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Well the cat is out of the bag

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Well the cat is out of the bag

All those rumours flying around are actually true

After a great deal of thought I have decided to call it a day. I had been thinking of “retirement” over the past few years but kept persuading myself to carry on. The developments in many aspects of age group cricket in the county that have materialised over the past few years made me excited to be part of it. Now I can see the biggest and best programme of age group cricket well and truly underway I feel the time is right to look to the younger generation to take these developments forward. I have always been concerned that the Lancashire Schools Cricket Association would continue but after discussions with Andy Hayhurst and the Mighty Titch I am able to retire to the back benches with full confidence in the future.

 

My annual tasks would normally begin in mid-September when I started to contact other counties to begin the process of building the match programme. Somebody else will have that job to do. My links with LSCA will end on October 31st when at the AGM someone else will become just the third Honorary Secretary of the Association.

 

What on earth are you going to do !!! said the owner of the Biggest Zoo on an iPad. Build a bigger zoo than you I replied. Then I thought – are you sure. Over the past six or seven weeks since I gave my news which was to be kept secret until the official announcement I have been involved in many occasions where I have thought I will miss all of that – but there have been just a few which I am pretty sure I will be glad not to have to deal with again.

 

Forty nine years ago this summer Alan Marshall asked me if I would like to take over as Team Manager of the Prestwich, Radcliffe and Whitefield Cricket Town Team. I said yes. Three years later he told me he was finishing on the LSCA Executive – would I like to take his place. I said yes. Thirty years ago I was asked by that Executive if I would take over the role of Hon. Sec. from Bob Hurst who had died suddenly. I said yes. Last week the Mighty Titch said would I reconsider my decision. I said no.

 

I would rather finish now whilst the going is good. I was always proud of my memory and the fact I did not need notes to help me. Now I have notes stuck to notes and fear that dreaded phone call to indicate a far from memorable error. I was reminded of that potential on June 11th this season when a fellow administrator from another county rang me to say his team was at Stretford Cricket Club but no one else was. Panic did set in until I looked up the copies of emails betwixt us clearly showing the date of JULY 11th. Saved by the email. They will be making the journey across to us again this Thursday.

 

The official news about my “retirement” was sent out by email last week to addresses across the County Club and the Board and wider. I have had some nice responses like one from Peter Moores and a lovely one from Diana Lloyd. I had rung all my close colleagues in the time between my meeting at the LCB and that announcement last week and they all responded in similar fashion. I had a long chat with Jack Simmons, the LSCA President and good friend of the Association. Chris Hassell was another I spoke to.

 

I thought how I could spread the news much wider. Wherever I go to watch cricket my missus says that whenever I walk round a ground people stop and talk to me. The real truth is that they know me but I am not totally sure a) whether I know them or b) worse still that I know them but cannot remember their names. Two brothers at Farnworth Social Circle, both retired from cricket, but products of our system were in attendance in the match against the Mount last Saturday. I remembered one name straight away but the second took perhaps a couple of hours before I dredged it up from my memory cells – Chris and Tim. I will not admit which was the early bird.

 

What better way to spread the news I thought - but to Blog It Out. So the cat is out of the bag.

 

Those who have come across the news have all more or less said “What about the Blog”

 

I have not really thought about it, because I really have not had time. You may or may not realise it but this month of July as far as age group cricket is concerned is “manic”.

 

Let me just take you through my diary since Friday June 28th and you will see what I mean.

 

That day I took Sophie to Lintz CC, County Durham via Bishop Auckland due to dodgy info from unnamed sources – roughly 280 miles.

 

Saturday the Mount beat Heaton CC.

 

Sunday 30th to Sefton Park to see the Yorkies defeat our U15 Development team.

 

Monday was spent catching up on paper work.

 

Tuesday 2nd July across the Pennines to Keighley for the first Under 11 Development match. Spent some time reminiscing with James Cole, the Coach, about his time in LSCA.

 

Wednesday 3rd July we had no fewer than six age group teams in action as well as a Quarter Final in the Under 11 Bob Hurst District Competition. My travels took me to Ormskirk , Southport and Leyland.

 

Thursday had five matches – Under 11 Girls, Under 12, 15 and 16 Boys and the Under 17 Girls. Two other District matches were scheduled.  I went to Northern CC to watch the Under 15’s lose to Yorkshire in the Yorkshire Bank Cup.

 

Friday saw the long drive to Northumberland with Sophie and fellow team member Jess for the Under 15 match at Stocksfield. We bowled them out for 17 but thankfully we had batted first and scored 147. That little trip clocked up another 320 miles.

 

Saturday the Mount were at Farnworth Social Circle continuing their winning ways, watched by Chris, Tim and me.

 

Sunday I took Lady Pamela, Sophie and Thomas to the Emirates Old Trafford for a treat. They were all fair gobsmacked by the new pavilion where we dined prior to the game.

 

And so it goes on. Now you possibly know why I feel I need to get off the Magic Roundabout – before it chucks me off.

 

This week is just as mind blowing. Throw into the mix arranged then re-arranged Inter-School Finals, missing, possibly stolen cups, last minute panics with umpires and then match balls for district matches, the need to collect medals from Clitheroe and then ……..

 

Time for a Tesco.

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (2 posted)

avatar
ted 10/07/2013 06:34:20
Well done John, a good innings, playing a straight bat. It will be very strange not to see one of the boundary edge fixtures anymore.

You are indeed right to say that youth cricket in Lancashire, especially within LSCA, is now in a healthy position and facing exciting times.

I wonder if the person who takes on the mantle will realise that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to do the job you are retiring from, he or she has a very hard act to follow.

Thank you, John, for all the pleasure and happiness you have given to hundreds of young players, their mum and dads, and on-going families, to the team managers, coaches and umpires, all of whom would not have had such a lot of cricket had it not been for your dedication, good organisation and enthusiasm for our young cricketers in Lancashire.

Well played, mate.
avatar
Dave Edmundson 06/09/2013 09:03:27
Congratulations John on your retirement. What service and dedication you gave to cricket in Lancashire and beyond. The red rosé certainly bloomed under your guidance and leadership. Perhaps you can fill the gap in your schedule my naming your best EVER LSCA team. Almost impossible I would imagine.
I well recall the meetings in my office at Old Trafford, as we discussed the arrival of the fledgling LCB on stream and the considerable initial upheaval that this would cause amongst long established practice. That the integration of LSCA and LCB proceeded smoothly was a tribute to your diplomacy and support.
They say no-one is irreplaceable but somehow this week, with Jim Kenyon's sad loss and your retirement , that may just have been disproven.
Good luck and I know, as Jim would say you will continue to ' enjoy your cricket'.

Dave
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