We continue our series of articles in which local club officials choose an all-time greatest team for their club with John Charlson, who chooses his best Atherton’s best 11 from the Bolton Association.
IN trying to pick an all-time Atherton XI, I have decided to split my side so it includes six amateurs and then five amateurs to make up my dream team.
The first name on the teamsheet would be Karl Brown as he scored 1,151 runs back in 2004 and was one of the juniors who came through the ranks at Atherton.
He is currently on the staff at Lancashire and is certainly living up to his potential.
He played for the second and first teams and definitely had, and still has, a lot of talent.
After Karl, I would look at bringing in Philip West who I feel was the highest-scoring batsman at Atherton after getting a few thousand runs and toppinged the batting averages in the Association for many years.
He played for the club for 25 years and was a prolific runs scorer.
Next up, I would pick Neil Bannister and I can remember him getting a 1,000 runs in 1992. He was also a great runs scorer over the years.
He left to go to Chorley and was a pro at a number of clubs.
When he was at Chorley he went to Lords for one of the big finals.
I have been associated with the club for 60 years and my uncle used to tell me about Tom Boardman.
He played in the pre-and-post war period and was a great all-rounder winning the Cross Cup.
He would be my opening bowler and I have heard stories how he had to have a long-off.
My uncle used to say it was a superstitious thing but the long off did not get wickets and most of the afternoon they would not have to do much in the field.
He had a 60-year association with the club and was later a president. He finished his career as a pro at Little Hulton.
My wicketkeeper would be Terry Halliwell and he was considered to be the best in the league.
He still holds the record of the most victims in a game (seven – three catches and four stumpings) in 1964 which I think still stands.
He also proved to be a good batsman by leading the averages a couple of times.
Harry Barry is my next player as I class him as the fastest bowler in the Association.
He was a very tricky bowler as he pitched it short of a length which would catch people out.
Steve Walsh has to be included. He was an off-spinner and captained the first 11 when we won the Cross Cup in the 1980s and 1990s. He later moved to Astley and Tyldesley.
Now, I am going talk about the professionals and one of the contenders is Mike Scothern from the 1990s. He was an excellent all-rounder and contributed a great amount on and off the field.
Raddi Patel was in the Cross Cup teamwhen we played Farnworth. We scored 116 and he picked up most of the runs.
At the half-way point he told me ‘Don’t worry John they will not get there’.
He took most of the wickets and we won.
In the modern day, I have gone for Jamar Griffith who he is a great player and could get more than 1,000 runs for us.
Dan Salpetro was another great professional who got 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in 2011.
John Charlson's team
Karl Brown, Philip West, Neil Bannister, Tom Boardman, Terry Halliwell, Harry Berry, Steven Walsh, Andrew Hall, Mike Scothern, Raddi Patel, Jamar Griffith, Dan Salpetro.
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