May 122020

Whilst we can’t see any live cricket at Crimble we thought it would be nice for supporters to hear from some former players about their time at Heywood.

First up is our professional from 1991, Phil Alley, who looks back on his fond memories of coming over all those years ago.

Phil celebrating his 21st at the club

Phil celebrating his 21st at the club

1. What were your first impressions of Heywood?

I remember being picked up at Manchester Airport at 7am on the 11th April 1991 by Bob Cross and driven straight to the ground for a look…It was -1 degrees and the trees were completely bare of foliage…My first thought was, “What the hell have it got myself in for?” After all, it was 30+ degrees when i left Australia!!!…

The following 6 weeks were freezing cold and very windy and I was quite homesick and a bit miserable….Thankfully the sun finally came out and I eventually warmed up (I admit it might have had something to do with my fast acquired liking for a pint of Boddington’s)…. Overall it was the fantastic people who made my time at Heywood CC and overall great experience…Something i’ll never forget.

2. Do you remember your first game?

I am not sure who we played? I think I got stumped for 0!

3. What was your favourite game for Heywood?

That was a game v Oldham…Scored 50 and got Brad McNamara out for 0.

4. Did you have a favourite away ground?

Bad memory…I think Middleton and Littleborough were nice grounds.

5. Who was the best professional you played against?

Dave Callaghan from south Africa….His 130no to win the game for Rochdale in the Wood Cup final was brilliant.

6. Who were the best amateurs you played alongside?

Jason Hurst was probably our best batsman…Dave Fare was pretty cagey with his left arm donkey drops…

The match ball from Phil's hat-trick

The match ball from Phil’s hat-trick

7. What was your best on field memory?

Taking my one and only career Hat-trick v Milnrow… I still have the ball. Co-incidentally it was 12 years to the day before my son Tristan was born… 28th April.

8. What about off the field?

Hanging out with the little kids at the club gave me a lot of pleasure…Bobby and Jennifer Cross were favourites (I must have been a good influence on them)….made some great friends…..Being thrown a surprise 21st Birthday Party was a highlight …I remember going to McDonalds on the way home from that Saturday game (I think it was v Ashton) and stuffing my face with 3 or 4 burgers, only to have no room left for the birthday cake…Marcus Caveney tried valiantly to deter me but when Phil was hungry there was no stopping him.

Phil with Bobby & Jenny

Phil with Bobby & Jenny

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 May 12, 2020  Add comments

  4 Responses to “Crimble Memories – Phil Alley”

  1. Nearly 30 years ago don’t seem that long ago great memories

  2. Donkey drops?
    I’ll be having a word with Mr Alley

  3. LOL @David Fare…I admit i did see you turn one once.

  4. Keeping wicket to Phil was a massive handful given he’d clocked 90mph at the AIS before he came over. He got McNamara twice that season for very little and I remember the catch behind at Crimble really well. I was stood a good 30 yards back on a bouncy wicket and it was still going up as I caught it. Phil definitely bent his back when a fellow Aussie came in. I do remember him being a little shy and homesick, but he quickly became part of the HCC family and you could then smile returning. Phil should probably have played test cricket after taking 5-24 in the final of the Sheffield Shield Final. Injuries and some bad luck at the wrong times cost him I think. Nice piece Phil…a great read.

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