1. Opening Bat – Phil Catterall
Great club man, always gave 100% and regularly scored over 800 runs a season. Infectious personality who wanted to win, had an excellent technique for opening.
2. Opening Bat – Brian Clemow
Probably the most talented cricketer to play for Winnington Park. If not for his accident, he would have played state or even international cricket for Australia. Scored runs at will and in his first match, smashed Brooklands to all parts of the works once he got his eye in. 1200 runs a year and a real class act. Like all Aussies, he could not drink.
3. Keith Woodcock
At number 3 it can only be Keith Woodcock. Class Act, represented Cheshire in Minor Counties cricket and a regular heavy scorer. Was part of the Park team that won the Manchester Association 3 times in the 1960’s. I remember him coming back to help the 2’s at Cheadle, long after he had retired and he hit 155 not out.
4. Danny Leech
At 4, I am going for Danny Leech. Great technique and probably played his best cricket after he had gone pro-ing at Oulton Park. Represented Cheshire and a heavy scorer. Had a patience to build an innings.
5. Matt Cranney
At 5, I would go for Matt Cranney, a real quality player with the bat and probably the best wicket-keeper seen at Winnington Park. Scored loads of runs as our overseas from Manly, top team man , liked and respected by all.
6. Syl Oliver
At 6 would be my captain and all-rounder Syl Oliver. He forgot more about the game than most of us would ever know. He represented the West Indies in international cricket, was a Pro in the Central Lancashire League for 30 years and came to us in his late 50’s. He read the game, could destroy any bowler, particularly quick bowlers, who seemed to disappear over the pavilion regularly. A slow medium bowler who did enough to tie batsmen down and take wickets. Feel proud to have played alongside him.
7. Craig Little
At 7, I would pick another all-rounder. Craig Little came from Manly as a bowler that batted a bit. Left as a class batsman that scored 1200 runs in a season and took wickets. A top team man, great to play alongside.
8. Mike Johns
At 8, I have to pick my son Mike Johns. Current 1st team Captain his later teens and 20’s and like Danny Leech, probably had his best days as a pro at Oulton Park. When 16, he represented Cheshire Under 18’s and was on Lancashire’s books. At that stage his batting and bowling was quality and went on to score heavily and quickly and took a lot of wickets.
9. Jake Barber
At 9, and too low for his talent as a batsman, is Jake Barber, who represented Park in the Keith Woodcock era. A talented batsman and leg spin bowler who was one of the stalwarts of the Championship winning team. Runs and wickets from Jake won many matches and was held in high esteem from all that played with him.
10. Matt Alexander
At 10, I am going to pick Mattos Alexander our overseas of 2 years ago from Manly. Serious wheels as a bowler who unsettled batsmen with left arm quick. Cannot forget his batting as he averaged in the 30’s and his knock to win the match at Davenham, needing 21 off the last over and achieving it with 2 enormous 6’s into the houses…. Class.
11. Trevor Gibson
At 11, is one of the best bowlers ever to play for Park. Trevor Gibson was the groundsman and opening bowler who was part of the 1960’s Championship winning team. I noted from records that, even on Parks flat track, he would take 60 wickets in a season at 7.5 apiece.
For balance, that gives me a class captain, a team that bats with quality down to 10, 4 quick bowlers, a spinner and a slow bowler.
12th man would be Gary Done as he always was in the 1970’s.
Players that came into contention are: James Lewis, Jeremy Casey, Greg Barrett, Paul Fish, Tony Woodcock, Malcolm Lees, Graham Hart, Brian David and James Cowell. But that is some side.