Indoor Season Reports 2013/14/15/16

January to April 2016

Wednesday 27th January 2016    It was a pleasure to welcome back Mike Watkinson (Winker to his dressing room colleagues), who played county cricket at Lancashire for the best part of twenty years. He made his debut in 1982 under Clive Lloyd’s leadership and went on to become first-team captain, head coach, cricket manager and cricket director at the club.

As a player he appeared in numerous one-day finals, winning far more than he lost. Capped by England just short of his 34th birthday, Mike played in four Tests, scoring a match-saving 82 not out against the West Indies and taking a total of 10 wickets at 35. Nowadays that would have led to a longer run in the side.

A qualified draughtsman, Mike told us he was one of the last county players who had a professional non-cricketing job in the winter. His engineering experience was put to good use in his duties as cricket director, where he was involved in the realignment of the cricket square and in planning future ground developments at Old Trafford.

In 2014 Mike swopped the frenetic world of county cricket for the quieter pastures of Manchester Grammar School, where he is Director of Cricket, a path also trodden by Derek Randall (Bedford School) and Paul Pridgeon (Shrewsbury School), among others. 

Wednesday 10th February 2016    We were pleased to welcome BBC cricket broadcaster Kevin Howells, who addressed some of the key discussion points in the game today. He began by reviewing England’s selection policies and the effect of personalities on the team and management, as well as the improvements already wrought by the new Test regime.

The issue of journalists’ and commentators’ impartiality was discussed, along with the pressures arising from a tightening market for sport – a greater need to win and entertain; the rewards for star performers; and sponsorship. Kevin also welcomed the increased exposure of women’s sport in the media.

Moving on to Yorkshire’s next defence of the County Championship title, Kevin argued that while the playing squad was strong, Test match call-ups could hinder the team’s chances. Those players not in the Test team would surely learn more by playing in the County Championship’s first division. The question of Jason Gillespie’s influence on the squad, and whether or not he will stay, was also raised.

Kevin closed his talk with some thoughts on ‘the spirit of cricket’. In his eyes players must seek to be the best, but not to win at all costs; the prospect of yellow and red cards was not for him.

A lively Question and Answer session followed, touching on: T20 and the future of Test cricket; the opportunities and threats posed by T20 city franchising – the audience said they would not follow a team called “Leeds” rather than Yorkshire; the relative roles of the counties and the ECB; Scarborough’s future; and players’ after-play reactions to the media.

A warm vote of thanks was extended to Kevin for his thorough and authoritative presentation.

Wednesday 24th February 2016    Our guest speaker this evening, Derek Brewer, took up his post as Chief Executive of the MCC in 2012.

Derek spoke first about Yorkshire’s county championship double in 2014 and 2015, recognizing the great backroom set-up and the quality of the squad, given the many Test call-ups made in recent years. He also acknowledged among recent champions the efforts of Nottinghamshire, who won the title in 2010 with only the tenth highest salary bill among the counties.

He then highlighted the need to protect groundsmen from increasing public pressure in their Test pitch preparations – from the teams, the press, the fans and the host clubs, to name but four stakeholders – when their job was to prepare the pitch and not be diverted by these often conflicting interests.

Speaking from first-hand experience, he gave a revealing insight into the stresses of the Test bidding process on counties, which have had to invest massively to stand any chance of success.

Derek closed his talk by discussing the latest developments at Lord’s – the new £25 million Warner Stand and improved TV facilities.

This was a fascinating meeting involving one of the sport’s heavyweight executives.

Thursday 10th March 2016   Our next speaker, John Helm, is one of this country’s leading sports commentators and presenters, and he entertained us royally with a series of amusing stories from his long career.

John was born to commentate. As a boy he used to give a running commentary on games of football in his primary school playground, so it is no surprise that he ended up working for BBC Radio and ITV, after he had cut his journalistic teeth on local and regional newspapers.

Commentating has taken John all over the world, covering upwards of 30 different sports, and at the age of 74 he shows no signs of slowing down. Many well-known media figures have John to thank for setting them on their way, among them Harry Gration and Jimmy Armfield.

Although he has made his living mainly out of football, John was at pains to point out that cricket is his first love and Bradford Park Avenue his spiritual home. As a boy he grew up worshipping John Arlott and Brian Johnston, so when the opportunity came to work on Test Match Special at Old Trafford and Headingley in 1980 he grabbed it with both hands, ensuring that the red wine was kept at exactly the right temperature for John Arlott.

During the Question and Answer session John found an excuse to rattle off the names of all 92 teams in the old English Football League. It took him 30 seconds, four seconds longer than the time he achieved in 1981 that won him a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

Wednesday 16th March 2016    Our ever-popular Quiz Evening attracted eight teams intent on winning the coveted SCLS Quizmasters Cup. Asking the questions were retired Dore Primary schoolteachers Richard Scholey and Ian Wileman.

