Aug 092012

Some sad news today ahead of this weekend’s Former Players Day at Crimble.

Heywood CC legend Tom McConnell died this morning (Thursday 9 August), aged 77.

Tom was a member of some of the best sides in Heywood CC history, playing with great pros like Colin Lever and Geoff Lawson.

He scored 5016 runs for Heywood first team between 1964 and 1982, including 11 50s, at an average of over 16 in an era when pros were quick. He also took 147 catches.

Although I only have vague memories of seeing Tom play, he was a born strokemaker who liked nothing better than to smack the ball to the boundary.

I was told by his son Sean that Tom had been ill for some time.

I am sure you all want to share some memories of a great player and, from what I am led to believe, a great character.

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 August 9, 2012  Tagged with: , ,  Add comments

  13 Responses to “Heywood Legend Tom McConnell Dies Aged 77”

  1. Sad news indeed, Tom played in my first match for the 1st team in 1976.

    Good competitor with the bat and great fielder close to the wicket. It was a privilege to play in the same side as Tom. Good servant to the club for many years.

    Condolences to Hilda, Sean and the rest of the family.

  2. Very saddened to hear of the news.
    I used to watch Tom every week when I was a youngster and I had the privelege to play alongside him when he along with other legends of the time dropped down into the seconds just as I was breaking into the side.
    He could fairly hit the ball and for some reason I always remember sitting on a bench inside the old changing rooms at the Pollards (too cold to sit outside) alongside the rest of the team while Tom was batting and remember him smacking one and us all looking up as one craning our necks through the window to follow the ball as it sailed over the top of us still rising!
    My condolences to the family.

  3. My recollections of Tom are when I was a young reporter on the Heywood Advertiser during a golden playing period for the club. I can’t think of many Heywood players who could hit the ball further than him, and I’ve memories of him whacking straight sixes adjacent to where the current new all weather nets are now. He was also a useful off-spinner and gave the side great balance.
    My condolensces, also, to Sean and his family.

  4. So sad to hear this news. Tom was great mates with my dad and now they are up there somewhere sharing a laugh or two.
    I played with Tom a few times in the second team and he made the game fun for the youngsters. His loyalty to HCC was truly commendable. Rest in Peace great man

  5. As a 15 year old playing in the first team in the 1960′s I batted with Tom several times. One Saturday Tom; on strike; ran me out with a ‘Yes. No’ at Crimble without me facing a ball. The next day at Werneth Tom; on strike; ran me out again also with a ‘Yes . No ‘ and again without me facing a ball. The next Tuesday I was dropped. I was very upset. Tom couldn’t stop laughing. I was never run out again. I learned a lot from the great man. God Bless Tom. Sincere condolences to Sean and the family.

  6. Tom was a great chap with a wicked sense of humor. I honestly cant remember the game but have an abiding memory.
    Heywood had lost a couple of wickets to a chap who was turning the ball appreciably.
    As an outgoing batsmen made reference to this fact, Tom commented.”It has to bounce to turn”
    He scored 47 that day including 3 enormous 6′s all over long on!
    Also remember him as a great short-leg.Never flinched regardless of who was batting.
    Was always fun when Tommy and Ralph Farmer were batting together.
    RIP Tom and condolences to all.

  7. Very sad to hear of Tom’s death – lovely man, always smiling. Condolences to Sean and his family from all at Heywood Cricket Club

  8. So sorry to hear about the loss of Tom Mconnell.
    As a teenager living in Derby Street I knew Tom as a friend and a neighbour.Along with my young pals I spent most summer evenings playing cricket on spare land off Mason Sreet-most of the time trying to get Tommy out!
    Winters were spent playing football with Tommy in the same Heymain Recs side and then table tennis in the Clubhouse.
    Tommy was a great influence on our sporting futures-on,and off ,the field of play.Many thanks Tommy.Top Man,Rest in Peace.
    Condolences to Hilda,Sean,Molly and Families.

  9. I am saddened to learn today of an old friend Tom McConnell. I was very lucky to have met Tom when he came to play out his cricket at the old Bolton Road Methodists Cricket Club in Bury. Enticed by George Waldron together with Paul Farrell, Harry Barlow, Joe Riley, Brian Dennison, Alan Nuttall and of course his son Sean, all great Heywood characters. We had many years of friendship and fun at a Club with some real issues surrounding it tenure. Indeed we played Heywood in a number of friendly matches and we spent many an hour gracing the bar talking of the ‘gangs’ Old Days spent at Castleton Moor and Heywood.

    As a cricketer Tom still had the eye and grace of a top amateur cricketer and in an honest comment, if the Bolton Road X1 would have stayed of the beer on a Friday we would have performed much better. Goodness could that team party, Tom and Hilda were very much central to that era.

    I use to love the tales that Tom told of the old pros particularly tales that were about his team mates successes or failures together with some very funny tales.

    Cricket is a sport that we can all find a level and I suppose our levels met at the end of Toms cricketing career.

    My condolences to Sean, Hilda and family. Sadly missed Tom but never forgotten.

    Martin Kay
    Chairman, The North Manchester Cricket League

  10. RIP Tom….. remembering the good old days Martin refers to above, great times, sad loss.

  11. Dad would always pop 2 the Freemasons arm b4 a game,a pint or 2 with other players. (PE Mills) 4 one.away at had rained all morning, so they thought lets av another,an another. 2 30 start as if. Gets down there for 3. 5 pints later, the game started on time, no rain in Rochdale all morning.he went on 2 get a ton.after getting dropped 5 times b4 reaching 20. Nowt new there then u loads proud to be ur son. xxx

  12. RIP Tom, my condolences to all

  13. Tom was a great man. I have very fond memories at heywood but also Bolton rd nd the bbc. Rip Tom lie to Hilda and Sean. X

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