May 272020

Nolan Hall came to Heywood from Western Australia in 1978 intending to play as an amateur but quickly found himself thrust into action as the Professional. He would return as an amateur in 1979 and then again in 1984 and 85. Nolan has remained in contact with the club ever since and has been a fantastic host to Heywood players in Perth. He looks back on his times at Crimble:

Nolan with double winning teammates Steve Wundke, Colin Wroe and Bob Cooke

Nolan with double winning teammates Steve Wundke, Colin Wroe and Bob Cooke

You had an interesting trip to Heywood?

After a thirty hour plane trip (Bombay airport was on fire) from Perth to London, Gary Collins and myself decided we would catch a train to Manchester. Arrangements had been made for Bob Cross to collect us. We went straight from the train station to the Three Arrows for a pint of Boddingtons Best Bitter and a corn beef butty. I nearly fell over when the cost of a pint was 23p, we had been paying 48p in London.

Do you remember your debut?

My debut for Heywood was in a friendly at Colne. It was freezing and I only had a short sleeve jumper. The next weekend was the first game of the season, Littleborough away. During the week the club received news that Tyrone Knight, our Pro for the season, wasn’t coming so a substitute Pro would be required. Enter the one and only Clairmonte Depeiaza to take on the great Joel Garner. Littleborough batted first and made around 150. In a tight game we fell short by a handful of runs, I managed to score 40 odd runs, two weeks later I was employed as the Heywood Pro.

What was your favourite game for Heywood and why?

Winning the Wood Cup in 1984 was a highlight but my favourite game was the Wood Cup semi-final at Oldham v Franklin Stevenson. There was controversy all through this game. We were sent into bat, the light was shocking, and we were in serious trouble at 5 for not many. Finally play was suspended for the day. We returned Monday night and we scrambled around 120 runs. Oldham had a few overs to face at the end of Monday’s play. We grabbed a few early wickets and with one over to go the umpire miscounted the number of balls and Howard Jump was dismissed with the seventh delivery. We returned Tuesday evening and won the game, the rest is history.

What was your favourite away ground ?

Littleborough, there was always good banter with their supporters.

Best professional you played with and against?

As a Heywood player you would be more than happy to have Geoff Lawson or Steve Wundke as the Pro, Steve’s hundred against Ezra Mosley had to be seen to be believed. The best opposition Pro would be Joel Garner but Ezra Mosley, Carl Rackemann and Colin Croft would be suitable replacements.

Best amateur you played with and against?

Played with many fine brave Heywood amateurs, no helmets, arm guards or chest pads. If I had to pick a batsman and bowler they would be Colin Gradwell and David Fare. Phil Sutcliffe, John Punchard, Paul Rocca and Mel Whittle would be the best opposing amateurs.

Best memory on the field?

Running out Neil Phillips in the Wood Cup final in 1984 against Rochdale when the game was in the balance.

Best memory off the field?

There are many. The road trip to London via Devils Bridge, in Wales, with Alan Bray. The Worsley cricket tours down South are legendary, reversing up Hard Knott Pass with David Fare in an orange Escort hire car, the Rover was in for repairs. Working at Rhodes Bros as a glass cutter (thank you John Rhodes) and finally having a pint in the change rooms and voting on the wasted day award at the end of each game.

Finally, on my second visit in 1979 Eleanor Law introduced me to Christine Butterworth (thank you Eleanor). Chris and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary in April, Chris is now a true blue dinky dye Aussie!

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 May 27, 2020  Add comments

  6 Responses to “Crimble Memories – Nolan Hall”

  1. Think I remember the Neil Phillips run out, turning for a third on the longest boundary at L’Boro, though was a long time ago. Definitely remember the Wundke century got vivid memories of that one. David Schofield was virtually unplayable to the rest of the Heywood batsmen and Wundke started to sweep him off a length, he ran twos with Nick Wilson initially to long on and long-off … and then don’t remember much til we needed 10 off two i think, Derek Page smashed one into the BMX track and then was bowled last balls. Happy days

  2. Nolan and Chris played a huge part in making my trip to Australia so fantastic. They would invite me up to the house after Tuesday training for tea and a couple of beers and we would chat about all sorts, it was clear how much Nolan loved Heywood CC.

    It was such a great moment for me that my best performance for Midland Guildford was watched by Nolan, Chris Kaye, Keith Slater and Mike O’Shaughnessy, and to share a beer with them after the game.

    Nolan taught me two invaluable lessons:

    1. When batting, survive the first hour and the rest of the day is yours.

    2. Always cook your sausages North-South…

  3. And my most abiding memory of Nolan is chasing the ball down after he clobbered it anywhere not near me in the nets, that was definitely one of the drawbacks of Crimble being so big!

    North/South – that’s a new one to me – is there an explanation?

  4. What a great addition to the side. A great, competitive cricketer and I always enjoyed his laid back company off the field.

    Working at John Rhodes’ consisted of putting his feet up sat on a chair, cursing whenever a customer came remotely near, and turning on the second bar of the electric fire. Then turning it up.

    I didn’t play in the side when Nolan was professional, but had the pleasure later in his amateur years of 1979 and 1984/5 – He was someone I always looked up to. Wished I had a throwing arm like his !

  5. Could tell many tales about playing cricket with Swollen.

    Once playing at North Devon CC Instow. Nolan went to fag a ball into the long grass after it had been hit for 4. Whilst looking for the ball he came across a sign which said ‘beware of adders’ I have never seen an Aussie move so fast ever.

    Top man and top cricketer

  6. The Phillips run out was the final at Middleton. I was 14 and sat directly behind Nolan’s arm. The return throw was as good as any I have ever seen to change the game in Heywood’s favour. That one throw still stays with me as an abiding Heywood memory highlight.

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