At the end of the quiz, which included a musical cricketing round led by Ian on his trombone, Eye Didn’t emerged as worthy winners. Our thanks, as ever, go to quizmasters Richard and Ian for making the evening such an enjoyable one.

Monday 4th April 2016        Norman Yardley, the subject of guest speaker Martin Howe’s latest book, has a special affinity with Sheffield Cricket Lovers’ Society – he was our first President and our first speaker.

One of the central tenets in Norman Yardley: Yorkshire’s Gentleman Cricketer is whether Norman’s affable character was an impediment to him as captain of both Yorkshire (1948-1955) and England (1947-1950). Martin believes that he could have been firmer in handling some of the big egos in his teams and more successful in motivating his players. Yorkshire’s relative lack of success under his captaincy (one shared title with Middlesex in 1949) was also linked to the emergence of a strong Surrey team under Stuart Surridge, while in the Test arena Bradman’s Australian team was a tough nut to crack.

There was, however, no doubting Norman’s class as an elegant middle-order batsman and a handy medium-pace bowler – Martin reminded us that he dismissed Bradman in three successive Test match innings during the 1946-47 tour to Australia. Norman’s career spanned twenty years (1935-1955), six of which were lost to war service, where he fought alongside Hedley Verity in the Green Howards during the Italian campaign. His amateur status restricted his appearances for England (20 Tests, 14 as captain), as he was often unable to tour overseas for business reasons.

After retiring as a player, Norman was variously a Test selector, a summarizer on Test Match Special and President of Yorkshire CCC, famously resigning over the Boycott affair in 1984. Born in Royston, near Barnsley, he spent the majority of his retirement years in Sheffield.

We were delighted that Norman’s four children – Susan, Richard, and twins Ed and Bob – were able to join us and add to the evening’s entertainment by sharing some personal reminiscences of their distinguished father. 

Thursday 14th April 2016    Our final speaker of the season was Tanya Arnold, the popular BBC Leeds and national sports presenter.

This was a wide-ranging meeting, covering not only cricket but also Tanya’s love of other sports such as athletics and rugby league, and presented from her professional viewpoint as a TV sports journalist.

Tanya told us that she found rugby players much easier to deal with than footballers in interviews.  She expressed her justifiable professional pride in being part of the BBC team that pulled off a scoop by getting the first TV shot of Usain Bolt in London just before the 2012 Olympics; in interviewing GB shooting gold medallist Peter Wilson; and in interviewing cyclist Lizzie Armitstead.

She also filled in some of the background to BBC Look North’s three-legged charity walk earlier in the year by Harry Gration and Paul Hudson, which raised £270,000 for charity.

A contrasting evening to our usual ones, where an impressive presenter came at sport from wider and different angles, an approach that was warmly received by the large audience.


January to April 2015     Thursday, 8th January saw the start of our 2015 Indoor season with our own Bob Jackson leading on the Sporting Review of the year. He was aided by BBC,s  Kevin Howells for the first half and later joined by Alan Biggs.

Kevin began by reviewing England’s performance in the recent World Cup and expressed some views that maybe the squad had underestimated some  of the other contestants. He felt sure that they would improve significantly over the next couple of years and the squad contained some very talented players with great futures ahead of them.

He then turned his attention to the Yorkshire side, praising skipper Andrew Gale for his magnificent leadership throughout the season.

He noted that Andrews’ decision to drop himself for the Middlesex game was the classic example of selflessness giving the younger players opportunity to establish themselves. The fact that Middlesex chased down 472 runs for a win was entirely due to a wonderful  knock by Australian Chris Rogers who contributed a magnificent 261 in the second innings.

Kevin then expressed his views regarding the decision to ban Andrew Gale following his verbal exchange with Ashwell Prince in the Lancashire match. The fact that Andrew Gale was not allowed to collect the Championship Trophy following their win against Notts at Trent Bridge was a huge disappointment not only to Andrew but to the entire team and supporters. Kevin ended by expressing the view that England would do well in the upcoming series with New Zealand and Australia and predicted another championship trophy for the White Rose.

Alan Biggs took over after the interval. Following his maiden appearance  on the new Sheffield TV  Station  he was well briefed to update us on the latest happenings within our local football teams.

As ever a very interesting evening, our sincere thanks to Bob, Kevin and Alan for a most entertaining evening.

Wednesday 4th February 2015      A super Pie and Pea Supper and a big welcome to our guest for the evening Ryan Sidebottom. Ryan quickly convinced everyone that as the senior member of the squad he had a valuable input in the coming season. In answer to a question from the members he pointed out that a left arm quick bowler was a valuable asset to any side and that he hoped to make a significant input to the effort to regain the Championship Trophy in the coming season. As the senior member of the squad he felt sure that he had still more cricket left in him and he hoped to help to bring in some of the younger seam bowlers in the coming season.

