AN EVENING WITH A CRICKET HERO
David Steele, cricket hero of 1975, was our guest on Friday Nov 10. His exploits in defying the Aussie pace attack of Lillee and Thomson, made him a national celebrity and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 1975.
Thommo was the fastest bowler he faced. Often plagued by no balls he had Steele caught behind off successive no balls in one match. Despite the speed Steele batted with little other than basic body protection, and he joked about others in the team who had padding all over their bodies. He did not rate Brian Closes’ tactic of allowing the West Indies quicks to repeatedly hit him.
The bravery required to face genuine pace on uncovered wickets was illustrated by a superb recollection of facing Andy Roberts, Malcolm Marshall and co on a damp track in Derby. Steele went to the wicket as they carried off the opener Barry Wood, felled by a ball that had risen off a length to strike him on the temple. Talent counts for a lot, but with no helmet and little protection, to bat in those circumstances required much more. To succeed at cricket ultimately requires bags of bravery.
Of his county colleagues, Colin Milburn was the outrageously talented superstar. Ill-disciplined, not a fan of practice, he could arrive late and be batting fifteen minutes later, and still hit the bowlers all over the ground. It was a talent tragically lost too early after he lost an eye in a car smash, and died a couple of years later. Bishan Bedi and Mushtaq Muhammed were Northants spin kings. He recalled Tony Greig’s jibe to Mushtaq, that “his bowling would give Sussex victory” in a match were Sussex only needed 35 with 7 wickets left. Mushtaq was the agent of victory, but astonishingly for his own team, as he skittled the Sussex team.
Steele was and is a total cricket man. Immersed and experienced in the game at every level, including local league cricket, he talked affectionately of men like George Tribe and Ces Pepper, and his uncle Stan Crump, who was pro for Oldham. The same word, affection, would appropriately describe his feelings for one of the international game’s great artists, Tom Graveney.
Space doesn’t allow for further anecdotes, other than his gloriously dramatic advice to all batsmen – “That the top hand brings life, but the bottom brings death”. Amen to that.
Two practice sessions have been booked for our under 9s and 11s on Sunday Nov 12 and 19th at the Millenium Centre on Featherstall Rd.
They run from 10.30 to 12 noon.
THE GLODWICK ROLLER APPEAL
Gordon Whitehead and Neil Williams have joined forces to raise funds to replace the clubs vintage roller.
In celebration of reaching their 70th years they are doing a sponsored 70/70, i.e. a 70 km bike ride and a 70 length swim.
New rollers don't come cheap, ranging from £8k to £10k. Even a refurbished machine could cost around £5k. So they hope that lots of friends and supporters of the club will give their support. You can donate at
The present roller has given great service, but its 51 years old, difficult to start, and it looks and behaves its age
3 Old Bangers with some newer models