Sad News – Phil Astin Obituary
Yesterday we announced the sudden passing of club stalwart Phil Astin. Today we look back at his contribution to Lowerhouse Cricket Club both on and off the field.
Phil had a long and distinguished career with Lowerhouse heaving been a first team cricketer since his teens. He played for the club in 5 decades from the 1960’s to 2000.
During his first eleven career Phil was a part of the 80’s runners up team and Worsley Cup final team. He later went on to Captain the Third XI for many seasons at the end of his playing career.
Phil was a technically correct batsman who was equally at home against pace and spin. Some of his finest innings were made against the top league professionals none more so than when scoring 70 in a Lowerhouse win against Haslingden and their pro Andy Roberts in 1981. At the time Roberts was one of the most feared bowlers in all of world cricket.
His highest first XI score was 98 against Ramsbottom in 1986. He was a very safe pair of hands and could field any where – slip, short leg or the outfield. He was a tough competitor, relished a challenge but played the game fairly
Having retired from the game Phil continued, as a volunteer, to support cricket at both Lowerhouse and Lancashire CCC. At Lowerhouse he fulfilled roles in coaching, groundmanship and maintenance. The recognition of his groundwork at Lowerhouse resulted in him being called in at Old Trafford for Test and County matches. The standard of the playing surface today is testament to the hard work of Phil and his team of helpers.
The club has received many messages of condolences from within the Lancashire League and from abroad, including former professional Evan Gray (New Zealand) from the 1982 runners up team.
A club spokesman said. ‘We will miss Phil immensely. He was a much respected player, coach and groundsman and a popular character. We cannot overstate the importance Phil’s work at the club meant to us. He was the ultimate cricketer – he gave everything as a player and stayed on to give his all as a clubman. We are all very upset and our deepest sympathy goes out to his family’