A very enjoyable evening with one of Yorkshires exciting characters.

After a winter of very poor weather resulting in two cancellations we were delighted to welcome Richard Pyrah,  who has  been granted a beneficiary this year, as our guest for the evening. Richard was accompanied by David Callaghan, a member of his benefit committee who interviewed Richard in true BBC style. Richard expressed his view that he was disappointed  that he was not a regular automatic pick for the Yorkshire Championship side but reminded us all of the magnificent catch he took as twelve man at Trent Bridge which assured Yorkshire of the Championship Trophy for 2014.

This was a super evening with a very modest and committed cricketer. We wished Richard well for a well deserved benefit year.

For our  next meeting on February 18th our  guest was to have been Colin Graves, Yorkshire Chairman and incoming head of the ECB. Unfortunately Colin was unable to be with us but has promised that he will join us as soon as possible. This late change had secretary David on his toes again and with his many contacts he persuaded Geoff Miller to step in for the evening.

And what an entertaining evening it was!

Although many of us have had the pleasure of hearing Geoff speak in the past he never fails but to entertain with new anecdotes and a refreshing honesty in his presentation. He told how he was happy to have given up the role of National Selector and he felt that he and his selection colleagues had made a significant contribution to the English effort. Naturally he was somewhat sad with the recent failure to progress to the final stages of the World Cup but was convinced that the tide would turn in the near future.

Another splendid evening , his story of his last couple of years at Grammar School absolutely hilarious and we will all remember yet another evening of laughter with a top class entertainer.

Wednesday March 11th, and 51 members joined in the Annual Quiz evening kindly organised  by Richard Scholey and Ian Wileman.

Once again they produced a challenging and enjoyable quiz which the eight teams enjoyed though there was evidence of some taking it more seriously than others. In the end the scores were very reasonable with the Question Masters brother, Roger leading his team to victory.

Many thanks again to Richard and Ian for a most entertaining evening.

March 18th and we welcomed Neil Robinson Archivist at MCC who presented a very interesting slide presentation describing many of the artefacts at St Johns Wood.  Neil was very enthusiastic and described his delight at being able to work at such a fine location. He told us that he was intending to write a book on the history of gambling in cricket. We hope he succeeds and will look forward to welcoming him back in the future.

Wednesday April 1st     We celebrated our 55th Annual Dinner at Baldwins  Omega. Guest of Honour was “Dickie Bird ” President of Yorkshire CCC. Also joining us from Yorkshire were Martyn Moxon and Jason Gillespie. Once again we enjoyed a fantastic meal followed by a musical interlude with local singer  Paul Pashley .

There then followed the presentation to Dickie Bird of the Society Ambassador of the year award. The Yorkshire President responded with a short but humorous reply. We then had an interesting Question and Answer session with Martyn and Jason fielding the questions.  The evening was rounded off by Norman Prince who proved once again to be very funny and entertained with a most amusing session. All in all another great evening.

Our thanks to David Drabble and David Baldwin and to sponsors Wilson Field for ensuring  yet again a first class event.

Thursday 9th April      Once again we welcomed a former Derbyshire player Alan Hill.  And yet again we had from an ex Derbyshire player many humorous anecdotes but not before he reminded us that his best ever score had been 172not out against…Yorkshire!

His brilliant stories of Bob Taylor and Eddie Barlow reminded us of previous presentations by former Derbyshire players at our meetings in the past. What is about Derbyshire? they not only produce players who are forthright and tell it as it is but they do it in with great humour and set out to entertain from the start.

His handling of members questions in the second half was even more fun and entertaining as he managed every question with direct and often amusing replies.

Another first class evening enjoyed by a very healthy turnout of over 70 members. Thanks Alan, hope you will join us again sometime in the future.


Our final meeting of the 2015 season Thursday 23 April was ” A Tribute to Hedley Verity” presented by former Yorkshire CCC Committee member Sydney Fielden and Chris Waters  Yorkshire Post Cricketing correspondent.

Chris, an award winning author for his 2012 “Fred Trueman the Authorised Biography” gave us a close insight into the research required for his latest book  “10 for 10 Hedley Verity and the Story of Cricket’s  Greatest Bowling Feat.

On 12th July 1932 at home Yorkshire bowler took all 10 wickets for 10 runs against Nottinghamshire who were all out for 67 in their second innings.

That record still stands today , in addition Hedley claimed at least 150 wickets in nine successive seasons .  His average being 185 per season.

