Lowerhouse Chairman Stan Heaton pays tribute to former England all rounder David Capel who passed away today.
When the club announced David Capel as the sub professional for the away game at Nelson on 15th September 1991 I have to say that I had my doubts.
David was not long out of the England team, was travelling north with his family to his in-laws in Leeds, if I remember correctly.
My instant thought was that this was simply pocket money for him.
How wrong could I be.
To my eternal shame I couldn’t have misjudged the man more.
He arrived a good 90 minutes before the start in an era where we normally rolled up in time to get changed and pat a few balls back to a trundling bowling colleague on the boundary edge.
David laid out the cones and put us through a series of fielding, batting and bowling drills.
The only cone I’d ever seen on a cricket ground prior to this had an ice cream in it.
In the game he told the skipper he would bowl 3 spells of 6 overs if it went the distance.
On television David looked military medium.
That day he was the quickest bowler I had seen for a long time.
He even had the redoubtable Paul Garaghty ducking and diving.
18 overs 5 for 40 later David Capel had put in a hell of a shift.
He then went out and smote a hugely entertaining 79 and along with Chris Bleazard won us a game we were never expected to win.
He wasn’t finished there.
He spent an hour in the changing rooms talking cricket, 3 hours in the bar spending his collection on us and the spectators and was last to leave the bar.
Over the years in Lancashire League cricket there have been a number of occasions where I have been in awe of a cricketer and or cricket performance.
That day with David Capel is in my top few.
He was a lovely man, a consummate professional and treated us as equals when clearly we were not.
I consider myself very lucky to have played that day and witnessed a magnificent all round appearance both on and off the field.