Dipesh – will telling my readers about my life with LSCA help to sell THE BOOK
Or should I stick to the 90 years in more detail – Or give them both angles ????
Dipesh is the LCB Business Manager and my guru when it comes to matters re the Website and what to do about the THE BOOK “I have writ” as Ernie used to say. What started off as a good hard look at the facts behind 90 years of Lancashire Schools history began to take on a little bit of a BLOG feeling as I realised that after 45 years plus in and around the Association a lot of my history was LSCA’s as well.
Part of my thinking around how to organise our 90th Birthday has focussed now and then on how we could involve some of our past players who have gone on to become household names.
I have included a number of photos in the draft of the THE BOOK but I have many others that I am collating together in my LSCA ARCHIVES . Some of these fall into the personal category. Many were taken when Number 1 Son was beginning to show promise with Greenmount Cricket Club.
The picture below was taken almost 30 years ago and features a Greenmount CC Under 13 team. A number of BLOGS ago I displayed a picture of their Under 18 team which prompted more comments than any other BLOG to date. This one shows many of the same players – but a little younger.
Now of the nine players shown:-
Six went on to be selected for Lancashire Schools Cricket teams
Three went on to be selected for England Schools Cricket teams
One was selected for England Schools at Football & Cricket
Three became League Cricket Professionals
Two played Professional Football and played together for England
One is still playing Professional Football
One is now doing what he was always good at – and doing it well with Sky
Quite a group.
Just dipping into the content of THE BOOK will tell you more about a whole host of players who represented Lancashire Schools with great honour. Just to whet your appetite I intend to let you have a few sneak peeks at selections from THE BOOK beginning for now way back in 1954.
Many well-known cricketers of this era are mentioned in these Annual Handbooks including:-
Frank Tyson (Queen Elizabeth GS, Middleton)
Geoff Pullar (East Oldham HS)
Jack Dyson (Waterloo School, Oldham)
Roy Collins (Ducie Avenue Central School, Manchester)
Malcolm Hilton (Hollins Central School, Oldham)
Peter Marner (Greenhill Grammar School, Oldham)
Brian Statham (Central GS, Manchester)
Keith Andrew (Waterloo School, Oldham)
Alan Wharton (Colne Grammar School)
Eddie Hopkinson (Royton Co. Sec. Modern)
Colin Gradwell (Radcliffe Technical School)
In 1966 one young Under 15 cricketer certainly made his mark. Keith Eccleshare was the outstanding player of the season when as captain he took 55 wickets at an average of 5.5 - a remarkable performance. He was ably supported by his vice-captain, Michael Hardcastle, who himself scored two centuries including a record 134. Derek Day’s report for that season says it all. Keith took 8 for 26 against Cumberland, then 3 for 7 at Rossall School. He was not shy with the bat smacking 98 for the North at Old Trafford. He shattered Durham at Seaham Harbour with 6 for 22 and then took 5 for 35 against Stonyhurst College 1st XI. His reputation had spread across the country. At Nelson Cricket Club he blitzed Yorkshire taking 8 for 27. Yorkshire were all out for 55. Derek described that performance as unbelievable. His best figures of the season came at Watford on the Tour when he frightened the Hertfordshire batsmen into submission with figures of 9 for 11. Keith was a talented sportsman who eventually chose the football route. I spent many an hour at Gigg Lane watching him. He, also, became a more than useful League Professional.
In 1979 Jim Marsh the Under 13 Manager was taken ill just before the start of the season. Terry Holt was persuaded to take his place. Nine matches were played by his team – three were won, two were drawn and there were four defeats. The highlight of the season came when the team travelled to Oakham School for a week-long Festival. The leading run scorers were Craig Smith (273), Neil Persechino (262) and David Hayes (226). A very young Michael Atherton scored 102 runs at an average of 14.57. John Wharton from the Ribble Valley was the pick of the bowlers, with his left arm spin, taking 23 wickets.
The Under 15’s played 12, won 4, lost 2 and drew the remainder. A glance through the team sheet locates the names of Michael Bennison, Warren Joyce, David Ainsworth, Roger Watson and Andy Goram. Warren and Andy were another two of those players for whom football rather than cricket became their main career.
Colin Dunkerley the Under 19 Manager said “the strength of the Under 19’s was reflected in two boys chosen for ESCA Under 19’s.” Tony Settle and John Stanworth were selected to represent ESCA Under 19’s against the MCC Schools at Eastbourne. John went on to play for MCC Schools against the NAYC at Lords. He also represented ESCA against Wales at Old Trafford, Antigua at the Oval and Scotland in Glasgow. Tony Settle was included in the side to play Scotland. Looking through the team list I notice the names of Martin Rylance, David Lees, Paul Gill, Kevin Hayes and a certain Mike Watkinson.
These are just little snatches from the 200 plus pages. I will let you have sight of some more over the next few weeks including a hint or two of my own personal journey through life and cricket.
I must at this stage say a very well done to my granddaughter Sophie who went along to the Girls County Under 15 Session on Sunday to find out whether she had done enough to get a place in the main squad as distinct from the development group. Well I am delighted to say she made the main squad. She has worked ever so hard since she started playing at the age of nine for Walshaw Cricket Club in the lads teams. Well done Sophie – and all the other girls whatever group they are in. It has been great watching the enthusiasm and skills shown by everyone involved. Not quite as stressful as well.
This is a busy, busy time for me. Having received a final total of 106 schools entering the LSCA Competitions I can report that as of an hour ago all the draws have been made, typed up, checked and ready for copying and sending out to schools. The resident Zoo Keeper has been extremely helpful with the process. In fact at this very moment in time she has torn herself away from mucking out the giraffe enclosure to check details of teacher contacts, emails and phone numbers.
I did report to you that we were due for an LSCA Executive Meeting last Thursday at Headquarters.
Well the forecast of freezing rain given by the lovely Diana on Look North persuaded us to postpone until tomorrow. The person who benefitted the most from that was Chairman Dennis. He resides in the Lake District and the M6 was not the one to be on last week.
At least we have been able to get a little further forward with many administrative matters.
I need to enter confessional now as I am not where I should be. The Shakers are entertaining lowly Chesterfield at Gigg Lane this evening but my normal two companions are away for a couple of days. My poorly foot is now much better but I was concerned about causing any further damage – so I decided to dodge the game.
I am rather glad I made the above decision – our form against bottom of the league clubs is not good. At the moment we are behind one goal to nil.
Time for a Tesco Moment.
PS The Shakers snatched a point in the end.
PSS I put my picture from Face Book at the top to show just how versatile I am with such technological matters.
Now that Dipesh has opened up the world of Facebook and Twitter on the LCB Website I will need further tutoring.
Sophie & Thomas - Come and help Grandad ???
Philip or anybody else - Can you name the three other players in the picture. My Facebook account is waiting ??