Chris quite clearly has become an expert on the career of Hedley Verity and his book will no doubt prove to be another winner.


Sydney  Fielden  then took us through some old Hedley Veritys  other outstanding performances both for Yorkshire and England, He had brought with him a collection of Hedley Verity memorabilia and members enjoyed the rare opportunity to see them.

A fascinating evening for all concerned.




Monday 1st December 2014

Prior to the start of this evenings event Members stood in silence to show our respect following the tragic death of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes who tragically died last week after being hit on the neck whilst facing Sean Abbott in a Sheffield Shield game in Sydney, severing an artery and sadly passed away the following day. A tragic accident which saddened the entire world cricketing community.

We rounded off the first half of our indoor season with a most professional and entertaining presentation from ex Derbyshire player Tony Borrington. Tony themed his presentation on the differences in the game today compared with his ‘old timers’ era. He was amazed at the practice of players playing football prior to a cricket match…”would footballers play cricket prior to a soccer match”? and his description of the practice of pre match ‘Team Huddles…’ “probably do not say anything but it amuses the spectators”!! His light hearted talk had us all in fits of laughter and everyone agreed that it had been a wonderful evening. Many thanks Tony..we hope to invite you back again in the future.

Wednesday 19th November 2014

What a super evening our Autumn Dinner proved to be. The theme for the evening was to pay tribute to Lord’s Cricket Ground in its bicentennial Year.

Our guests for the evening were David Morgan OBE, President of the MCC. Derek Brewer, Chief Executive of the MCC, and former Sussex Captain and a Past President of the MCC John Barclay OBE.

Following a superb meal Richard Barber OBE produced for us once again a truly erudite and entertaining toast culminating “ A toast to the MCC and Lord’s Cricket Ground”.

Responses came from Derek Brewer who brought us up to date on the plans for Lord’s already being progressed and information on future developments. Derek passed the microphone to David Morgan, recently installed as President of the MCC . David thanked the Society for hosting the evening . He was especially pleased to be in Yorkshire to help us all celebrate the Yorkshire Victory in the 2014 season and looked forward to our further success.

David then introduced former Sussex Captain and ex President of the MCC, John Barclay, promising us some excellent entertainment. How right he was, John kept us highly amused with some of his cricketing experiences and proved to be a very entertaining speaker.

We rounded off another magnificent evening with a performance from an old friend of the Society, David Kendall.

Another highly successful evening thoroughly enjoyed by all attending. Our thanks again to David Baldwin and his staff at the Omega and our thanks to Secretary David Drabble for his hard work arranging the event.

 Monday 10th November 2014

Another Yorkshireman,   Author and Journalist, Brian Halford  was our guest this evening. Brian, former cricket correspondent for the Birmingham Post and Coventry Telegraph has reported on Warwickshire Cricket Club for a number of years but has also recently completed a book entitled ‘The Real Jeeves’ the story of Percy Jeeves who was a splendid all round cricketer , born in Yorkshire.

Percy moved to Goole and played for Goole Cricket Club prior to being invited to turn professional at Hawes Cricket Club in North Yorkshire. In 1910 he had a trial with Yorkshire but was not offered a contract. He joined Warwickshire in 1912 where he played nearly 50 first Class matches as an all rounder scoring1200 runs at 16.5 and 199 wickets at an average of 20.3. In 1914 Percy was selected to play for the Players against the Gentlemen helping his side to victory and receiving very strong complements from Plum Warner who stated that Percy had a fine future,

Sadly that did not prove to be the case. At the outbreak of the First World War, Percy joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and on 22nd July1916 was killed in action during the Battle of the Somme near Montauban.

P G Wodehouse, the Creator of Bertie Wooster and his valet Jeeves is said to have decided on the name Jeeves after watching Percy play cricket at Hawes whilst on holiday. We now know ‘The Real Jeeves’

This was an excellent presentation by Brian Halford and most fitting for it to take place during Armistice week.

Thursday 6th November 2014

It was a great pleasure to welcome our guest this evening, Dan Waddell.

Dan, a true Yorkshireman born in Pudsey but now living in London, is still an enthusiastic cricketer but also a Journalist, Author of both fact and fiction, is a keen genealogist and a Military Historian,

Dan came to tell us of his latest book “Field of Shadows” which chronicles the emergence of cricket in Nazi Germany. Despite the fact that Adolf Hitler despised cricket, there were some enthusiasts-heartened by the success of the 1936 Olympic Games-wo were keen to encourage the development of cricket in

Germany and the most enthusiastic one Felix Menzel persuaded the Nazi leaders to allow him to invite an English team to tour Germany. That team was Gentlemen of Worcestershire ,led by former Worcester CCC skipper Major Maurice Jewell. Jewell was ordered not to lose by the MCC and the team played two unofficial Test Matches the second taking place in the Olympic Stadium which one year earlier had hosted the Olympic Games.

