Brymbo Legends Interviews
Life-long member and player for BCC with a career that spanned 42 years.
Club captain in the early 90’s and Denbighshire CCC (player and captain), North Wales, Wales Minor Counties, Wales, Civil Service, Shropshire CB Over 50’s and Shropshire CB Over 60’s
Best player ever played with and against:
With: Lots of BCC and Denbighshire players to choose from but, given his playing record, Nigel Roberts – a top batsman, very good bowler (medium quick and spin) and a good fielder.
Against: David Jones (St Asaph/Colwyn Bay/Marchwiel) – a top batsman and an excellent fielder.
Alan Jones was a master tactician, and was respected for his cricket knowledge throughout Wales
With: I did keep-wicket, for one game, to Dennis Lillee (Australia) but my number one seam bowler was Nigel Owen. In his early days with the club Nigel was feared and respected by all opponents.
Ross Roberts also deserves a mention for his accuracy – a wicket-keepers dream.
Against: Locally, Keith Phillips (Marchwiel/Chirk), Arwel Morris and Ian Carson (Marchwiel), Glyn Gibbons (Colwyn Bay) and DWA (Tony) Jones (Bangor) were the best five that I played against. Keith was a very accurate bowler, Arwel and Tony were deceptively sharp bowlers who also didn’t bowl many loose balls, while Carson (a left-armer) was always difficult to bat against.
With: At the start of my wicket-keeping career I had a telepathic partnership with Dilwyn Roberts; JDR, as I used to call him, was a magician with the ball.
Vic Williams, Brian Smith, Mark Jones, John Edwards and Russell Penrhyn-Jones all bowled with a nagging accuracy and were also fine bowlers.
Against: Bill Clutterbuck (Bangor), John Newcombe (Marchwiel) and Stan Edwards (St Asaph) were regular wicket-takers for their clubs when we played against them in my early years, so they’re the ones that spring to mind. Gerwyn Edwards (Gorseinon/Wales) was also a very fine left-armer.
With: BCC, at their peak, were fortunate to have three very good spinners in Nigel, Alan and Stewart Williams – these three were key players in many of the matches won. Before them, Chris Thomas, a slow left armer, was also a very enjoyable bowler to watch and to keep to.
Against: Rene Clayton (Llandudno/Colwyn Bay) and John Bell (Marchwiel) were very good wrist spinners who had a good variety of deliveries. Gareth Edwards (Ruthin), Tomos Evison (Bangor) and Keith Madeley (Bangor/St Asaph) were the best off-spinners that I played against.
With: David Williams and Shaun Roberts were the fastest BCC bowlers that I kept to and, on his day, Nick Jones was a handful too.
Against: Collis King (Pontblyddyn) and Curtly Ambrose (Caribbean Connection, Chester) both West Indies Test players, and Keith Arnold (Oxfordshire) were the quickest bowlers that I faced.
I also played against Alan Donald (Warwickshire and South Africa), Ricardo Elcock (Worcester and England) and Geoff Lawson (NSW and Australia) – happily, I was captain for all three of these games, so I avoided batting against them !!
With: Nige Roberts, followed closely by Mark Jones – both hard hitting left handers, very good to watch and easy to bat with. Their batting partners just needed to get a single to give them the bowling, and then just spectated from the non-strikers end.
Tim Evans and Stewart Williams were also top performers.
Against: David Jones, Steve Wundke and Steve Crawley (Marchwiel) were all players who we liked to get out early, before they could cause too much damage !!
With: Robbie Blackwell was very good standing-up to the wicket and he always played the game in the right spirit
Against: Reg Large (Colwyn Bay) was a fine wicket-keeper, as were John and Chris Edwards (both Marchwiel)
The Big Hitter:
For BCC a close one between Nige and Ross Roberts, but I’ll go with Ross who used to hit the ball a very very long way. Opponents who we were always wary of were Steve Barrett (Marchwiel) and John Parry (Llay), but the biggest six I’ve seen hit at The Crick was hit by a Tasmanian named Scott Hookey who hit the ball to the far side of the bowling green from the middle of the cricket square !!
Stewart Williams – a good slip catcher, consistent with both bat and ball, and a real fighter and match-winner when the chips were down….
At their peak, both BCC and Denbighshire CCC were fantastic fielding sides who didn’t drop many catches – if pushed to name the best I’d choose Mark Jones
Ross Roberts and Mark Jones both had long, fast and accurate throws – Mark regularly threw for run-outs at the stumps at the bowlers end, and sent an umpire or two to the ground having hit them on the shins…..
Mark, Ross and John Walter Lloyd for BCC, David Jones, Gareth Davies (Mochdre) and Andy Puddle (Colwyn Bay) – all brilliant fielders
Best No 11:
Nigel Owen was always nervous when he had to bat, as was the batsman the other end - Nigel was probably one of the worst runners between the wicket that’s been seen !!
A close thing between Nigel Owen and ‘our’ Ross – there was/is never a dull moment when they were around… The picture of Ross on BCC’s First Taunton Tour in 1984, with a bedspread wrapped round him pretending to be Julius Caesar while playing an ornamental brass trumpet that he‘d removed off the hotel wall, lives long in the memory.
Marchwiel: up to the early 90’s our games with them were always enjoyably competitive - Steve Wundke, Steve Crawley and David Jones were three of the stand-out players for the ‘old enemy’
My father Cliff who was a top batsman and, more importantly, set the example of a gentleman cricketer for us all to follow.
Proudest Cricketing Achievement:
I was very proud and privileged to have played in the same Brymbo CC team with my dad and two older brothers, but being part of the Wales 1979 ICC Trophy Squad was probably the highlight along with playing for Wales against Queensland (in 1978) and Ireland (in 1979)
Best Innings (most memorable):
My highest league score for BCC - 120 at St Asaph in 1979 (I opened the batting and was caught one-handed on the boundary in the 26th over)
Favourite Bowling Spell:
Not many to choose from!! I did bowl for Denbighshire Colts on a Yorkshire Tour – a spell that didn’t last too long, but I did get a wicket…
146 not out for BCC at Rush CC (Eoin Morgan’s first club in Ireland) on a BCC tour, and I made 112 for Denbighshire CCC in a Welsh Brewers KO game in 1989.
Stand Out Memories:
Being named man-of-the match in the 1979 Denbighshire KO Final victory against Colwyn Bay, having scored 68 and 39 not out
Hitting twelve from the first five balls of the last over to win the Boughton Hall KO Final v Chester Cathedral in 1981 (batting with a very young John Shone)
Our four Welsh Cup Final Victories.
In the period between 1981 and 1986 my job took me to London and, even though I was still playing occasionally for Brymbo, this interlude probably restricted some of my potentially best cricket playing years
Lots to choose from but, most recently, James Claybrook and David Lloyd (who, as a family, we are very proud of)
Three most important qualities that make a cricketer stand out:
Knowledge of our game and of the players who play it
A never give-up attitude