A committee including John Bailey, Mervyn Porter, David Tattersall and Paul Schofield have come together to pick out the greatest Tonge CC team as part of a series of articles to find the best all-time club sides in local cricket.
IN trying to pick an all-time Tonge XI, we have brought together the players that we think would be a match for most local sides.
The first name down on the list is Jeff Todd.
He was a talisman figure since his arrival from Darlington in the late 1960s. Jeff skippered the club throughout the 1970s and into the early 1980s and in the process scored thousands of runs.
Next up is Kevin Hayes and he holds a unique record in The Bolton League scoring at least a half century during every single home game in one season.
Jim Clarkson is another name for the team as apart from a couple of seasons at Bradshaw late in his career Jim remained a one-club man throughout his career and indeed was captain through one of the club’s most successful periods in the late 1960s.
The choice of club captain was a tough one but Simon Anderton got the nod.
Simon also captained during a magnificently successful period for the club in a side that had Iqbal Sikander as professional. At his best Simon is one of the most stylish batsmen ever to grace the Bolton League.
The next name on the team-sheet is Nigel Partington.
He has had a few clubs in the Bolton League but I’m sure he would agree that Tonge would always remain his number one choice. He has given great service to Tonge in many differing capacities including being a top batsman.
The choice of professional was always going to be a tough one but we have plumped for Iqbal Sikander.
Other candidates have to include the legendary Fred Hartley, Trevor Hohns, Adil Nisar, Manoj Prabhakar and Chetan Sharma to name but a few.
Iqbal’s record is unequalled and regardless of the score made you always feel you had a great chance of winning because Iqbal was an exceptional leg break bowler as well as being a more than useful batter.
Gordon Holt was a stylish middle order batter and a very handy change bowler who will give this side the perfect balance.
Brian Krikken would have to be the wicketkeeper. It was probably the hardest position to pick as Tonge have been blessed with many quality keepers over the years including Warren Hegg, Tim Wallwork and Rick Northrop.
Keith Eccleshare is without doubt one of, if not the, finest bowler this league has ever produced and if he hadn’t chosen a career in football over cricket we believe not only would he have played for Lancashire but England as well.
Ian Taylor was Iqbal’s partner in crime and for many years they formed a formidable attack and often went for games on end unchanged.
It was a choice between Roy Tattersall and Frank Tattersall for the next place in the team.
But as with the wicketkeepers we went for the player who contributed most to Tonge and for how long they were at the club. What Roy achieved after leaving Tonge with Lancashire and England is almost legendary but during his time at the club Frank Tattersall, alongside Fred Hartley formed a partnership that only just falls short of that between Ian Taylor and Iqbal Sikander.
After much discussion we felt that Jeff Todd was the man to lead this side out and as a twelfth man we went for Bryn Farnworth who alongside Brian Wallwork, is probably the very best close-in fielder this league has ever seen.
Jeff Todd, Kevin Hayes, Jim Clarkson, Simon Anderton, Nigel Partington, Iqbal Sikander, Gorden Holt, Brian Krikken, Keith Eccleshare, Ian Taylor and Frank Tattersall - We want you to get in touch with us to tell us what you think of Tonge’s team. Who do you think should also be in the mix?
Either email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @robertkelly83