Aug 232012

Archie, Linford and JC

Nearly 20 years ago, Andy Greenwood moved from Norden to Heywood and started a revival in the club’s second team’s fortunes.

Greenwood – nicknamed GOD for his love of a ‘Game Of Darts’ – brought some much-needed pride back to second team cricket at a time when both the club’s first and second teams were in the doldrums.

Leading by example and never wearing a helmet – despite once taking a short ball straight in the middle of his head on the way to a century at Ashton – Greenwood made sure a disparate and ever-changing bunch of characters made the most of their talent.

Among the players to come through the senior ranks thanks to Greenwood were Steve Wallwork, Rob Slawson, Chris Flanagan, Gary Hulme and, most significantly Bobby Cross, who was given a chance to shine up the order by Greenwood at a very early age.




Although league glory was Greenwood’s ultimate aim, that eluded him, but in the summer of Euro 1996, the Manchester bomb and Britpop, Greenwood’s side did something that had only been done once before, in 1984 – winning the Burton Cup.

It was a miserable day down at Crimble when Heywood took on Rochdale, but expectations were high especially as the team boasted the experience of Dave Fare, Dave Cross and David Greenwood, the then under-developed talent of Hulme and the rest who had played at age-group level together at Crimble.

Like today, Heywood had a varied and talented bowling attack led by Flanagan, who on his day could blow away any team in the league. He was well backed up by the medium-pacers of Hulme, Neil Ashworth’s flat left-armers (in the mould of Fare), Fare himself and Wallwork, who back then had high hopes of becoming a useful seamer.

It was this bowling attack that sealed the game for Heywood as they left the Rochdale batting in tatters, eventually restricting them to just 126 off 46 overs. Wickets were shared around, but arguably the key to the success was Flanagan’s early strikes that removed Pattison and Brierley with next to nothing on the board.

It was fitting that Greenwood should make the major contribution to chasing down the target set by Rochdale, and his 60 meant the run chase was simple for Heywood. Heavy rain set in with Heywood within sight of victory but Rochdale realised they had no chance and agreed to play on to settle proceedings.

Current captain Roger Smethurst was part of that side and could earn himself the moniker ‘The New GOD’ if he can lead his side to victory against Middleton.

I’m sure nothing would give him greater pleasure …


P Butterworth   c N Ashworth b Hulme     51
Pattison c Cross b Flanagan           1
Brierley c Wallwork b Flanagan      0
Earnshaw c Cross b Hulme             19
Wild c Smethurst b Fare 19
Heywood LBW Hulme 4
Schofield st Cross b Fare 5
Bolingbroke run out 6
M Butterworth st Cross b M Ashworth     3
Gilbertson not out 1
Dodgson run out 7
Extras 10
Total (all out, 46 overs) 126
Bowling: Flanagan 8-4-14-2, Fare 10-1-24-2, Wallwork 10-2-31-0, Hulme 10-0-34-3, N Ashworth  6.2-1-19-0, M Ashworth 1-0-1-1


A Greenwood    c Brierley b Dodgson 60
D Cross c Earnshaw b Gilbertson 16
D Greenwood   c Brierley b Dodgson 17
Hulme  not out 14
Bold not out 5
Extras 16
Total (for three wickets, 38.2 overs)  129
Bowling: Gilbertson   10-2-37-1, Butterworth 8-1-19-0,Dodgson 0-1-32-2, Schofield 6-1-18-0, Earnshaw 4.2-0-15-0.

Heywood won by seven wickets

Heywood team:  A Greenwood (capt), D Cross (w/k), D Greenwood, G Hulme, A Bold, S Wallwork, M Ashworth, R Smethurst, DA Fare, N Ashworth, C Flanagan

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  20 Responses to “BURTON CUP FINAL: Victory In The Summer Of ’96 … And GOD”

  1. Great article Scoop. That was a very good team…..had a bit of everything. Does Andy ever come down to Crimble?

  2. That’s a great piece Scott and will bring back memories to all involved.
    GOD was indeed a fine leader and opening bat and as Roger has said on a number of occasions, the 2nd team has subsequently been short of someone like him to regularly get 600-700 runs a season. As brilliantly as the current side have done this year, there would always be room for a GOD.
    Looking at our side for the final, it looks like we continue to be really strong in the bowling as we have been all season with 8-9 good options available – surely this will be too good even for the normally strong Middleton side!

