Brymbo Legends Interviews
Nobody played club cricket in the family, although we all followed the sport. The nearest club to where I lived was Wrexham so I was a junior there until I was 13 when I couldn’t get a game. I was ready to forget about playing, but my brother Phil had started playing for Gresford and he suggested I went to winter nets. Had a hit and Owain Bale who was 1st team captain asked if I wanted a go in the 2nds. I stayed there for 4 years and won the North Wales League Division 1 in my last year, playing alongside my brother.
Moved to Brymbo in 1986 and stayed for 25 years when I decided to ‘retire’. We won the Welsh Cup 3 times and were finalists a further 3 times. We won the league on many occasions and multiple Midweek knock-out competitions.
I played for Denbighshire over 100 times and Wales Minor Counties.
Having got on my wife’s nerves for 4 summers, I made a comeback in 2016 playing for my local club Mochdre and You can guess where I made my debut!!
Best player ever played with and against:
With: Nigel Roberts - The big man’s stats speak for themselves, but he was consistently a match-winner both with bat and ball. His power and dominance was incredible but what people fail to appreciate was how good his defence was
Against: Andy Flower - He played for half a season as a pro for Bangor when at the time he was ranked as no.1 in the world. He rocked up at Brymbo on a flat track with the sun and his batting was remarkable. He just toyed with us and placed the ball exactly where he wanted. Oh, I should say that I dropped him on 2 off my own bowling, he went on to score 90* and win the game for Bangor- still hate it now when a batsman smashes the ball back at me.
Alan Jones - Alan had an unbelievable instinct of knowing what a batsman was going to do before he knew himself. Simply the best cricketing brain I ever came across
With: Nigel Owen - he joined at the same time as me and whilst towards the end of career was consistently accurate and suited our game plan perfectly. The comedy value with Nigel made Saturday’s pass brilliantly
Against: Gerwyn Edwards - played with him for Wales and against for Gowerton and Gorseinion. Left arm over, bowled a very accurate line and length and never bowled a bad ball.
In more recent times, Jack Rimmington at Llandudno has developed in a very reliable performer.
With: Gareth Davies(Mochdre) - Gogsy is still swinging his deliveries miles even now. A consistent and reliable performer who was very under-rated.
Against: Melville - I think his name was- He was an Australian, played for Cardiff against us in the Welsh Cup. Bowled with good speed but swung it late as well
With: Alan - didn’t really turn the ball but flighted it beautifully, as well as getting the umpire on his side
Against: Jon O’Brien (Oxton, Bootle and Cheshire) - played against him a couple of times, once on a flat track when he was a difficult proposition due to his skill levels. I then played against him at Marchwiel in a President’s day game, the wicket wasn’t the best and I couldn’t lay a bat on him
With: Never played with an out and out quick apart from David Williams who was rapid. I really enjoyed facing him on matting in the nets when we both played at Gresford.
Against: Keith Arnold (Oxfordshire) - bowled me for a 3rd ball duck with an inswinging Yorker which I never even saw
With: Mark Jones/Nigel Roberts - impossible to split. I loved opening the batting with Jonesey. Not only did he score quickly enough for both of us, but we use to run really well together. Without doubt the most natural cricketer I ever saw. He stopped playing far too soon.
Against: Andy Flower/Ricky Needham (St.Fagans) - Needham single-handedly won a Welsh Cup semi at Brymbo. He scored a double hundred as they chased down 280 and got there in 38 overs!! The only batsman I have ever seen who could match Nige for power.
With: Phil Lloyd - Both Greg and Robbie would push Phil close but he was outstanding standing up to the wicket and would talk a batsman out.
Against: Brian Williams(Mold) - fantastic hands and like Lloydy would stand up to the wicket for any bowler.
The Big Hitter: Ross Roberts
Ross would hit the ball miles and in an unorthodox manner. The amount of sixes over cover point was awesome. Life was never dull when Ross was about as well-good to see him still playing as well.
My brother Phil Williams, he opened the bowling for Gresford for years and you could count the number of bad balls he bowled on the fingers of one hand. Apart from family loyalty = Glenn Chambers(Pont), both with bat and ball. At his peak, he was Mr Reliable for Pont. A real shame that he didn’t stay longer with us as I think he would have been even better
Nige - never saw him drop a catch
Mark - I thought I had a decent arm until I saw Mark’s, it was flat accurate and powerful
Andy Puddle(Colwyn Bay) - Andy was a good all-round fielder-excellent hands, quick and a decent arm. You never took liberties with him
Best No 11: Nigel Owen
The sight of Nigel raising his bat to us in the pavilion when he scored his first run for Brymbo was brilliant.
Biggest Joker: Nigel Owen
The way he acted was hilarious. He wound opponents up by humour and was great company off the field, some of things he did make me laugh even now
Toughest Opponent: David Jones (Marchwiel)
Just a real competitor, he would not give you an inch, as well as being a really top player.
Inspiration: Family, Owain Bale at Gresford, Alan. Viv Richards
When I was growing up the support from my parents and my brother was immense and I would never had achieved anything if it hadn’t been for them.
Owain for giving me the opportunity to play adult cricket when I was on the brink of stopping.
Alan- for having faith in my ability even when I didn’t at times.
Finally- when I was a child I marvelled at how Viv Richards could hit the ball wherever he wanted
Proudest Cricketing Achievement:
simply being part of a wonderful group of men who were fantastic cricketers and good people
Best Innings (most memorable):
Most Memorable was my 53* in our 1st Welsh Cup Final win. We were under real pressure after losing the final the year before and were in trouble on a wicket which was difficult to score on.
However, my best innings in terms of quality was against St.Fagans in a Welsh Cup semi when I was captain, 77 off 71 balls.
Another one worth mentioning was 70 at Pontblyddyn on a shocker of a wicket against a decent attack. At the time we were neck and neck for the title with a couple of games to go and if we won the match we would more or less be certain of another title. Thankfully we came through with the ball and bowled them out for 68.
Favourite Bowling Spell:
7-64 v Flintshire at Llay in my last game for Denbighshire
156* v Wrexham
Stand Out Memories:
Too many to mention especially off the field!! For me though I loved the Welsh Cup and had a reasonable degree of success in it. There was nothing better than beating teams from South Wales.
Not many really, on a very personal level, it was a shame that my Dad didn’t live long enough to see me play to a decent standard. He wasn’t a cricketer, but would fully support me in anything I wanted to do. From a cricketing point of view, I had 3 separate opportunities to play at a higher level, but chose to stay at Brymbo. With the benefit of hindsight, I should have tested myself. On a lighter note, not being able to bat in my last game for the club as I was in the Maelor with a severely dislocated finger
John Parry’s son at Llay. A good all-rounder but what impressed me most was how cool-headed he was when he batted. In all fairness to Llay they appear to a number of good youngsters.
Three most important qualities that make a cricketer stand out:
1- Mental Strength, 2- Consistency, 3- Competitiveness