Have I been busy this week or have I been busy
Apart from watching the Shakers last night
I’ll get to that last bit first. We were murdering Notts County last night and heading for three points when the referee gave them a helping hand – or was it the hand of Efetbore Sodje. When I come to think about it was only after Sodje’s brother Sam came on that Notts County equalised. Without that we would have been heading to the play off places. Apart from Sophie and Tom we had a load of Tom’s mates – Luke, Charlie, Brad and JJ. Brad and JJ Fielding’s Dad had brought them (on free tickets of course) – yes it was the legendary Trigger himself. I think Charlie saw ten minutes of the match with the remainder bagging a little more as they spent most of the evening messing around on their raspberries. There must be a million raspberries in Bury alone because wherever you go people are texting and taking pics. Anyway in the end it was a good point.
What have I been busy doing? Well I have made great inroads into next season’s fixtures for the Under 11 to 15 age groups. Many years ago this was done by telephone and I would contact my main person for each of the counties - for example the Good Doctor (as we called him) Bernard Knowles of Yorkshire. One phone call would sort out all our games against the Yorkies both home and away. Dinger Bell was the man in Cumbria and Bill Sillett was Mr Durham. No more. I can guarantee that each year the names change, plus the email addresses etc. No one tells you this. So for the last two days I have been whipping off emails all over the place. Yes it is cheaper than phone calls but it is also far more frustrating. If someone is not in they do not answer the phone and with a bit of luck you can leave a message. But with emails you are able to know if someone has read the email, but you then have to wait for them to reply. For example last week I emailed a county contact who I wanted to persuade to change their regular date with us to an earlier one. I know he has read the message but has he replied – “NO”.
Anyway many of the fixtures are in place and I am hoping to get a reasonably clear picture pretty soon. You, my readers, will get to know as soon as practical. One problem is that some of these arrangements become – TBC – to be confirmed.
The mention of you my readers leads me to an amazing revelation. When I started doing these Blogs I really did not know what I was letting myself in for. I was far from sure what to write and how it would be received. I felt that this was a good vehicle for getting information out to people but was aware that many commercial organisations use Blogs to attract readers and then sell adverts. I for one moment cannot believe that this was one of Dipesh’s thoughts at the outset. As I have the “keys” to the inner workings of the website I can also see “Comments” before they go live (Keep those comments coming Ted), but I can also see how many “hits” I have had. This means how many times a Blog has been accessed and read. Last night after the excitement of Gigg Lane and whilst enjoying a Tesco Moment I logged on and did the sums.
At that moment in time I had recorded just two short of 17,500 “hits”. Now when I compare that with Mr Hayhurst’s dismal 3,500 I have to feel I am heading towards legendary status. You see the fact is I will by now have topped 18,000. Having said that one of the Cruise Blogs I visit is that of John Heald, a Brit Cruise Director with Carnival. His hits have now topped one million. Mind you his style includes a fair amount of vulgarity which I feel sure would get me drummed out of the LCB. I mean you really would not want to know which haemorrhoid cream I use.
What else have I been busy at. Well I have been crafting away at the life and times of Lancashire Schools since 1922. Remember I have mentioned that in 2012 we will be 90. On the basis I cannot guarantee to be around to compile our 100th compendium, I am busy putting together a History of our Association which encompasses my own personal involvement. In my last Blog I shared the Commonwealth Games day at Old Trafford. Reading through Year Books and Manager’s Reports has brought all sorts of memories back to me.
Friends know that I do not like telling tales about my cricket prowess in my youth – ha ha – like when I made my First Team debut for Radcliffe at Werneth in front of a million fans that I actually scored six more runs than the great Gary Sobers and I was not out (9). What I remember more about that day is that my Dad had travelled by train and bus to the game and said to his mates if he (me) gets to double figures I’ll buy him a drink in the Welly tonight. His mates persuaded him that 9 not out was as good as double figures, and he bought me my first pint that night – well it was the first he bought me but not really my first.
He should really have asked for his money back as just a few weeks later I bowled for the first time for Radcliffe at Walsden with the great Mr Sobers my spin partner. He had eight wickets and I had just one – but what a good one. The last man came in for Walsden – and it was and still is a small ground – but 34 in one over is ridiculous but true. We did play eight ball overs at that time but shucks. The moral in this story for all our young cricketers is that this was still the era of “timed cricket”, and late in the day batting at Number 10 I shared a partnership of 60+ which saved the day for us and earned us a draw. I had left the field at the end of the Walsden innings in despair as my intended and her family had come especially for the game (my Dad had gone into hiding) and ended up leaving the field almost a hero. The special moment on that day (and I am blessed if I can remember his name) was when the Walsden bowler who had smacked me on to every roof in the village, and then tried to knock my block of whilst batting came across and asked me would I like a drink.
There are many stories buried way in the LSCA archives that I have just dipped in so far. I am sure that when I get to complete the basic History of the Association that it will unearth a whole host of memories that I will be able to share with you.
One thing that looking back has done is take me back to my earlier days in teaching and the initial days when I became involved with LSCA. I met some real characters in my teaching career. Several of them are customers at the iconic Tottington Conservative Club. It has to be “iconic” as the Steward was a leading light in the 2011 Treble Winning Greenmount Cricket Club team. I spent five years at Pop Kay’s establishment, Totty Sec, and enjoyable they were. A good number of Totty Con’s clientele are old Boys, including the Chairman. They still duck when I walk by. The main man is Mr Ibiza – known to one and all as Pocky. He was a star footballer with a fan base almost like David Beckham. He was quick then – but now!!! He doesn’t know it but he could become world famous over this winter.
Enough for now – I need to gather my strength for another push at getting the fixtures into better shape.
A Tesco Moment beckons.