To kick off the new cricket season, we have launched a series of features in which we ask local officials to pick an all-time best team from their club.
Our greatest team - Heaton CC- Warwick Milne
EVEN though the club is virtually without trophies in my 40-plus-year association I think it is fair to say we too can put together a pretty good greatest team.
The backbone of any Bolton League side is its captain and professional.
My two come from the 1980s and have associations with other clubs so I have no doubt they will appear elsewhere. My captain is Jeff Todd.
Jeff was a technically sound opening batsman capable of destroying any attack and a composed captain. With a professional like Duncan Worsley at his side he always had a match-winner to turn to.
The League has had professionals from the international stage on many occasions which puts Duncan up against some pretty stiff opposition.
The scorebook doesn’t lie. He performed magnificently with bat and ball for 20-plus years. I’ll give good money those two names appear in other teams.
Jeff’s opening partner would be Mark Hutchinson who still holds the record for the highest score by a Heaton amateur – a mighty 180-something.
Mark had a particular taste for quick bowling, reckoning that the faster it came – the faster it went.
Mike Bennison will bat three. Although he played cricket at other clubs he was always one of ours.
Nearly 20,000 runs tells its own story. Supremely talented.
Not many clubs can say they have produced two England Internationals. I’ve met Len Wilkinson (from the 1930s) and had the pleasure of looking after Ronnie Irani when he first played senior cricket.
I think I’d bat Ronnie at six – he won’t thank me for that. I suppose he could bowl a bit too.
I’m going for a two-spinners attack with Jim Snowden’s graceful left-arm spin to inflict further control on the opposition. Jim loved his cricket and has recently retired aged 62.
With two such good slow bowlers I need a gifted glove man. The mercurial Danny Guest misses out to the genius of Tim Wallwork. The League has produced many brilliant keepers and Tim deserves to be in that company.
Somewhere down the late order a good side needs somebody who is up for the fight when things get tough. My man here is Paul Rimmer. He was capable of turning any match and had a golden arm with the ball. He was a brilliant fielder for good measure.
To open the bowling I’ve decided on a workhorse in Steve Crowder and James Hutchinson. They both swung the ball at a lively pace and Steve would happily bowl himself into a hole in the ground. James added an intellectual capacity not normally seen in Bolton League confines.
Ultimately, there is more to cricket than just playing the game. This team would be great company in the dressing room. They respected the game and their opposition and played with smiles on their faces.
The more astute will have noticed I have only named 10 players. I suppose I’d get a game (Warwick Milne) – but only just in this company!
Somewhere in the line up I have to pick Gary Garner. Gary has scored heapfuls of runs in The League and is great at getting teams home.
I close the team with Florence Brandwood as scorer with John Patt as tin lad.
I think Ian Moss would be my club manager as he was just good value. Team mascot? Nibbler the dog – he’ll be there on Saturday any time after 10am. Look out for him.