  3. I’ve not seen him for the best part of 13 years, John. Which is a shame. I can picture him after a good knock though, pint of lager in one hand, hamlet in the other, polo shirted up, yapping his way through his innings with anyone. Good man. It’d be fitting to invite him down as a guest of honour on Monday, but don’t know where he lives

  4. GOD was probably the biggest factor in my Heywood career, I missed out on the Keith Cromarty years and although I was fortunate to be managed by a succession of willing parents (Alan Rowlinson, Dad, Ste Edwards, Pete Wallwork and Mike Slawson all spring to mind) I was never really coached as a junior.

    This was a pity and is something the current crop of juniors will never worry about but I was very fortunate to be given a chance in the 2′s at the age of 11 and 12 by Andy.

    I played the back end of one summer and was an occasional player in 1996 before being told at the start of 1997 that I would bat at 3 all summer. As a 14 year old in a side full of talented players I could barely believe my ears but GOD was true to his word and I had most of that summer learning to bat for long periods and encouraged along by the team.

    As well as learning about cricket and batting I learned a lot about certain aspects of life from people like Flanny, Bingo Bentley, Archie Bold and Tats.

    By the end of 97 the selection committee decided that having a kid in the 1sts couldn’t make us any worse and I was promoted to face Mick Warden on debut. Looking back I would never have dealt with it all but for the confidence Andy had in me and I will always be grateful to him and the rest of my “mentors” in the seconds for the way they supported, protected and probably corrupted me!

    I hope the young players in the seconds realise how lucky they are to be given such a great opportunity at such a great club and a lot of this is down to Roger.

    Let’s hope they can follow in GOD’s footsteps on Monday.

  5. GOD was a top man !!

    Three or four incidents always spring to mind when i think of my brief stint in the two’s under his leadership:

    1) His memorable knock away at Ashton when he got a big ton in 30+ degree heat, came of the park as red as a lobster, exhausted, but proceeded to comb his hair and head straight for pint!! He hardly broke stride from crease to bar !!

    2) Taking the shine of the new pill away at Oldham against a pretty quick second team attack and in the process got pinned in the chest and head! He got out just as their opening pair ran out of steam allowing me and Crossy to fill our boots against a slightly less aggressive spell.

    3) Being stranded away at Stockport as a 15yr old with GOD, Tatt’s and Archie Bold after George Kitchen forgot to come back for us and spending what i thought then was the best two hours of my cricketing career drinking half’s of cider listening to the older players with the banter at full tilt !!

    4) His healthy stash of mens ‘lifestlye’ mags in his cricket bag !!

    Good bloke !!

  6. One of the best tactical moves of my career was to introduce Andy to Geoff Greenop at the end of a 2nd team game against Ashton/Stockport ? at Crimble. They sat at the bar and reminisced about their respective careers for about 2 hours. They left everyone else alone. Two good cricket men.

  7. I remember that game at Oldham Rob – I was opening with him – and yes the wicket and opening attack were a bit lively – but he barely flinched!

  8. Great memories of what was a fantastic day for me (first senior cup final) and everyone involved in Heywood CC. I really enjoyed playing in that team and it was made easier by having so many of the older heads around looking after you.

    The years spent in that 2nd XI were ones to cherish, my introduction to the Sunday Sport from Tats, Acoustic Oasis on the way to every away game played by Archie and Flanny in Archies Silver Fiesta Pop!! and the guidance from GOD as everyone has eluded to.

    Oh and nearly forgot the sock test!!! Dave Cross throwing his socks against the wall….if they didnt stick the were good to wear for another game….we know where Bobby gets it from…always having smelly kit!!

    My first ‘team’ drink was after an away game at stockport when I was about 15 and I was bought half a lager, remember it tasting like death but felt like one of the lads!

    Another trait of GOD was after a big knock having a shower in a can and running his comb under the cold water tap, then through the hair….nice!

    Anyone remember the away game at Stand when GOD took one on the napper and it went for 4??? he said he didnt feel it!!


  9. I am absolutely positive that in that game at Oldham GOD was pinned by Andrew Sweeting in the first over of the reply and had to be carted off to Oldham Royal. We didn’t see him until the following week and he couldn’t believe that we had won.

    It was made funnier by the fact that Oldham had smashed 240 on a belting wicket and GOD told us all at tea that you didn’t need a helmet on a deck like that as you could trust the bounce.

    About five minutes later he was carried off feet first. Good times.

