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Looking Back - My All Time XI by Stephen Hipgrave

In today’s walk down memory lane we move away from looking at past matches and speak to club stalwart, legend and current 2nd team captain Stephen Hipgrave who selects his all time Earby CC XI with players he has played with at the club since his debut as a teenager.


Stephen Hipgrave

Here is my best 11 players I have played cricket with at Earby CC and a team I think would be invincible.

I could have picked a few teams so I hope I don’t upset any one who hasn’t been picked.


1. Nigel Pickles

Nigel is the best amateur batsman I have played with. He got a 1000 league runs in the 1996 title winning season but on a sunny day if I lost the toss and was fielding first, I knew he wouldn’t  get any runs as he hated fielding in the heat.

2. Ian Clarkson

Destructive Left Handed batsman. He took the best professionals apart in both the Ribblesdale and Lancashire Leagues. Not the best fielder because of his Jeremy Beadle hands !! Invented the pissing dog shot !!


3. John Rainger (OA)

Typical Aussie, great competitor, winning mentality, great batsman and fielder. I remember when he came to see us at the club before he signed. He turned up in a Flasher Mac on a hot day, we thought what are we signing here? He turned out to be a fantastic cricketer and clubman and liked a drink as well !! He went on to marry Michael Wiseman’s daughter


4. Jonathon Harvey (Professional)

Fantastic all round professional and clubman who was professional when we won the Senior League in 1996.


It was a close decision with him & Manoj Parekh for the professional in my team.


Manoj was pro in the 1991 double league and cup winning season and not a lot of batsman took him apart. He used to bamboozle our local rivals Barnoldswick every game.


Other notable pros I have played with are Stephen Gee, David Halliwell, Malcolm Dennett and Ali Azmat

5. Paul Tilbury

Tilly was another fantastic all round cricketer on his day! Played hard on the field, but liked a drink after the game !!


6. Michael Chapple

Michael was another great all rounder, Right arm fast swing bowler & destructive middle order batsman. I remember him smashing 150 at Padiham and a quote from a reporter for the Burnley Express

“ His innings was boring, just kept hitting the bowling into the football field!! “


Hasten to add they were landing past the half way line!!


7. Michael Wiseman (WK)

Michael was a great wicketkeeper batsman and what a competitor he was.


Other great keepers include John Gibb, Brian Thompson (couldn’t leave my father in law out!! ) Richard Madden & Chris Walton


8. Glen Chapple

Always knew he was going to make it as a cricketer, from an early age. Obviously we didn’t see the best of him, that came later at County level. Right arm fast bowler & he could bat. Should have played for England !!


9. Craig Wear

Craig was a fantastic fielder, he could save 30 runs a game with his fielding and catching. Capable batsman & a quick bowler and when he got it right he was sharp & effective.

10. Glyn Sedman

Seddie was a right arm medium pace swing and seam bowler and to be fair was a competent number 10 or 11 batter.


Great memories of the send off he gave Barnoldswick professional James Peterson. Peterson got told by his team mates, that Seddie only bowled in swing, fatal !! 2 in swing balls & then the leg cutter which got him out !!

11. Colin Madden

Now he could bowl but couldn’t bat. He was the clubman every cub needs, 1st X1 captain,  then 2nd X1 captain & then 3rd X1 captain. He brought so many young players through to the first team . Once he retired he later became groundsman at the club.

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