This year’s Lancashire Schools Cricket Association (LSCA) Annual General Meeting saw the final act from one of the County’s hardest working and most influential men in cricket. After almost 50 year’s involvement and 30 years as Secretary of the Association, John Heaton stood down to take a well earned rest, although he will undoubtedly retain a wide interest in cricket at this level.
During his tenure he has overseen the beginnings of the careers and subsequent development of hundreds of young cricketers throughout Lancashire, including many who went on to play county cricket and a significant number who have represented England, including Michael Atherton, Andrew Flintoff and Jimmy Anderson. John, however, regards Philip Neville as the best batsman, for his age, that he has ever seen.
LSCA Chairman Dennis Houghton paid tribute to John’s immense contribution to cricket in Lancashire and thanked him for everything he has done.
Dennis said: “John has worked tirelessly, he has been outstanding. He has introduced significant improvements in the structure of cricket for school aged cricketers both locally and nationally. We will all miss him; he has been an excellent colleague and friend.”
Current Lancashire U10 and U12 Manager John Williams has been installed as the acting Secretary of the LSCA and together with Vice Chairman Nigel Warne and the LSCA Committee will ensure the delivery of the LSCA Schools, District County Age Group Programmes in partnership with the Lancashire Cricket Board continues.
Stephen Titchard, Performance Manager for the LCB, added: "Our thanks would like to go to John Heaton who has supported the County Age Group match and training programme over a significant period of time in his role with LSCA, always trying to drive the programmes forward in the best interest of player development. The LCB will be as committed as ever to ensure our partnerships with the LSCA and Lancashire Federation remains strong and to ensure the delivery of an excellent Performance Programme for 2014 and beyond."
The LCB will take overall responsibility for the delivery of the County Age Group programme from U10s-U19s for the boys in partnership with the LSCA and Lancashire Federation. The girls U11s-U19s and Women’s 1st team continue to come under the LCB banner.