Sunday, 18 September 2016

Hamza, Fred and Elton...

There were two unusual pieces of news this week with links to Derbyshire cricket.

First up was the news that Hamza Siddique, one-time Derbyshire staff player, had landed a role in Doctors on the BBC. A product of Repton school and Cardiff MCCU, the Staffordshire-born player never played in the senior side at Derbyshire but played through the various age groups. I hope he does well, as the second Derbyshire player with acting on his CV.

The first was, of course, Fred Trueman, who played former fast bowler Ernie Egan in an episode of Dad's Army in 1970, two years after he had retired from Yorkshire. Astonishingly, two years later, when he was a long way from prime shape, we signed him to play in the John Player Sunday League.

His figures weren't that bad and I remember him bowling especially well against his old county in a televised game at Bradford that year, taking the wickets of John Hampshire and Phil Sharpe after earlier clumping Chris Old into the middle distance.

Ironically, we engaged him to play one-day cricket having told Harold Rhodes, younger and fitter, that he couldn't play on such a contract, having retired early for a career in the brewing industry. One Sunday afternoon at Ilkeston, Derbyshire fielded an attack that in name was perhaps among their finest - Alan Ward, Mike Hendrick and Fred Trueman in the same attack against Glamorgan. They took seven wickets between them as we won easily.

It was a qualified success. He let no one down, perhaps because teams were still worried about the legend, but he was some way removed from his best. He put a 'few bob' on the gate, which was the intention, but the sight of him rolling, for want of a better word, around the boundary edge in vain pursuit of an edge at third man or fine leg, lives with me still.

Still, at least I saw Fred Trueman play for Derbyshire a few times, classic action and all - and got his autograph.

It was at Chesterfield, when we played Warwickshire and Derbyshire amassed an impressive 234-5 in 40 overs, with Chris Wilkins making a wonderful 94 and sharing in a highly entertaining stand of 121 with Tony Borrington, who played an equally fine hand in making 56 at number seven.

Against a batting line-up of John Jameson, Denis Amiss, Rohan Kanhai, Alvin Kallicharran and Deryck Murray, internationals all, it might not have been enough, but Fred bowled his eight overs for just twenty runs and we won easily, despite a fine century by the wonderful West Indian, Kallicharran.

At the end, Fred signed my autograph book with a smile at the back of the pavilion, something that kept me happy for days afterwards. If only cricketers knew how much that signature meant to youngsters...

The other news? Elton John at the 3aaa County Ground. Using it for other purposes is not new - there was a special tennis event, organised by Walter Goodyear, that featured tennis greats Fred Perry and Dan Maskell in the 1950s. Elton is a step up from that, though and I understand that tickets are nearly sold out, understandably so. 

Cynics may say it has nothing to do with cricket and why are we wasting time on it, but if the sums have been done correctly (as they will have), Derbyshire could earn enough from hosting the gig to bring in a senior player. It is all part of the income generation that is so important for us as a club, so the more we can do, the better.

With that, I bid you adieu.

Enjoy your Sunday.


Anonymous said...

There's been plenty of chatter at Derbyshire this week relating to ethics and morality...then they shoot themselves in the foot by signing Gary Wilson. Great motivation for Hosein as a youngster going into the last game of the season. I wonder where that leaves us as a club? Probably exactly where we started ie with one wicketkeeper if Harvey has any sense. I hope he's being well-advised that's all I can say. What a cock-up.

Peakfan said...

Don't think you have thought that through Alastair. See tonight's post as to why