As it turns out, Pete B’s not the only one making star media appearances……
The following article appeared in the Tizer on April 22nd, penned by Mike Robinson, former Cae Glas player.
ONE Sunday morning in August 1968 two suspicious-looking characters approached the back door of the Punch Bowl Inn at West Felton, where my dad was landlord.
My mum went to see what they were up to, and she came back in with the message that it was me they wanted. It turned out – ironically in view of my future career – that they were both journalists. “Would you like a game of cricket for Cae Glas this afternoon?” asked the shorter of the two men, Laurie Mansbridge – at that time, chief reporter on the Advertizer. “We hear you’re a fast bowler,” said the other, Phil Llewellyn – a former
Tizer man, who by now was one of the leading motoring writers in the country. “That’s right,” I replied. It was a blatant lie, because I was a wicketkeeper at school. But if it was a fast bowler they wanted, that’s what they’d get. Deep down, I’d always fancied myself as the next Fred Trueman. Thus began an unforgettable six year career for me with Cae Glas, then and now one of the friendliest cricket clubs you will ever come across. In
1973, at the age of 21, I was elected captain of the team – something I still look back on as a huge honour.
It was in May 1973 that another youngster made his Cae Glas debut. At the age of 14, a nervous Andy Griffiths strode out to the crease at Overton to face a bowler, Keith Fowles, who had taken wickets with his previous two deliveries. “I managed to prevent the hat-trick by cracking the ball against silly midoff’s shin,” said Andy. “But I had a big swing at the next ball and was stumped!”
This Saturday Andy will line up for Cae Glas in their opening fixture against Beacon in Division Two of the Shropshire League, embarking on his 42nd season as a player with the club which has meant much to him over the years.
After spending most of his adult life as a committee member – he was still in school when first voted on as players’representative – Andy is now club chairman. And with First and Second XIs both winning promotion in their respective divisions last season, the future looks bright for the club which since 1976 has staged its home games at Gatacre Playing Field in the shadow of Old Oswestry hillfort.
“We’ve probably got more playing members now than we’ve ever had,” said Andy. “And with a strong committee steering the club, we still have the core philosophy that cricket is played the proper way. “Our patron and president, Peter and June Humphreys, believe passionately in the ‘spirit of cricket’, and most clubs in Shropshire would say they always look forward to playing us.”
While the Cae Glas players are raring to go as the 2014 season gets under way, off the field the club’s chief objective is security of tenure at Gatacre. “We’re in discussions with Shropshire Council in the hope of getting a long-term lease,” said Andy. “If we could do that, we could look at doing some work on the pavilion, and then broaden our base and get more involved with the local community.”
One aspect of the game in which the club were pioneers was women’s cricket. “Cae Glas Ladies got under way in the early 1980s and were the first team of its kind in this part of the world,” said Andy.
And what about the club’s relationship with the other successful Oswestry side, based at the opposite end of town in Morda Road? “When I was a lad there used to be some animosity between the clubs but that’s all in the past,” he said. “We get on really well these days, and scores of players have switched from one to the other. We also use Oswestry’s clubhouse for some of our functions.”
It’s a great credit to the town of Oswestry that the two clubs between them can field six league XIs every weekend. Let’s hope they’re both celebrating once again when September