This is a very important blog
The information it contains needs passing on
I have been busy over recent blogs reminding you all about the “book what I have writ”. I am pleased to say we have now moved from the planning stage to being able to announce more details.
The “Book” is entitled “Who’d have Thowt – LSCA 90 Not Out”. It is a “Personal Journey through Life and Cricket, and the History of the Lancashire Schools Cricket Association over the past 90 years.”
For almost 50 years now LSCA has been part of my life, and indeed that of my family. Prior to me becoming involved with the Association one man dominated the life and times of the Association. The first part of the book looks back at the contribution Herbert Thomas made from the time he became the first Honorary Secretary in 1922 to his retirement 49 years later. I have used the vast library of LSCA Handbooks that were the life blood of the Association to dig out some fascinating facts. For example in the 1950’s the youngsters taking part in the traditional North v South games at Old Trafford wore numbered shirts so the crowd could identify them more clearly.
There were many famous cricketers who passed through our ranks even then – like, John Ikin, Derek Shackleton, Frank Tyson and, of course, Brian Statham.
The “fickle finger of fate” and the intervention of Alan Marshall, Headteacher of Radcliffe Secondary School for Boys, and a certain Sam Allen, pushed me into the teaching profession – a move that was destined to lead me to where I am today. The latter part of the book looks in more detail at the period of time from 1963 when the Lancashire Schools Cricket Association came into my life. It ends in the summer of 2011 when after 77 years the County Championship returned to Old Trafford.
I found as I began to put the book together that at times it reads more like a blog than a stuffy old history. I have a vast archive of pictures and there are 28 pages of photographs, including the first page of the original Minutes from 1922. Over my time we have seen some very famous people go through our system. Many have gone on to grace the Test Match scene with honour. Others have played for their country in other sports. My selection of pictures includes some of these. David Lloyd and Frank Hayes were opposing captains in the annual North v South game at Old Trafford. Michael Atherton’s dad was the Headteacher of the nearest school to mine in Bolton. I was with him at a Conference when the news came through of Michael’s elevation to the England captaincy. Gary Neville and Philip Neville showed outstanding promise until the people at the other Old Trafford made them an offer they could not refuse. I have some brilliant pictures of Gary – he had a habit of shutting his eyes at the wrong time. We could not get Andrew Flintoff to take his Lancashire Schools cap off for most of his team photos with us. Did you know that Rugby star Will Greenwood represented Lancashire Schools at cricket. The latter stages of the book as I move into the 1990’s sees the appearance of names more recently associated with the success of the County Club.
Before I let you see another selection from the book I need to get to the important news. The intention is to try and have a publication date of Monday May 21st. I say try because we will need to attract a certain number of definite orders before giving our printers the nod to go ahead.
The price of the book will be £12.50. We will begin to take orders in a number of ways. An email to me will be number one. I will need a telephone number and your address. The second way will be to visit the LCB Website and go through the ordering process there. There will be an article in the Lancashire Spin magazine going out to all members in March. This article will also contain an Order Form which can be posted off to me. The post is of course the other way of ordering.
Sometime in April we will analyse the orders we have received and judge whether we can go ahead and commit the printer. The cost of doing this is substantial and we do not have the funds to invest regardless. If we decide to go ahead we will get in touch with everyone who has ordered and ask them to place their order and make payment. There will be an online facility available on the LCB Website.
The aim is to have copies available at Old Trafford on Monday May 21st for collection. Those not wishing to collect will have copies posted out. There will be a charge of £2.50 to cover this.
The reason we are having the option to collect is that on Monday May 21st there is a special 90th Anniversary Game at Old Trafford between Lancashire and Yorkshire Under 15’s. I am hopeful that many of our past players will want to help celebrate our anniversary and come along at some stage during the day. My big hope is we can persuade one or more of our more celebrated past players to come along and sign copies.
