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So much from so many

During the last few months when there should have been cricket - under normal circumstances there’d be a great deal to report.

Unfortunately, the corona virus has affected everyone’s lives – and whilst respecting the gravity of the situation it is fair to say also that most fans of sport have missed it enormously and want some form of competitiveness back as soon as it is deemed to be safe.

The Cleck’ website is grateful to so many individuals from both inside and outside of the Club, who have contributed some brilliant articles.

There are numerous contributions that can be found in the archive section and currently on the Home Page former footballer Keith Hanvey and Cleck’s ex opening batsman Tim Jackson have been kind enough to write their thoughts.

Over the weekend Mark Robinson will put forward his own take on his recollections of Cleck. Mark’s son Joe was with the Club from the age of nine and he won two Title medals – whilst Mark has been supportive off-the-field in an enormous way for well over two decades.

Overseas interest in website

Although the Club cannot boast any more than a fraction of people viewing our website compared to the Bradford League for example – there is a great deal of interest from abroad as well as in the United Kingdom.

So called ‘hits’ are registered from such countries as: The United States, Japan, Australia, Pakistan the United Emirates and many European countries.

It could be that the interest is from Cleck’ followers that may be overseas working or on holiday but if anyone is a permanent resident abroad and interested and willing to let the Club know their status and perhaps a story of how they’re associated to the Club it would make fascinating reading!

Please e-mail: k_mitchell3@sky.com

There is interest in the Club's website from the USA

Former footballer was close to a cricket career!

Anyone of a certain age may recall Keith Hanvey as a strapping central defender who, between 1971 and 1985 played for Manchester City, Swansea City, Rochdale, where he had two spells making 121 appearances as well as 205 appearances for Huddersfield Town and he represented Grimsby Town also.

When Keith quit playing, he became successful behind the scenes for Bradford City, Huddersfield Town and Leeds United – indeed he played a major role in establishing what is now called The John Smith’s stadium at Huddersfield.

The 68-year-old with entrepreneurial notions has developed an events business – and yet, despite being renowned as a football man, Keith loved cricket and as a young man he excelled as an all-rounder. As Keith revealed as a teenager, he had a dilemma – football or cricket and he admitted there was little to choose in the sports when he was a teenager:

“Cricket always ranked similar to Football in my younger days and really seemed a similar period then about six months each.

As soon as the Football season ended couldn’t wait to see the cricket wicket being prepared on the school field. Also, the kids of the area changed the coats for goals to wooden boxes for the wickets.

Every night we were playing cricket or football in the streets or local park.

I grew up in Newton Heath, Manchester which was home to Manchester United FC originally and had a local Cricket Club which had former footballers playing for them. Names such as Roy Cheetham (City), Alec Dawson (Utd), Nobby Lawton (PNE), David Herd (Utd) to name a few.

I played cricket for my school Briscoe Lane and in my last year there U-11s we won both the most prestige Junior trophies in Manchester. At that time, I was Captain and used to get five fors’ often and knock quite a few quick runs. A bit of a swing bowler in today’s terms mainly away swing.

Luckily, I was chosen for Manchester Boys U-11s several times and a highlight was getting a hat-trick against Accrington and the late great Lancashire and England fast bowler Brian Statham presenting me with the ball!!

Brian Statham and Yorkshire's Freddie Trueman (fiery Fred) bowled in tandem for England and as a young up and coming bowler, Keith was privileged to receive the match ball from the legendary Lancashire fast bowler after achieving a hat-trick

Weirdly I remember playing on red shale wickets quite a few times in the school leagues where they actually swept the wicket! It also contributed to my first broken nose as a ball reared up. No elf and safety then.

Playing at Old Trafford for Manchester Boys was another highlight and knocking 17 not out. Can’t remember my bowling figures so they must not have been great.

On to senior school and fortunately the school played cricket and I continued doing pretty well alongside being chosen for net practice at Manchester Boys nets in South Manchester once a week.

As I approached 15/16 years old and playing cricket for the school Brookdale Park and Manchester Boys, I approached a dilemma period as I was also reasonable at Football. I had also training at Manchester City on Tuesday and Thursdays and the crossover period between Football and Cricket had reduced. Football was taking about 8/9 months of the year.

I also had to play for the School football team and a local amateur side so as I took my exams for GSEs my time became very precious. Decisions had to be taken and I decided to go the football route and cricket took a decided back seat.

I feel I was better at cricket relatively and as I had trials for Lancashire ground staff it was a very difficult decision.

In the end I signed professionally for football at Manchester City despite having chatted to Don Revie about joining Leeds United. Manchester City had Joe Mercer and Malcolm Alison so again such a difficult decision.

Within six weeks of signing professional I made my City debut in the Texaco Cup and was sub for the game v Everton the following Saturday. On the Tuesday I played in the reserves at Newcastle Utd and within 30 minutes I had broken my thigh.

Keith enjoyed a distinguished playing career but off-the-field he became equally successful

Such are the highs and lows of careers and it then took me over two years to recover although I knew I was never the same.

I now love watching England cricket and actually filled a few nights in lockdown watching re runs of great England games.

I do unfortunately feel the sporting system and weather in this country will reduce the amount of kids playing cricket which is a big shame as it gave me many very happy years and gives kids a team bonding ethic and responsibility which is sadly lacking in the youth today.”