Dan kept our members enthralled with details of the tour and we were delighted to have had the opportunity to hear how he went about researching the events although he was somewhat disappointed not to have been able to trace Felix Mendel. A splendid evening and as a footnote ‘Field of Shadows’ is a fascinating read.

Thursday 23rd October 2014

A warm welcome this evening to the Director of the Museum at Headingley, David Hall CBE TD.

David has for some time been involved with maintaining the Archives of YCCC

Together with a small group of helpers they developed the plans for the Museum at Headingley. He recounted the struggle to raise the required finance for the project and described the planning process to which he was able to lend some of his considerable retailing skills to plan the detailed layout of the Museum. His research work involved visiting other established museums at various sporting locations. The Yorkshire Cricket Museum is now fully operational and is operated by The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation ably supported by the Yorkshire County Cricket Club and was funded by the National Lottery and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The museum has been visited by quite a number of our members who all recommend it as well worth a visit. 

Monday 13th October 2014

Once again the Pea &Pie Supper proved to very popular with our members. After the meal, enjoyed by all, our guest Andrew Gale, the Captain of our 2014 successful County Cricket team answered the many questions put to him. He gave his views on the team ,all the backroom staff and his own performance during the past season. He placed great emphasis on the close comradeship within the club at all playing levels and considered it to be a great honour to be a member of a well run organisation.

It was very apparent from his comments that Yorkshire have a bright future to look forward to.

This report by Peter Mason, Vice Chairman

Monday 29th September 2014

A very welcome return by Broadcaster David Callaghan with his regular Review of the Yorkshire season.

David, who rarely misses a ball being bowled in the season, started by pointing out that Yorkshire won the Championship ‘by a country mile’. He reminded us that Yorkshire had been very hard to beat and reflected on the great teamwork inspired by Jason Gillespie. He highlighted the contribution made by Andrew Gale especially praising him for dropping himself at the start of the season  against Middlesex. He reminded us of the tremendous contributions made by openers Lyth and Lees and awarded the ‘252’ by Adam Lyth as the ‘Innings of the Year’.

David gave lots of credit to Jason Gillespie, who has created with Martyn Moxon,  a very creative and happy team. He was delighted that Richard Dawson was now coaching the 2nd XI and was also quite sure that Jason Gillespie would remain at Yorkshire, because his family are nicely settled in Leeds.

Prediction for the next few years…Yorkshire keeping their position at the top.

Another great evening with a fine friend of the Society.

Monday 22nd September 2014

What a magnificent start to our new Indoor Season. Paul Farbrace, now England Assistant Coach, had intended to visit us last season whilst still coaching the Yorkshire 2nd XI. However events overtook him when he was invited to become Sri Lanka’s Coach and he was away to help them win both the T20 cup and the Asian cup. He spoke with great affection about the Sri Lankan players and of his experiences whilst with them including the attack on their bus whilst in Pakistan and his personal injuries which left him with shrapnel wounds to his arm.

He told of his earlier appointment at Yorkshire and made it clear that he would not have left other than to take on an International side. His in-depth analysis of some of the emerging players at Yorkshire were most encouraging and his obvious delight to have worked with Martyn Moxon and Jason Gillespie who both were held in high regard by him.

His excitement at being appointed Assistant Coach for England was clear but he did make it very obvious that he had enjoyed his time both with Yorkshire and Sri Lanka.

In the Question and Answer session he gave some very forthright views and delighted us all particularly by advising us that he felt that Yorkshire would go from strength to strength with Jason Gillespie staying as Coach for some considerable time ,

This was a first class presentation by a very dedicated man and we all wished him well for the future. We look forward to welcoming him back in the future.

The Indoor Season 2014-2015 …


24th April 2014

Paul Shaw, Head of England Women’s performance was  accompanied by England Ladies’ fast bowler Katherine Brunt for our final meeting of the season.

Paul  started by going through the performance of the Women’s team who had a very successful season winning the ‘Ashes’. This has a somewhat different format to the men’s in that they include all forms of the game . One Test, Three ODI.s and Three T20.s  each bringing points for a win and the aggregate points over the series determine the winner.

Paul’s recollection of the results, and  individual performances throughout the campaign was quite remarkable.

Katherine, who was recovering from a back operation, said how delighted she and the other players were that they are now fully professional and contracted players. She is looking forward to making a full recovery and playing again soon. In the meantime she was happy to have access to all the facilities at Loughborough.

