Brymbo Legends Interviews
I was introduced to Cricket by my Father when I was around 6 years old. He loved Cricket and used to play for Brymbo in the 70’s. When I was around 8 he took me up to the Crick to watch some games and I was hooked. A year later, I joined the Under 11’s with “Goffers” Geoff Lloyd as my coach. I started playing for the 2s when I was 12 and by the time, I was 15 I was playing for the 1s, alongside the likes of Nige, Stew Wills, Mark Jones, Ross, Phil Lloyd, Russ Penrhyn, Alan and Nick Jones. I’ve won the North Wales League four times, the Welsh Intermediate Cup and represented Denbighshire Colts, Denbighshire Men's and North Wales Men’s teams. I finished playing in 2007, as I fell out of love for the game, mainly because of the rule changes in the North Wales League. I returned in 2016 and have really enjoyed my time back at the club.
Best player ever played with and against:
With: Tough one, as I’ve played with a number of fantastic players, but I will have to say Nige Roberts. I could have said Mark Jones, Phill Lloyd, Stewart Williams, but as someone who could it all, it had to be Nige. His record was phenomenal. He would give man of the match performances most weeks, whether with the bat, ball or both.
Against: Glen Chambers. I played with Glen at Brymbo when I first played for the 1s. However, it wasn’t until a few years later when he was at Pont that I released how good of a player her was. He was/is highly competitive, an excellent batsman and a very good bowler.
Easy, my first captain at Brymbo, Alan Jones. Alan new what the batsman were going to do, before they did. Even if he hadn't seen a batsman before, he would only need to see them face a few balls and he could work out how to get them out. Different Gravy
With: Mark Jones. Mark didn’t bowl as much as he should have, but when he did, he was class. He could move the ball both ways off the seam, always making the batsman play. I remember a hattrick he got in the early 00s down at the Pont. Quality spell of bowling
Against: Rhys Jones. Not the quickest, but very accurate. A wicket to wicket bowler. If you miss, he hits.
With: Mr Cricket – Dan Parry, the king of swingers. Dan is a highly skilled opening swing bowler. Very rarely do you see batsman getting the best of him. His stock ball is the away swinger to the right-hander, but then he will throw in the in swinger, which at times is unplayable. I would have Dan in any of the teams I have played in.
Against: Toughest I faced was Rich Lewis from Abergele. I only tended to play against Rich in the Denbighshire Knock outs as Abergele were a few leagues below us. He wasn’t the quickest, but facing him at the open field in Abergele, when he was bowling big in swingers was very difficult. What didn’t help things was his action, very much like the South African spin bowler Paul Adams.... Frog in a blender comes to mind!
With: Nige Roberts. He was a very clever spin bowler. He could tie an end up or be attacking. He was able to bowl orthodox right arm off spin, bowl the arm ball, the doosra, he had a quicker ball that tended to be a Yorker and even created his own delivery.
Against: I’ve not faced many genuine good spin bowlers; however, I do remember being on a Denbighshire Colts tour to Leeds back in around 2000 and was bamboozled by a young leg spinner...... I wasn’t the only one. Turned out it was a 12-year-old Adil Rashid.
With: Ben Roberts. If he could channel his aggression, he would be even better than he is.
Against: Kerry Walmsley for Bangor, New Zealand International. It didn’t help that Phil Pugh and I were hungover from the night before when we were facing him, but he was very good.
With: I could have chosen Mark Jones as he was different class, but I have to go with Nige Roberts. I only started playing with Nige when he was about 40, so missed his “peak” years, however, he was still ridiculously good. He was so clever at building an innings and changing the tempo of his innings, knowing when to accelerate and when to give respect to the bowlers. It was a pleasure to bat with him; however, it was a nightmare when you were at the non-strikers end, in case he bludgeoned one right at you.
Against: Andy Puddle. I remember playing against Andy in my early years in a Denbighshire knock out at Colwyn Bay. He played such a clever innings. He wasn’t smashing boundaries, but manipulating the field, picking up ones, twos and threes with the occasion boundary. A class player.