When we get to the point of deciding to print and contact those who have ordered we will be able to advise who, if anyone, would be at Old Trafford on May 21st to autograph copies.
To try and really get things motoring I am looking to you my readers to help. My good friend Dipesh has now joined the LCB into Facebook and Twitter. I have a Facebook page that has not really changed from day one and I have not got a clue about tweeting. Lots of people keep telling me that the best way to communicate with others about such important happenings is via the social media. One other thing I have been able to do over the past few months is compile a list of everyone who has represented LSCA since the time I became Secretary in 1984. I have identified 800 plus such individuals. I have then attempted to pick out those who played at higher levels within cricket or sport in general. It is still a working model and my good friend John Stanworth is casting his eye over it at the moment. I would love to try and make contact with many of these.
This is where you my readers may be able to help. Get the messages flowing across Facebook and Twitter.
For example, I wonder if the Neville family will remember Fillongley Cricket Club, in Warwickshire. Or when it looked like the “Eagle” was going to land in Taunton – but crashed. It was the Bald Eagle as a clue. Does Warren Hegg remember the day he was promoted up the order for our Under 15’s only to find Michael Atherton and Mark Crawley score a century each to thwart him. There are many other such memories that surface from time to time.
Enough for now – a quick snatch from the “book what I have writ” ….
In my Secretary’s Report on the season of 1986 I wrote: - “What of the players of this season and their potential for the future – I wonder in 20 years whether the names of Michael Atherton, Mark Crawley, Andrew Williams, John Crawley, Ronnie Irani or any of the other 84 boys who represented Lancashire in 1986 will have become recognised throughout the county and beyond.”
This was the year that Bob Stamp became Chairman for the first time. At his installation he said that two things would happen during his year in office – firstly the sun would shine, and secondly he would have a good time. He was spot on with both. The two North v South matches were played in glorious sunshine at Old Trafford and eleven centuries were scored across all age groups by Andrew Flintoff (U11), Lee Marland (U13), Nathan Wood (U14), Philip Moffat (U14), Peter Wilcock (U15), John Ratledge (U15), Gary Wells (U19) and Andrew Williams (U19). Nathan Wood actually scored 3 and Gary Wells 2 in an outstanding season for them both.
The Under 14’s went down to Taunton School after just one “friendly” against Yorkshire when Nathan Wood scored the first of his centuries. The weather down at Taunton was glorious all week and the cricket was great until the final afternoon. I had stepped in at the last minute to become Team Manager for the season, and was looking forward to maintaining our winning streak at Taunton. Nathan Wood hit a massive 141 against Gloucestershire and Philip Moffat 116 against Northants. Gary Neville was in the squad and contributed some lively runs. John Henderson and Andrew Bartlett bowled well throughout the week. I was well supported by a vast army of parents including Barry Wood and the entire Neville Family.
Four wins in four days and Durham 83 for 7 chasing 149 to win on the final afternoon and all looked well. The Durham number 7 then decided that this was going to be his day and literally blasted them to victory with some incredible hitting. Perhaps earlier in the day when Nathan had to retire hurt and needed 5 stitches was just as important a time because we missed his runs. We returned to Lancashire for the first time since 1985 without the NatWest Trophy.
During that week we had some fun with nicknames – I became the Bald Eagle. See above.
This is a busy time for me so I will keep the blogs going where I can. There are a number of projects I have been instructed I need to attend to. As it is I am currently in the middle of a building site for a pre-historic village that is very close to the biggest Zoo you have ever seen. We have had to ask Bury Metro for another brown bin to help take away the sweepings up from the animal enclosures.
Remind me to tell you about when we were returning from a tour based at Oakham School when the chickenpox struck. Or the time we were returning from Hull when the coach broke down. Whilst Bob Hurst went off seeking help Graham Lloyd entertained us royally sat in the driver’s seat.
More extracts to follow – and possibly more insane memories.
Time for a Tesco Moment.