I only actually played for Littleborough for 4 x seasons (5 if you include a year in the 2nds). Claim to fame – never lost a wood cup game – 4 wood cups in the 4 x seasons & 7 major trophy’s in total in those 4 x seasons. As my dad played up at Fieldhouse I didn’t go down to Littleborough much as a kid. I vaguely remember seeing Joel Garner play when I was very young but probably my earliest memory was peering over the fence one Sunday morning & watching Mark Whitley playing for one of the junior teams & thinking what a class act he looked.
Your memories of your debut for Littleborough?
First team debut was 1985 I was 17 & it was a pre season friendly against Bacup – Oscar Jones & Ray Hill were the established first team spinners. I don’t think either of them got a wicket & I came on, got 3 or 4 wickets & bowled quite well but didn’t play again that season & spent the summer watching Alan Whitely & Paul Butterworth bowling 40+ overs between them every match in the 2nds. I had to wait until the start of the following season for my competitive debut which was Hyde away on a freezing cold day. I think I took a 5 for & had to buy a round but the collection didn’t even cover the cost of the round. Don’t think I bowled again for the next 6 x weeks!
Your favourite game and why?
1988 Wood Cup final at Werneth against Walsden. Deaks out first ball & Ste Kelly & CP put on one of the best stands I’ve ever seen. CP put on a batting masterclass but Ste Kelly’s contribution should not be underestimated. The celebrations back at the club later were awesome!
Your favourite away ground and why?
Rochdale as I always seemed to do quite well there apart from dropping Pete Wilcock on 11 & 17. He went on to get a ton & it was the only game I ever lost against Rochdale in those 3 x years ‘97, ‘98 & ‘99.
The best professional played against?
I was very lucky to play against some top drawer professionals. It was a close call & I almost went for Asif Mushtaba as his record is amazing & such consistency, but in an era with so many great professionals I have to go for local lad Dexter Fitton. He more than stood his own in such esteemed company – great cricketer.
Best pro played with:
Although Clinton Perrin played probably the best innings I’ve seen & has done fantastic things for the club it has to be Ezra Moseley – what a cricketer.
The best amateurs played against?
In my time at Littleborough I have to go for Pete Wilcock, top cricketer & good lad.
Best amateur played with:
It has to be the 17/18 x year old Chris Schofield – the most naturally talented fearless all round young cricketer I’ve ever seen.
Favourite on the field memories?
Probably ‘99 Wood Cup final on a packed Hare Hill – 9 of the 11 Boro players had played for the clubs junior teams. The other 2 x were Pete Jones who lived 100 x yards up the road & the pro CP. Special mention to Pete Jones – he made me feel 10’ tall on the cricket pitch. Thanks Pete.
How about off the field?
So many but has to be the cup final nights – didn’t want them to end. Or possibly the late, great Dave Schofield saying a few kind words to me at the end of the ‘99 season when I retired (for the 2nd time) that I will never forget.