Both contributed to a fascinating question and answer session and provided us with a most enjoyable evening. We wish them well for the coming season

Annual Dinner 7th April 2014

Another excellent evening, and some people have said, it was possibly our best dinner to date. Sir Michael Parkinson gave a short but lively address before he had to leave early in order to head back to London for an early doctor’s appointment the following day. Geoff Miller conducted an auction of just a few items but including Dickie Bird’s book ’80 not out’ which was great fun because Geoff was very entertaining in his jokes about Dickie and these were taken in good spirit by the legendary umpire who had just been appointed President of Yorkshire CCC. Geoff Miller also spoke to us about some of his cricketing contemporaries and always, was in excellent voice. We also heard from Father Dominic Milroy about his love of cricket and the evening was concluded with comedian Lea Roberts who kept his humour nicely safe. Once again David Baldwin did the Society proud with some very tasty fayre – a really enjoyable night.

Thursday 3rd April

What a delight to welcome a real gentleman of cricket. M J K Smith, former Warwickshire and England batsman and captain of England in 25 of his 50 Tests. He also played one game for England at Rugby Union becoming probably the last  double international when he played against Wales in 1956

Mike was accompanied by cricketing author, Douglas Miller who had persuaded Mike to become his 30th  subject for a biography.

Mike opened up the evening by telling us how difficult it had been to get a very modest man to provide the material for the book. He pointed out that Mike Smith was probably one of the only Test captains in cricketing history who never fell out with anyone. The resulting book however gave the reader a clear insight into how Mike went about his life as a professional sportsman. He was one of the most popular of England captains  carefully involving the whole team in his deliberations. His philosophy said  if you were good enough to bowl for England then you were certainly capable of placing your fielders.

Mike  then took us through his early career at Leicester, then as Captain of Oxford University movi ng  to Warwickshire in 1956 where he played until 1975.  He remained very involved with Warwickshire,  being Chairman of the Club from 1991 to 2003. Mike was also the first ICC match referee, a role he kept for 5 seasons  1991 to 1996.

A  lively Q & A session, well handled by both our guests, ended a splendid evening.

Thursday 20th March 2014

A review of the Sporting Year hosted by Robert Jackson with Panellists Kevin Howells of the BBC and Les Payne of the Sheffield Star.

Kevin reviewed England’s performance in Australia and the West Indies

He realised that most people were surprised at England’s  lack lustre performance in Australia and expressed his view that Cook did not want KP in his side. Kevin felt that the split coaching role adopted by England created problems and hoped that they would revert to the one Coach for all forms of the game in future. He expects that there will be some significant changes for the 2014 season and hoped that Joe Root would be given a more settled position in the middle order with Sam Robson of Middlesex opening with Cook.

Kevin concluded  by congratulating Durham as worthy winners of the Championship , commiserating with Derbyshire but sad to see the sacking of Karl Krikken. He expected Yorkshire to do well in all forms of the game and looked forward in particular to seeing Gary Ballance continuing to develop his game even further.

Thanks once again to Richard and Ian for a most enjoyable evening

Les Payne was in fine form outlining the early years of his career with the Rotherham Reporter  mainly as a Football reporter but as a Junior member of staff having to cover local news and the Courts as well. He recalled his days travelling on the Rotherham United team bus and getting to know the local team Managers, Tommy Dockerty, Ian Porterfield and of course Emlyn Hughes.

He also covered the European Cup Finals in Milan in 1970 and in Rome in 1977. He joined the Sheffield Star in 1989 mainly covering Rotherham United but enjoying the odd game with Wednesday and United.

He told us that he had visited every Football League ground covering many thousands of miles, this gave him the opportunity to tell us that his most frightening journey ever was when he was driven back to Sheffield from Wrexham at 90mph by tonight’s  host , Robert Jackson.

After a lively Question and Answer session the Society were delighted to present Les, who has announced his retirement, with a momento in appreciation of the support he has given the Society over many years.

Report by Peter Mason, Vice Chairman

Wednesday 5th March 2014

Our very own Quiz evening  again hosted by Richard Scholey ably assisted by Ian Wyleman.

The evening was well supported and the eight teams were really quite well matched. After eight rounds it was pleasing to note that only 13 points separated the winning team ( Led by the question master’s brother??)


Wednesday 26th February 2014

A great pleasure to welcome Mike Newell, Director of Cricket, Nottinghamshire CCC. Mike played for Notts from 1984 to 1992  appearing in over 100 First Class games and 40 List A games. His batting average was over 30 in both forms of the game,

In 1992 he was appointed 2nd XI  Manager and Captain and subsequently promoted to First XI coach in 2002. He led the Club to Championship titles in 2005 and 2010. and during his time has seen the Club produce England players.

Mike has coached England Under 19 squad and the England Lions and he told us that he was interested in the Bangladesh Coaching role which was vacated by Stuart Law. This was a most interesting evening with a man totally frank and informative.