Still going strong at the age of 68, Keith Hanvey is a genuine sports fan whether it be his beloved football or cricket

Jacko’s enjoyed ‘lockdown’!

Tim Jackson was a successful and popular opening batsman at Cleck’ for several years and whilst it was a shame to lose his services to Woodlands, he’s achieved deserved success at Albert Terrace and he and his family are always made to feel welcome on their visits to Moorend.

Jacko’ has kindly put forward the following words for Cleck’s website:

"To be perfectly honest and without wishing to sound disrespectful to the large number of people who have found the last few months particularly tough, personally I have quite enjoyed lockdown. The slower pace of life, time I have been lucky enough to have off work/working from home and in some ways a break from cricket have all been appreciated.

On the other hand, it is however, hard to watch the tragic loss of life and sadness this virus has brought to so many families not just in this country but what continues to be worldwide. What I have witnessed closer to home is friends without any income and my partner and auntie who have both likely had the virus to the point of calling the emergency services. It is these more personal experiences that remind you of the seriousness of this pandemic which it is often forgotten when seeing so many people behaving carelessly. It is apparent when visiting supermarkets, local parks or anywhere outside of your home that people have long become tired of lockdown and have little regard for social distancing measures. I must admit though that it is virtually impossible to avoid all risk and it has been hard for all I think not to have regular contact with friends and family.

Personally, I am very fortunate to have a home with a garden that I have enjoyed working on in lockdown. I can't imagine what it has been like for people stuck in a one bedroom flat (particularly in a big city like London). The weather has also made a huge difference. Perhaps typically with no cricket I think this must have been the best spring and summer so far, we have had in decades. Without the sunshine though (and with the weather not being at its best the last few days) I think we are all getting a flavour of what it would have been like in lockdown should it have been miserable outside. The weather has been a blessing.

I have really missed sport in general not just cricket. The lack of cricket on TV, golf and football in particular which I enjoy watching in the pubs on Saturday's (when not playing cricket) has been a perhaps sad but significant loss in recent months. I enjoy meeting up with friends, sneaking in a few pints and having a cheeky bet which gives me some excitement and pleasure in what can be repetitive week at work. Now that golf courses have reopened there is no excuse for me to get out of the house and improve my game that does need a lot of work! We have also just started a feast of football that has recently returned so I really have very little to complain about.

As far as cricket is concerned, I have however, enjoyed keeping up to date with the Bradford League website and the team of the decade has particularly caused some debate. I was tempted to enter my side, but then again, I couldn't bring myself to actually write some of the Pudsey St Lawrence names on my team sheet - so I didn't bother!

Jacko' seen batting for Woodlands against Cleck'

Whilst I comment above about having quite enjoyed a break from cricket, in other ways I have of course missed the competitive nature of the Bradford League and in particular the lads I play with and against. Cricket provides some purpose and structure for me in the summer months and after last season’s double success I was looking forward to repeating that challenge with Woodlands this season.

Having kept the same side as last year including overseas Brad Schmulian I was hoping we might go one further this year and win at Headingley (something that still niggles me now).

There are a number of senior players in our side myself included that can't go on forever and have lost one of their last few years of being able to compete at the top level of amateur cricket.

I am particularly sad for those players even closer to retirement who may have only had this year’s campaign left in them and may be bowing out in dismal circumstances. It seems highly unlikely that any competitive cricket will be played this year and that the possibility of a couple of friendlies or inter-club games remains a glimmer of light. Having had a year out from cricket in my late teens I do feel this will make myself and others even more determined and appreciative of the game next season. As a result, I think the competition could be particularly strong in 2021 as sides will be even more hungry for success.

I do hope that Clubs have managed to survive this year in difficult circumstances which will have clearly put a real strain on finances, facilities and other resources. Let's hope cricket can return safely as soon as possible.

Wishing everyone at Cleck and all associated with the league all the very best."

Jacko' was a major influence in Cleck's back-to-back Championship victories - he's seen on the front row to the far right

Cleck’ ready for business!

Saturday July 4th witnesses the Sports Club re-opening its doors.

Sports Club Chairman Matthew Stephenson commented: “Everyone at the Club is working hard to ensure we can deliver a safe and enjoyable experience for our members when we open on Saturday, to our members of the CSC community.

Our opening times will be limited and we will expand these as time goes on.

Initially, they will be: Friday 4pm until 9pm – Saturday 2pm until 10pm and Sunday 2pm until 6pm.

Closing times may vary depending on how busy we are!”

Things are close to returning back to normality but members have to be responsible and show the respect the bar staff deserves.

Thoughts of Bar Manager Bethan and staff pulling pints is welcomed by members

Visit also www.cleckheatoncricketclub.com

Bob Speight has made sure that for many years there are updated facts, figures and some brilliant photographs and history surrounding Cleckheaton CC.

Secretary Antony Lee has very kindly taken over Bob's role and his details are as follows;

Home address;

Holme Bank, Stunsteads Road, Cleckheaton BD19 3DA

Mobile; 07837136744

e-mail; secretarycleckcc@gmail.com

Antony Lee is Cleck's dedicated Secretary

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