Old boys, old friends, old tales and a new bench.

Old boys Derek Carter, Eric Haworth and Mick Binns inaugurate the new bench in honour of Burnley Grammar Schools Old Boys CC.

As the plaque explains the Old Boys have played an important part in local cricket and although the club no longer exists, many local cricketers have benefitted from its existence.

The bench has been paid for from the remaining Old Boys residue and Lowerhouse CC.

Derek Carter is the godfather of local groundsman and many clubs and individuals have benefitted from his skills and help. He was a tough competitor on the cricket field and played well past the national retirement age with the great enthusiasm.

Eric is known to us all as a club coach and along with Derek gave the benefit of his wisdom and experience to many on the field of play. Many Ribblesdale League sides were the victims of Eric’s epic 10th wicket partnerships as he and some 11 year old Lowerhouse junior ground out a draw against much more experienced teams .

I had the immense pleasure of attending Burnley Grammar School with Mick Binns. Although a couple of years younger than me, Mick was a talented sportsman and always played in advance of his age. So much so, when he was promoted to Lowerhouse First Elecen under my captaincy, I had no hesitation in throwing him the ball on a sunny afternoon at Todmorden against our old school teacher Ian Smith and the formidable Pakistan test cricketer Aftab Baloch. Mick was a little nervous but I simply said to him “don’t hold back, let it rip”

Mick duly ran up on his longish run and hurled down an Exocet. It went 6 feet over the batsman’s head, three feet over the keepers head and bounced once before hitting the sightscreen. My abiding memory was of the umpire doing a passing impression of Jack Douglas alter ego Alf Ippititimuss (Google it kids) as he contorted himself trying to give a no ball, wide and 4 byes.. as it was in those days…in the same signal.

15/07/79 for those interested.

As Paul Stansfield often says. We weren’t very good but we had a good time.

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