May 212020

Back to another of our prolific amateurs for today’s look back. Alan Starmer joined Heywood from Woodhouses CC in 1996 and would go on to play for the club for 13 years, captaining the side in 1995 and 96. He would score 6,201 runs for the club which is the 4th best effort by a Heywood amateur. He looks back on his time at Crimble:

Alan pictured in his final season at Heywood

Alan pictured in his final season at Heywood

Do you remember your Heywood debut?

My debut at Heywood was a pre-season friendly at Colne. Opened the batting with Colin Wroe. Got a duck. At the time we had a captain called Fare. Who was a fool and batted me at 6-8 for the next 10 games. First chance of opening the batting was against Werneth scored 77.

What was your favourite game for Heywood?

My favourite game for HCC was not as you might think. Not the Wood Cup final of 93 but the semi-final against Littleborough. Littleborough were big favourites on their home ground. So much so that brought a celebration cake and drinks at tea. Andy Flower and I knocked the runs off whilst knocking the smiles off the oppositions smug faces. Obviously a great day for the club to get the final at home against Middleton.

What was your favourite away ground?

Heywood is hard to compare to so I would probably say Middleton or Littleborough.

Who was the best Pro you played with and against?

The best Pro I played with was Steve Wundke. Not only was he a great batsman he could bowl both left arm quick and spin. He was a great character to have in the dressing room in terms of sense of humour and getting the best out of each player.

Best player played against us difficult as I played in the best era in terms of test players playing in the Central Lancashire League. Players of note are Joel Garner, Carl Hooper, Dave Callaghan but the outstanding opponent in my time was Ezra Mosley. 1000 runs and 100 wickets per season FAST and gave his all every match.

What about the best amateur you played with and against?

Best overseas amateur I played with was without doubt Andy Flower. Outstanding batsman who effortlessly accumulated runs. Great runner between the wickets. Great to watch him sweep and reverse sweep the opposition from the other end. Pure class.

Best amateur I played with has got to be Colin Wroe. We built up a great rapport on and off the field. The most talented amateur that I played with was Jason Hurst quality back foot player.

Best amateur played against was Mick Warden from Littleborough. Outstanding opening bowler who never gave you any easy runs. Went on to become a pro later himself.

What was your best on field memory?

Best on field memory was winning the Wood Cup in 93, game almost lost until the remarkable innings from Vincent David Ball who dispatched Peter Sleep and co with his trademark slog sweeps to the boundary and beyond. Peter Sleep must still be having nightmares about it. Got to add that the famous winning run was a beautifully played leg bye by David Cross who has lived off that run for many a year!

What about off field memories?

Best off field memory; there have been so many over the 13 fantastic years that I was lucky enough to play for HCC. The celebrations after the Wood Cup win with player and loyal supporters will never be forgotten. A funny memory was dancing with the 6ft 10 Phil Alley to Renee and Renata “save your love” Phil picking me up and swinging me around the dance floor after too many John Willie Lees beers.

I feel that I was fortunate to play for HCC in arguably the best era of The CLL. Facing fast bowlers, at times on unforgiving wickets, mostly due to Alan Badenhorst’s preparation or lack of it ! Haha I am lucky to have played with and against such talented cricketers from home and all over the world, on the best ground in the league. I’d like to make special mention and thanks for its supporters and their sense of humour. Littleborough sheep ******** banner comes to mind. Vicky and I have had a great time at HCC and have many fantastic memories made with lifelong friends. Happy days……Alan

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 May 21, 2020  Add comments

  5 Responses to “Crimble Memories – Alan Starmer”

  1. An outrageous suggestion that my winning run in the Final (check the scorebook. D Cross, not out 1 ) was a leg bye. It was actually a bye. I missed it with everything.

  2. No mention of putting a wet fish in Dave Fares’ cricket bag or putting chilli powder in the opposition tea sandwiches at Werneth ?

    Alan – glad to have shared so many memories – Top man

  3. The said fish was purchased from Heywood market that morning, then kindly wrapped in the towel of DA Fare , not sure if that was the same day we were accused of removing the toe ends of DA Fares new socks !!! Great days

  4. Might have known that Mr Rowe was in on the wet fish escapade.

  5. Great stuff. He’ll correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Alan’s first league hundred for the club was against Radcliffe/Ezra at Crimble. There can’t be many amateurs who can say that and it is testament to how well he played quick bowling (which you needed to in those years). Also, I seem to remember the wet fish incident at Middleton was as a result of Fare going on a fishing holiday for 2 days that week and catching absolutely nothing. My abiding memory of that day…and many others with Alan, is of his trademark laugh, shoulders shaking uncontrollably and tears in his eyes. Mark- it may even have been the same day you were run out and your momentum only halted near the far sight screen by a knee slide on all-fours. Great memories Al, it was a pleasure and privilege to have shared a lot of them with you.

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