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Lancashire Cricket Board - My “Gast” has never been as “Flabbered”
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My “Gast” has never been as “Flabbered”

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Went to see “OSCAR” at Old Trafford and got a pleasant surprise

I told you in my last Berlog that I was treating my wife to a night out at Old Trafford last Friday when we had an evening with Oscar to raise money for grass roots cricket.  More of that in a short while.


The day before I did a fair bit of motoring between Urmston, Leigh and Old Trafford.


Our Under 15’s were at Urmston playing Cheshire in the ECB U15 Cup. I managed to see the first ten or so overs before jetting off to Leigh for the U13 match v Derbyshire. I had agreed to go to Leigh to help get things started as Steve “PO” Bulcock, the Manager, had to work into the afternoon delivering his missives. Remember that all the volunteers who help to administer our programme have day jobs to go to. As Shaun “I cannot play the reverse sweep” Anders was taking his players through their pre-match routines I spent some time talking with the Derbyshire Manager. I have known him some time and he was prompted to say “How long have you been doing all of this?”


“48 Years!!” I answered. That little phrase was to be quite significant the following night.


The game got under way on a sunny afternoon at Leigh Cricket Club where you could not get away from the fact that a helluva lot of hard work had enabled us to start on time. Well done Leigh yet again.


I spent some time watching the Derbyshire innings begin and tried to pin Shaun down to a seat but he is without doubt a coach who gets “immersed” in his team’s performance. In other words he moves around a lot.


After a short while I returned to Urmston to see our Under 15’s chalk up a very comfortable win against Cheshire to maintain their push for the Under 15 Championship. Again I must express our thanks to Urmston for ensuring this game went ahead. When we have the sort of weather that has blitzed the UK over the past month then when the chance to get a game in is there it needs seizing.


On my way back to see the “Most” Famous Zoo Keeper in the World I called in at Old Trafford to see how our Under 12’s were doing at the hastily arranged training session that replaced  the washed out game in Nottinghamshire. They seemed to be in good spirits even though the Indoor Centre was very hot and muggy – the Lancashire CCC Sauna.


Friday beckoned. Oscar was waiting. I had only decided a couple of weeks ago that I would take the Good Lady along to this Annual Bash organised so brilliantly by David Hardman. During the day I felt a little unsure around my nethers and had to admit that this may have been down to a slight excess of red wine in the same venue (The Point) on Tuesday. Nevertheless we set off to Headquarters for the annual “OSCA’s. When we arrived at OT it was chucking it down. Indeed it was doing exactly the same when we left. In between we had an excellent repast which I washed down with a small quantity of the beverages available. It had to be small at the Point’s prices.


As we were waiting for the evening to begin I was approached by one of the guests who asked me if I was “John Heaton”. I affirmed the fact and he congratulated me on my Blog and said he was a regular. Good was my response. He then asked where my Resident Zoo Keeper was. I pointed across to the Good Lady with a little tinge of jealousy. Is she becoming more famous through this Blog than me??


Several glasses later we came to the “OSCARS” bit. This is where all sorts of people get the chance for their work to be recognised. My old friend Nigel Warne was in the list of nominees for one of the categories. He missed out and I felt a little sorry for him.


We moved on to the final award of the evening – the Special Recognition Award. This is the one that goes to people who have made massive contributions to cricket in Lancashire. Now I have to admit that I was beginning to sense the need for a visit to the noisiest room in the Point but I felt that to leave at this critical moment might not be a good idea.


Mr Robert Denning had done a splendid job with the awards ceremony. The last Award is the one which is kept secret until the night. It is a Special Recognition Award. He started his opening remarks by saying that the person involved had worked for “48 Years” with his organisation. Now this caused a little flutter in me. After a few more sentences I was feeling that this was getting personal.


The rest is now part of LCB OSCA history. I was “flabbergasted”. I did not have a clue.


I must say that I could have not done what I have over 48 years without the support of my Good Lady, Zoo Keeper Extraordinaire and the rest of my family both within the Heaton Collective and Lancashire Schools.


I mentioned the noisiest room in the Point. This is the “Gentle Mans” on the main floor. The noise comes from the Hand Dryers which are noisier than a 747 taking off from Manchester Airport.


The Weekend.


The Mount – 2 games and 2 wins. The last of these on Sunday took us to the Hamer Cup Final.


Stewie says I have to mention him or “else”. He rolled the years back taking 8 for 70 v Bradshaw on Saturday. Social Circle were our opponents on Sunday. I had headed off to Grimsby for our U14 match v Lincolnshire. We won eventually on a ground which had seen a lot of rain. On my way home my good friend Bluetoof and Pamela kept me abreast of the exciting happenings at the Mount. Yet another Cup Final.


Today the “Heaton Collective” had responded to the news that our U12’s match in Warwickshire was flooded out by switching everything to the Mount. Warwickshire and their Manager, John Griffiths, were up for it. The morning dawned dry but cloudy. By mid-morning everyone had gathered at the new venue of Greenmount CC. The Heaton Mobile Catering Service was operational and both teams gathered full of optimism.


Guess What. It rained, and it rained and it rained.


The curly fries, chips, hot dogs, chicken pieces and loads of cakes were consumed by both teams.


And we all went home.


Seven games scheduled – two played for the U12’s !!!!!!


Off to Headingley tomorrow with the U17’s


Scunthorpe  Town on Wednesday with U12’s.


Thursday the U11’s are back at the Mount v Notts


Friday Sophie is due at Haydock CC.


Time for a Tesco Moment.


It will stop raining  ??????

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