As postscript it was interesting to learn that Mike subsequently applied for the England post and must have impressed  because he has recently been appointed an England Selector.

22nd February 2014

The Yorkshire Film Archive is a registered Charity which exists to collect, preserve, and make available to the public moving images made in and around the region.

Graham Relton, the Manager of the Yorkshire Film Archive brought with him a fascinating collection of archived film which he has carefully compiled to make a most interesting evening for us,

We saw film of Queen Victoria visiting Sheffield in 1897, Troops marching through Sheffield on their way to war in 1914, swimmers taking to the waters in midwinter at Millhouses’ Lido, and countless other clips including some footage of personal film donated by Ray Illingworth.

Possibly the highlight of the evening was a film of players setting up the old game of ‘Knurr & Spell’. The game originated in Yorkshire , the knurr is a small round ball similar to a golf ball, it is set on a spring loaded devise -the spell. The player holds a flat ended stick with which he trips the spell which ejects the knurr upwards to be struck by the player with the flat end of the trip stick. The winner being the one who hits the knurr the furthest distance.   Set up time – half an hour, playing time 10 seconds!!

A very interesting evening, never heard so much laughter in a Cricket Society Meeting . Should anyone have any old film the YFA would be delighted to accept it for consideration for their Archive.

Thursday 20th February 2014

Some 90 members and guests enjoyed a pea and pie supper prior to being entertained by Elite Umpire, Richard Kettleborough.

Richard, who  had only just returned that day from Bangladesh . gave us a thorough insight into the life of a full time International Umpire.  He was particularly thrilled to have  been awarded  by the ICC.,  the David Shephard Trophy as Elite Umpire of the Year 2013.

He went on to entertain us with interesting descriptions of his colleagues on the Elite list of Umpires and it was a great delight to learn that they are all totally dedicated to their role and worked hard to ensure that their contribution to a successful game of cricket was quiet and unassuming.

As Richard put it “spectators go to watch the players, not the Umpires”.

We were delighted to present Richard with the Sheffield Cricket Lovers’ Society Ambassador of the Year award.

13th January 2014

What a great pleasure to welcome  back  Joe Sayers, former Yorkshire batsman. who announced his retirement from cricket only a week ago.

Joe outlined his decision to retire having seen that it was unlikely he would recover his place in the First X1 and did not feel that he wanted to move elsewhere. With a good University degree he felt it opportune to seek a career and had been able to secure a job in The City of London.

He had also recently completed his first book “Rose-tinted Summer” and was taking the opportunity to market  the book prior to taking up his new job in the City. The book, chronicling tales from the  Yorkshire  dressing room during the 2011 season , will be yet another to add to the ever expanding collection of books by ex Yorkshire Players.

Joe was clearly a little sad that he had felt it appropriate to retire but it was also clear that he has the aptitude to achieve success outside cricket and we all wished him well for the future.

Monday 2 December – Cally Barlow

A very warm welcome to Cally Barlow, wife of the late Eddie Barlow the former South African and Derbyshire player.

In a well prepared presentation Cally recalled many anecdotes of Eddie’s early career which she had not shared – they were not married until Eddie retired from playing to take up Coaching roles. Nevertheless she gave many examples of his determination to succeed despite not enjoying good eyesight!  He first realised that his eyesight was less than perfect when he ran his bike into the local police, both on his way to school and on the way home.

Cally spoke of his various coaching roles which continued even after suffering a stroke whist coaching Bangladesh.

Thereafter he coached using a wheelchair provided for him by the PCA. His last coaching role was in North Wales where he looked after the NE Wales Development Squads.

Eddie died of a brain haemorrhage in Jersey in December 2005 leaving Cally a widow.

Cally told us she was hoping to raise money from her talks to repay the PCA for funding his wheelchair.

An excellent evening’s entertainment by a very enthusiastic lady.

Wednesday 20 November – ECB Anti-Corruption Unit

This was certainly an evening with a difference. Our guests were, Chris Watts and Steve Richardson from the ECB Anti Corruption Squad. Both ex Metropolitan Police Officers who gave us a thorough insight into the efforts being made to eliminate corruption from the game of cricket. Using a video featuring Mervyn Westfield, a recently convicted Essex Player, they showed a video – made with the full co-operation of Mervyn – which will be shown to all players in the future to demonstrate the intention of the ECB to stamp out any future acts of corruption.

It was fascinating to learn that the 8 second delay which exists between the real on field action and the TV broadcast

from Sky satellite transmissions provides a real opportunity for the less scrupulous to place bets on what happens in the next delivery!

They made it quite clear that they were not a covert operation and their small team would be seen at as many matches as possible.  We were the first Group to see the video but they assured us that it would be seen by every first class player in the coming season.