With: Very very tough one. I have been asked this question a lot of times in the last few years. It’s an extremely close call between two excellent keepers. Both have fantastic hands, can stand up to quick bowlers, can also bat, but I am going to go with Phil Lloyd, a “nose” ahead of Greg King. Lloydy could get a batsman out by just chatting to them at the crease. How’s your day, how’s your wife, how’s the knee...... oops, there's your leg stump. Not too far behind was Robbie Blackwell, who was also a very good wicket keeper.
Against: Brian Williams, Mold, Pont and Colwyn Bay. Very good wicket keeper, with Lightening quick hands and an excellent batsman.
The Big Hitter:
This would be between the Roberts Brothers, Nige and Ross, but I will just side with Ross. I remember a game up at the Crick when they were both in bat together having what seemed to be a six competition... who could hit it the furthest over the main road to Tanyfron. Plus, Ross gets it for his legendary one-handed sixes over deep mid-wicket.
Stew Williams. Very consistent. Stew used to open the batting with Mark Jones and had a formidable partnership together. Stew was a different type of player to Mark. He didn’t go out attacking the opening bowlers, he was more of a Joe Root type player, who would accumulate runs week after week. Stew was also an accomplished spin bowler getting lots of wickets each season.
Russell Penrhyn – Best include him otherwise he will only sulk! Only kidding (kind of). Russ was an excellent fielder who I looked up to when I first starting playing for the 1s. I learned so much from him in the field and I don’t remember him dropping a catch.
Split three ways, between Ross, Mark and young Connor Davies. All three would fizz the balls into the keeper from anywhere on the pitch and they were all extremely accurate.
Lots of very good fielders. Mentions go to Phil Pugh, Gaz Pugh and Russell Penrhyn who were/are extremely good, but mine goes to Mr Cricket himself Dan Parry. Close in or on the boundary, very little gets past Dan. He’s got an excellent arm and a very safe pair of hands.
Best No 11:
Not sure…. I’ll go with Ali Khalid
Russell Penrhyn, Phil Pugh and Gaz Pugh. Tomatoes and Pickled onions in your teas
Rhys Jones – Pont. Never gave you an inch, played hard and a very good bowler. Always gave a little stair and muttered the odd “words” when bowling against you. Top bloke as well
Apart from my Dad - Jack Purdie, I would say the Little Master Sachin Tendulkar. Watching him play just made we want to go out and bat and score runs.
Proudest Cricketing Achievement:
A number of proud moments, from my first 100, to getting to play with my Dad, but I’d probably say, been given an old school Brymbo ‘baggy’cap by Phil Lloyd. Phil was (still is) a legend of Brymbo Cricket Club and someone who I highly respected and so it felt like an honor. Phil gave me the cap when I was about 18 and it made me feel like I belonged in that team. I’ve still got the cap and wear it with pride (when I’m not injured).
Best Innings (most memorable):
95* against Llay in the Semi-Final of the Welsh Intermediate Cup at Brymbo. We needed around 40 runs in 10 overs, but we were losing wickets. We won the game with an over to spare with only one wicket remaining.
Favourite Bowling Spell:
We played Marchweil in the mid 00’s and they were chasing an under-par score. Suddenly they were around 85 for 6 and decided to shut up shop (in the days of winning and losing draws). Nige was captain and was getting bored and so asked me to come on to bowl left-arm spin (I’m right-handed). I bowled 5 overs for not many runs, got the pro out and nearly got a young Jamie Griffiths out.
128 vs Mold (a) League Match. 169* in a touring game at the Crick when I was 19
Best Bowling Spell:
Haven’t bowled that much, so would say the 5 over spell at Marchweil.
Stand Out Memories:
Scoring my first 100. My first Brymbo Tour - Blackpool 1996, which was an eye-opener. Every Cricket tour to Dublin and being able to play Cricket with my Dad for Brymbo.
Probably stopping playing in 2007, but it felt right at the time.
Sam Aplin. Not seen too much of Sam, but what I have seen I’ve been very impressed with. Excellent attitude, very good technique and keen to learn.
Three most important qualities that make a cricketer stand out:
Attitude, belief and Team Work