to keep it tidy,” says Tom.
People like these are the game’s lifeblood. Their spark is lit by the love of the sport, and the friendships and generational bonds it builds.
Tom’s highlight remains the under-17s cup final victory over Blackpool as a coach in 1976.
“Nobody ever beat Blackpool then – that’s a tremendous memory,” he says. “We won the toss and batted – they asked us if we were sure we were making the right decision!”
Thirty-eight years on, he’s still trying to push the club forward. “The more games you can put in front of people, the better players they become.
“Ours is a super family club – we have a lot of people who’ve been involved a very long time – and a lot who have gone away that still come back and want to take part.”
Lord’s may have old father time, but Longridge CC has grandfather Tom watching over things.
Play Your Part
Without the dedication of cricket’s volunteers, the game simply wouldn’t exist. But you don’t need to volunteer every week to make a big difference! Regardless of your skills and experience there is always a role for anybody who is interested in helping out at their local club. To find out how you can play your part by volunteering within cricket clubs visit www.ecb.co.uk/development/volunteering or visit our volunteering pages at www.lancashirecricket.co.uk/clubs-leagues/volunteers.