A fascinating evening, we wished them well in their work with the ECB to stamp out any form of corruption in our game.

Monday 18 November – 150th Anniversary YCCC Celebration Dinner

The Annual Dinner of the Society was themed to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

Following a first class meal , Richard Barber, nephew of a former Yorkshire Captain,, proposed a most eloquent toast to the Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Mike Cowan, former Yorkshire bowler responded on behalf of the Club and was in excellent form with a fine response.

The Society Chairman then presented a print of the last match at Bramall Lane to Harry Gration MBE, now a Director of YCCC.

Harry responded with an update on the current situation at Yorkshire and impressed with his candour and expectations for the future.

The  formalities of the  evening rounded off with the presentation of the Stuart Goodwin Salver as Cricket Ambassador of the year to Elite Umpire, Richard Kettleborough, who had just returned from India where he had been standing in Sachin Tendulkar’s final Test Match.

The guests were then entertained by Yorkshire born comedian Mike Farrell.

This was a first class evening with many commenting that it was arguably one of our best dinners ever. A fine tribute to David Drabble and David Baldwin for a ‘top drawer’ evening.

Wednesday 6 November – Captain of Hampshire, Jimmy Adams

Jimmy Adams, Captain of Hampshire was our guest for this evening and began by telling us of his early days in cricket . His Twyford School cricket coach was Bob Stevenson, former Derbyshire player who had made a notable contribution to his early career. Jimmy progressed through the England Under 15’s and Under 19 World Cups

and made his debut for Hampshire in 2002 in which season he also captained the Loughborough University side.

He was justifiably proud of the successes that he has enjoyed with Hampshire, being specially pleased with  their 2009 Friends Provident Trophy win over Sussex .

This was an excellent presentation by an enthusiastic young captain who answered members questions with humour and honesty.  We all wish him well for the future.

Monday 28 October – Clive Radley MBE

A great pleasure to welcome Clive Radley MBE ,President of Middlesex County Cricket Club. Clive played in over 550 First Class or Middlesex and in over 400 One day games. He

was selected for 8 Test Matches, averaging 48 with a top score of 158. He told of his Test career being cut short when he was struck on the head in the first match of the 1978-79 tour of Australia. He was proud to tell us that he was one o the few cricketers to make a One Day Century in his last international game against New Zealand.

He retired at the end of the 1987 season becoming 2nd X1 coach at Middlesex. He was appointed MCC head coach in 1991 succeeding Don Wilson. He obviously enjoyed this role which he held until retiring in 2009.

Clive was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 2008 New Year’s Honours for services to cricket and was clearly proud to have been elected as the 22nd President of Middlesex CCC in April 2013.

A thorough gentleman and great entertainment for yet another full house.

Thursday 24 October – Stuart Linnell MBE

What a great delight to welcome back to Sheffield a Society member of long standing Stuart Linnell MBE.

Stuart, a freelance broadcaster presents the weekday breakfast show on BBC Northamptonshire and does weekend work for BBC Coventry & Warwickshire.

He started his Radio career in Sheffield with one of the first

Commercial Radio stations, Radio Hallam.

He amused us with some very interesting anecdotes from his Radio Hallam days, particularly reviving memories for many of us with his tales of the legendary Roger Moffat… a law unto himself in the early days of commercial radio.

With over 35 years experience in radio and television he was rewarded with an MBE for services to broadcasting in the 1996 New Year’s Honours’ list. His ability to entertain was self evident and his interest in cricket and soccer brought some interesting answers in the Q & A session.

Great turnout for the evening and enjoyed by all present.

Monday 14 October 2013 – Dave Callaghan

Again as in past years our guest speaker was Dave Callaghan a well known and respected commentator of

all Yorkshire matches. He began by going over the season match by match and how Yorkshire in their first season back in the 1st Division of the Championship finished a very creditable second. He dealt with individual players and their effect on the team, with a good Captain and team spirit.

He also covered England’s successful season with particular emphasis on the part played by the Yorkshire members, Jonny Bairstow, Tim Bresnan and Joe Root.

Following his personal predictions for the forthcoming Ashes tour and Yorkshire 2014, he answered all questions with authority.

Another most enjoyable and informative meeting.

 Monday 30 September – Mark Arthur, Chief Executive Yorkshire CCC

The indoor season opened with the newly appointed Chief Executive of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Mark Arthur,

As guest speaker. He gave a detailed and informative talk on his career to date and his appointment with Yorkshire. He gave an insight into his aims for Yorkshire Cricket both in improvement in the forthcoming season and in the future,

Ably assisted by his colleague Andy Dawson he gave concise answers to the many and varied questions thrown at him by members.


A delightful evening where the future of Yorkshire Cricket appeared to be in good hands.


This report by Peter Mason


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