Well – It has been and gone and happened
I am now officially “wetired” !!!
In my book “wetired” is the initial stage after ceasing “woluntary working” in this case for the game of cricket for the best part of 50 years. I do not want to use the word “retired” just yet. You could say “wetired” really means “waiting to be retired”. Over the past few months since I made my mind up that this year was to be my last as Hon. Sec. of Lancashire Schools the most popular question to me has been “What on earth are you going to do with your time??”.My answer then and even now is simply “I do not have a clue.” I did think the time was right to get off the LSCA train and there are many good reasons for this – some of them being personal – but I have not really looked beyond that. The role of being Hon. Sec. had taken over a good chunk of our lives – the Missus and me – and it seemed right that it was time for younger minds to take over the role. In fact this is what, in part, will be happening. In 2013 I arranged almost 120 Inter- Count y matches between the ages of Under 10 and 17. Other people then came in and sorted grounds and umpires. It was my daily task during the summer to monitor the programme and ensure it worked as intended, which I am glad to say it did. At the same time LSCA is committed to a massive programme of Inter-School Competitions as well as the County District Competitions. Others are involved in the day-to-day business of these competitions but I have always liked to keep in touch and help out where possible. I was responsible for keeping the draws up to date on the LCB website for example.
Well officially after last Thursday evening’s LSCA AGM I am no longer Honorary Secretary of the Lancashire Schools Cricket Association. I understand that elsewhere on the LCB website there will be article(s) setting out the new arrangements. I am going to arrange over the next couple of months to pass over all the necessary paperwork and computer files needed to keep our work going whilst at the same time sorting out the mass of other detail I have on computer and in the archive materials in my garage. The purpose of this is to keep the old brainbox busy until in the New Year when I can assess whether I want to move from being “wetired” to being totally “retired”. I will still be involved with watching cricket as of course my son, in the midst at the moment of a serious getting slimmer and fitter campaign, intends to soldier on at the Mount. In addition my two grandchildren will be making every effort to continue making progress onwards and upwards. There may be opportunities that arise which mean I can still make a contribution to cricket in other ways – but I do not intend to make any moves until 2014 is on us.
So for now the Missus will have to get used to seeing me around the house a little more. Over the years she has made a massive contribution to Lancashire cricket. She could type quicker than me, was able to sort the post out, was good at keeping databases up to date and ran the Heaton Mobile Catering Service when needed, plus a helluva lot more. I must point out that she has now reached Level 89 on Candy Crush Saga, is still the owner of a gigantic Zoo with a multitude of animals but failed to beat me at 7 Card Brag on our nightly tournament on our recent cruise on the good ship Queen Elizabeth.
The official end of my time (30 Years) as Hon. Sec. came last Thursday at the Emirates Old Trafford when we held the 91st Annual Meeting of the Lancashire Schools Cricket Association. Usually this is packed out with about 15 people but there were a few more there this time. Maybe it was on account of that well known “thank goodness he’s going” moment. I was pleased to see Bobby, Titch, Shaun and Jenny were there as well as others I have worked with over many, many years. It was bit of a strange meeting in a way and I suppose it all centred around the election of officers and committee time. I knew I was going to be the focus at that time and was conscious that I did not want to get “worked up” – a better phrase than “emotional”. I had thought about the “moment” during the week and I came up with what I thought would be a cunning wheeze to head off any chance of “getting worked up.”
When the moment came Chairman Dennis said a few words and handed me a card which he said contained something to help me get a new computer. Now I knew this was not likely to be a massive amount as I had delivered the Financial Report a little earlier on behalf of Treasurer Geoff who was away in Paris. This report indicated that we, LSCA, were almost skint.
So I put the card to one side and then I commented on the fact that I was expected to say something at this stage and introduced my cunning wheeze.
I had recollected when Derek Day had retired that I had asked him to produce his “Team of Teams” to cover the period he had been Team Manager. I had decided to do the same and whether they liked it or not those present were going to hear my “Team of Teams”. It actually went down well and produced some comment. So whether you, my good Blog readers, like it or not I am going to share my “Team of Teams” with you.
I have to say this version is not the final one. I am open to any thoughts from all of you before reaching that final moment.
I gave myself some rules. The team had to comprise players who represented LSCA during my 30 years as Hon. Sec. I could not include a family member. It was likely that all of the players would have played international cricket as well as county, but not necessarily so.
I decided to pick 12 players vis-a-vis what we do today i.e. 12 in a team with 11 to bat and 11 who could bowl.
The team would be an Under 15 one to reflect the age group I was most connected with.
How about this for a starter !!!
Michael Atherton (Captain)
Warren Hegg (Wkt)
Just 11 for now. I managed to include Jimmy Anderson as he was selected for the U15 “B” team but I can find no reference to Simon Kerrigan in any of my lists meaning I am having difficulty with picking a spinner at the moment. If I can find no way of overcoming the rules I have set then the spinners place could go to Gary Yates, Stephen Parry, Matthew Taylor, Sam Reidy, Chris Barrow or even our spin sensation of 2001, Bilal Mustafa, who took 33 wickets including a 9’fer in the Finals at Oundle. I need time to ponder this one.
I have gone for Athers as Captain but if Phil had gone cricket’s way and not the soccer way – who knows.
Who is missing from the above and could come into contention before the final verdict??
In alphabetical order from my spread sheet listing all those according to my records who have been involved over the last 30 years.
Keith Barker, now with Warwickshire, broke records for fun as he progressed through our age groups until initially opting to try the football route.
Burnley Brothers, Michael and David Brown.
Mark Chilton – a Lancashire lad for many years and another Manchester GS pupil to make the grade at County level.
Krik – Karl Krikken, still with Derbyshire coaching rather than keeping. He ran Warren close.
Steven Mullaney had quite a time as he progressed through the LSCA age groups, now with Notts.
Andrew Payne chose to ply his trade with Somerset after creating a host of batting records with LSCA.
Scott Richardson was one that got away across the Pennines.
Nathan Wood was prolific in all our age groups and is now one of our age groups coaches.
Let me know what you think.
As I was driving home from EOT last Thursday I pondered about the fact I would not be following that route for a while. Wrong. Later this afternoon I will be heading off to the Indoor School with Sophie for the Girls Skills Sets Programme.
The Heaton family were in Turkey last week catching the last few rays of warm sunshine before the dark days of winter ahead. It seems they had a good time being well entertained by the Noones who were also resident in the same hotel. Sophie and Thomas returned just in time for a trip to Gigg Lane yesterday to watch the mighty Shakers. Fresh from a win last week at Wycombe which put them just ten points off the play-offs and in the midst of a biblical storm they went belly up to Torquay losing by three goals to one. It is definitely going to be a long season.
Going back to the LSCA AGM and the card I received at the meeting. Chairman Dennis had written some very nice things on it and Nigel Warne had added a cryptic comment. The front of the card from Country Comicals, Village Cricket showed a comical batsman playing a mighty slog with his head held high. Nigel had written – “From what I recall the shot played on this card was your “signature shot”. So in addition to having been a “non-spinning off-spinner”, I can now add to my repertoire the fact that I was a “slogger” as well.
Now you know why I have only “wetired”. When I get back to full fitness I might just challenge Mr Warne to a net session to prove him wrong.
And then again.