Mikey Grogan has played junior cricket at Heywood, progressed into the senior sides, played first team cricket and captained the 2nd XI. He has also become a junior coach and been a fixture throughout the winter months in the social side of the club, he looks back on his Crimble Memories:
Do you remember your debut?
My first team debut was in a game at Towncroft versus Middleton which we lost with a very weakened team out that day. I can’t remember feeling nervous about the changing room etc with my brother being there and already knowing a lot of the senior lads but the main memory for that day would be Statto coming into the changing rooms and introducing himself to me, then proceeding to ask my middle name such is the thoroughness he put into his scorebooks.
Favourite game for the club?
A few games spring to mind, winning the Under 18’s Cup in front of a packed Crimble will always live long in the memory especially to win it with that team. The majority of that team had grown up together so to experience a victory like that with a group of friends was special.
There’s also the Burton Cup Semi Final against Clifton at home once again and having to bowl the last over of the game when they only needed 6 to win, I’m just happy that the game was at Crimble, had it been played at Clifton I don’t think Sheriff would’ve thrown me the ball.
My favourite has to be the final that same season, playing against a Walsden side in their ‘back yard’ just days after the first team had beaten their’s in the Wood Cup final. From us being 108-9 to 171 thanks to Byrney and Ricky P who thankfully recovered from his broken finger in the semi final. I will always remember the Walsden wicketkeeper Browny booting the stumps at the end of our overs. The second half of that game was a strange one as Walsden managed to get on top and another great fightback by the bowlers won us the game.
Favourite away ground?
There was a couple of grounds that I have always enjoyed playing at, Walsden, Werneth and Royton (until recently) but the best ground around other than Heywood would have to be Middleton.
Always guaranteed a good batting track there, outfield normally fast as lightning as well. I also enjoyed the quirky hill at the top end of the ground.
I also seemed to do well there personally whether it be with bat or ball.
Best Pro you played with and against?
The best pro I played with would have to be Rob Nicol for me, although he never score massively when I played I could see in the games that he was a seriously good cricketer, he could win a game with either bat or ball. I loved how much he cared for the shirt.
Best amateur you played with?
Growing up as a young second teamer I also looked up to Mark Wright and everytime I had the chance to bat with him it always made me work that little bit harder.
Bobby and Danny have always been head and shoulders above most players that have been in the teams alongside me at Heywood and there records speak for themselves, more recently Jack Morley is another young cricketer that has been brought through the junior ranks, having played in the same team as Jack for a number of seasons now he has to be up there.
But as many of these have read I would have to go for Bobby.
Best on field memory?
My 6 off the last ball against Bury at under 13 level to win us the league is up there with one of my greatest memories, especially as the fans had started to arrive to catch the coach to the Wood Cup Final.
Another memory up there would have to be leading the first team out last year in the 20/20 against Greenfield, growing up watching the first team and finally getting to play in the side it was a great pleasure and a proud moment to lead a Heywood First Team out.
However I think that feeling is eclipsed by taking the final wicket of the Semi Final in 2013 against Clifton. Roger had put his trust in me to bowl the last 3 overs at the lake end with 2 wickets still needed. The rest is history.
Best off field memory?
One of my memories comes from the day my mum passed away, having walked down to the club with Tom Blundell I was overawed to see that every player on the pitch that day was wearing a black armband in memory of my Mum. It was something that I will always be thankful to the club for and especially to Bobby Cross for organising that.
Another memory was being made 2nd team captain at the start of the 2017 season, it was a honour that the club thought I was the right person to try and lead a young second team forward having been relegated.
I could go on all day with memories from my time playing at Heywood, trips to Worcester, celebrations after Wood & Burton Cup wins as well as journeys to and from games but the two mentioned above will always be my finest memories.
Having read every single one of these memories, there is a striking similarity. Heywood is a special club with special people.
The club is truly loved by everyone that has walked through the gates of Crimble, and I for one can’t wait to get back playing. I have no doubt that the best supporters in Lancashire will be back down in force once we are able to do so.
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