    I think John Ogden actually hit 4 sixes in an over to win us that match, all very cultured strokes off the front foot over mid-wicket and square leg

  10. Someone locate GOD and get him down as a guest of honour. Scran etc. Come on, someone must be able to locate him

  11. Bobby just wondering if this was another occasion to the one Rob and I are talking about? The game I’m talking about certainly wasn’t played on a shirt front but I can’t remember the match outcome – just remember GOD getting hit (also by Sweeting I think) but carrying on. But I’m geting old and the memory isn’t what it was! Suffice to say GOD probably took quite a few for the team during his time at Heywood!

  12. Thought it was about time I relived my best day in a Heywood CC shirt and, though I take no pride in this, still part of the last team to taste glory in the Burton Cup final. Bad luck to the current team, sounds like you had an off day just at the wrong part of the season. Back in the day, it was numerous off days punctuated by the odd moment of quality! Apart from 1996 that is!

    Looking back on those scores, I cannot help but notice my frankly incredible bowling figures that day of 1 for 1 off one over. What some might remember is that I only bowled that day because GOD got his overs mixed up and had to find another over from someone! Still seeing as I didn’t get a chance to bat, it gave me a place on the scorecard given that you don’t really get a credit from running your ar$e off on the long crimble boundary all afternoon.

    Definitely some of my best memories, bar none, were my teenage years and early twenties playing in the GOD seconds and eventually forcing my way sporadically into the first team before my exile to the other side of the pennines.

    this second team probably had the most complete collection of nicknames (half of them were our kids admittedly), characters and quality stories of any sports team i have been part of before or since. From Bobby Ball (Tats) To Jonny Concrete ( he even had a concrete car – remember the red cavalier?) the after match craic in the HCC bar has never been bettered. And as the post match celebrations continued following the Burton Cup win in their usual style (sure archie’s guitar made an appearance) I can vividly remember GOD, sat at the end of the bar with cigar in one had, beer in the other and the cup propped up next to him on the bar – job done! On the flip side he really did talk utter crap at times didn’t he?!

    Good to see so many familiar names still plugging away and scoop doing what he does best, talk drivel but in an educated fashion – still the holder of my favourite piece of sledging ever at Wallsden (to their south african pro – i forget his name, but he bowled quite sharp), involving a reference to his potential role in apartheid South Africa as I recall?!

    Good times!

  13. Tangers lad! You’ve made my millennium! I had a smile on my face walking through work when I saw your post. Hope you are well. And Orange. Get down to Crimble. Will reply more soon. Brilliant!

  14. I played in that game Tangers ( Walsden away ) It was the rather sharp Deon Kruis who suffered at Scoops sharp retort!! will always remember the look on his face when the umpire was unmoved after the thickest of thick outside edges!!.

    How scoop had the audacity not to walk deserves a mention!! very funny moment.

  15. I was at the other end in that game and that incident caused Deon to bowl faster and shorter!

    Scoop also told him that if he bounced him again he would hit him into the flats. Next ball was banged in halfway and promptly disappeared into a third floor balcony.

    Deon stared long at hard at Scoop who broke the silence by saying “nothing if not honest Gideon”.

    Good times.

  16. While I enjoy this tale getting taller all the time, I must clarify two things. One, it was not the thickest of thick edges. And two, I actually put all my effort into the hook of Gideon but it didn’t even go out of the ground. I only just cleared calf corner. I can’t remember anything I said to the pro, apart from calling him Gideon all the time. He must have got me angry. Anyone who says don’t speak back to the bowler is speaking out of their backsides. Always speak back and vow to get even. Trust me, it focuses the mind.
    Harold aka Scoop

  17. Good to hear i managed to raise a few smiles.

    I believe the exchange was along the following lines:-

    Deon: you’re a cheat mate

    Scoop: I’m a cheat? you’ve been cheating the black people out of your country for the last 30 years

    Doesn’t get better than that….

  18. Tangers !!

    You still supping in Bar Suburban in Horsforth?

    If my memory serves, it was the last time i saw you ……………. 11 years ago whilst i was at Uni in Leeds !!!!

    You need to get down to the Crimble for a beer in the near future.

  19. Now then Dogs, as i recall it was the Suburban Style Bar, a misnomer if ever I’ve heard one.

    nope I’ve long since departed that area of the world, now living in the home of Boycott and Dickie Bird in sunny Barnsley.

    will have to try and get down next season and try out the new patio!

  20. Lads thanks for all your kind and amusing words on those great days.I came to a couple of games in 2014 and will be back down.Sadly my playing days are over as I have just had a couple of heart attacks and bypass surgery but of course I will call down when I can.My mob is 07896609048 and address is 127 Cutgate Rd Rochdale for any future events.

    regards to all,


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