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Lancashire Cricket Board - My very first “official” sale has taken place
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My very first “official” sale has taken place

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Well it has all been happening since my last Blog

If you remember, as I cannot forget, I had succumbed to something very much like Super “Man” Flu. That ailment has receded slowly, however, only to be replaced by a very annoying cough and cold. I am not complaining, much, as the official Jailer at 59 Turks Road is suffering similarly and has decided we are both fit and well enough to be allowed out into the big wide world. Mind you my first real venture into life outside our front door saw me go with Tom last Saturday to the last Shakers match of the season against Oldham. I really should have stayed at home. The match ended 0-0 and was diabolical. Plus it was seriously fleeing. The only good thing was it got me out of going to watch the Mount at one of the least bonniest grounds in the Bolton League. They did continue their winning ways with Plon in the runs and number one son taking seven wickets. In spite of my pre-season warnings there appears to be life in the old dog yet. Last Saturday’s weather was Arctic but Sundays was Antarctic with a monsoon chucked in. I was up bright and early to take Sophie to play football at Euxton, near Chorley. How these girls played a game of football I really do not know. Perhaps the fact that the gale force wind was blowing across the pitch helped rather than from end to end. The club premises had a very good viewing window behind well sheltered doors. The person who looked the most seriously teed off of all was the young referee. Whether he had agreed this with the managers or not with Westbury 6-1 ahead he blew the final whistle with a good percentage of the second half left to play. On leaving Euxton we picked up the text message telling us that the LKO game at Greenmount had been called off. So from my point of view it was a cricket less weekend.


This past week began, however, with a major boost for me and I hope for all my followers on this Blog and beyond. After a meeting with Big Boss Andy and Dipesh “HM” Asher the decision was made to go to print with my “masterpiece”. Now it was Nigel Warne who used that word not me. It has been unusual over the years for Nigel to offer fulsome praise and I am pleased to see that his Mr Grumpy returned this week in a terse message about email addresses he had received from me.


The go ahead has been given for a limited number of copies of “Who’d Have Thowt” to be printed. I am hoping to get the proofs early next week. I have been told the aim is to have copies ready for the Big Match at Old Trafford on Monday May 21st. Dipesh has now put an article on the LCB Website with a “Button” you can press to place an order and pay for it, plus delivery. The Book will cost £12.50 with £2.50 for postage and packing. The real excitement came on Thursday when Jasmine emailed me to say she had received our first order from someone in London. Just a couple of hours later that figure doubled when an order came in from Poulton-le –Fylde. That just leaves 498 to go. Now I have received about 25 personal orders. I will ensure these are reserved but may have some difficulty getting them out. Remember the offer with the LCB includes postage and packing.


We are still working on arrangements for May 21st and the Under 15 fixture against Yorkshire at Old Trafford. Approaches have been made but I feel it may well be a last minute effort. I will do my best to alert you if we are able to persuade one of our better known old boys to come along. I may even have to give the news that we will have someone present for our 90th Birthday Match without being precise. I promise I will only do that if we have someone seriously well-known lined up.


The important thing is that we will have a number of our officials past and present at the match along with our President, Mr Jack Simmons MBE. A goodly number of Yorkshire officials will cross the Pennines – they do like a good do you know especially when it’s free. One person we will be delighted to welcome will be Chris Hassell who has now even got a Yorkshire accent. In his time as Secretary at Lancashire along with Cedric Rhoades he worked wonders on our behalf.

What else to report. My Grandad Taxi duties “cricket season” have commenced. Wednesday saw the short trip to Winton Cricket Club with Bury Under 13’s meeting up with their Salford counterparts. In a low scoring game Salford emerged winners. I am sure when they are up to full strength that Bury could still have a say in the Hacking Cup for 2012.


Thursday I went off to Headquarters to meet up with Titch to go over arrangements for the start of the Under 15 season next Tuesday with a Trial at Blackpool. After doing a bit of printing I went off and watched the final hour of the County game (2nd Day) v Notts. We have started with a bit of a wobbler and it looks in this game that the wobbling is continuing. I feel confident that when the weather takes a turn for the better that our County fortunes will do the same. One thing I have to say is that the work to transform Old Trafford in to a “New” Old Trafford is gathering pace. My day concluded with an LCB Development Committee Meeting at the Indoor Centre. There was a lengthy discussion about something called “Last Man Stands”. Now I must say my recollection of such tournaments especially at University often ended with some rather disgraceful and messy scenes. “LMS” is now a much sought after accolade in many areas of the UK as a cricket game played mainly away from club grounds and especially in Inner Cities. I am in favour of any new ideas that enable even more people young and old to play cricket. Bring it on.


Friday I was up bright and early - I am getting teed off with bright and early – but this was with real purpose. The County Under 15 Girls Squads were playing at Fylde Cricket Club in a game to enable them to get a feel of cricket away from the Indoor Centre and on wickets that with the weather we have had need getting used to. The weather looked threatening but a game was completed and most girls had a chance to get used to the conditions. Sophie’s day could have started badly but a dropped catch helped her to score two runs before being LBW. Now I know I was at square leg but ???. She batted at number four which gave apoplexy to her father when he received my text. She made us all up with 3 for 15 off 5 overs. Jenny even persuaded her to smile.


I have to say that it is still one of my delights to arrive at a ground prior to one of our fixtures at whatever age group and to see players turning up in their Lancashire kit looking smart and special. Their appearance when the game started in their whites was immaculate. The team batting stayed together and encouraged each other, and put an arm round a shoulder when someone was disappointed. The on-field behaviour would have put to shame League sides across the county who will behave badly this weekend.


I think the other thing that struck me was the way that Fylde Cricket Club looked after everyone. This is not one of the major clubs in the county but it is “major” in the way it responded to the match today. Well done Fylde – this is what Lancashire is all about.


Mind you – my day was made right from the start. Although I was on Grandad duties I was clearly recognised from my last visit three years ago for a Hacking Cup Final they staged. They knew me and welcomed me. Remember I mentioned earlier that my second “official” order for THE BOOK had come from someone in Poulton-le Fylde. Well the first person to greet me and shake my hand was that self-same person. “I ordered your Book yesterday” he said. What a co-incidence.


There is a busy weekend ahead although I notice that Arctic conditions are due to return. Do you know it is the FA Cup Final today. Who’s in it?


The Mount are at home to Kearsley this afternoon and away at Tonge tomorrow. The re-arranged Lancashire Knockout tie with Great Eccleston is on Bank Holiday Monday. PJH may need a wheelbarrow to get him to work next week. Taxi duties will see me off to Newton le Willows on Monday evening for an U15 Girls training session. I have an Under 15 Boys trial at Blackpool on Tuesday and the second Under 12 trial is at Heywood on Wednesday. Phew.


Time for a Tesco Moment.


Get those book orders rolling in.


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