15th Aug 2023

                    A South Northumberland X1 v A Northumberland X1

       Wed 9th August 2023, Roseworth Terrace, Gosforth, 45 overs/side.

John was born on 14 July 1943 in Wallsend, he died on the 22nd December 1998 at 0100 in St Oswald's Hospice, aged 55. He played for SNCC, NCCC,  Percy Main, Backworth, Cavaliers, Nomads & Northumberland O50's. The first match in his memory was in summer 1999. This was the 25th & final game. The 'Brad Man Salver', donated by friends, reminds us that cricket is not just about runs & wickets but the camaraderie the game engenders &, in Brad's case, his prevalent sense of fun.

A cricketer of substance, Brad was Northumberland League Cricketer of the Year in 1977, (438 runs @ 27.37, 66 wickets @ 12.45). He played for Northumberland Schoolboys in 1959 & for the County in 34 matches between 1962 -1978 being capped in 1971, scoring 371 runs & taking 45 wickets.

His SNCC career lasted from 1962-1982. He was 1st X1 Captain in 1970-72 & again in 1976. 18 seasons, 629 wickets at 16.66, 4244 runs @ 26.69, HS:102* v Blyth (1979). His best, brisk right arm medium, bowling performance came on 13th August 1977 v Benwell Hill (h), 23-10-55-9.... & we lost !!

He was SNCC Treasurer between 1980-1982 then went to become a legend at Backworth. His highest ever league score was 140 for Backworth 2nd X1 v Tynemouth in 1986 (645 runs @ 46.07, 2nd in the league averages to Bobby Wood -Tynedale.)

As Clive Page reminded us after the game, Brad's sense of fun was never far from the surface. Annual Northumberland Nomads Tours to North Yorkshire based around Scarborough would see an early visit to the joke shop. Thereafter, imaginary dog walking bemused the locals, silly hats for dropped catches, itching powder for batters inners, games of spoons for the innocents & fines for miscellaneous misdemeanours would occur to much amusement !

The 'escaped snake' during a County Club v South North league match was carefully choreographed. Having started the rumour the day before, on the day, Brad bowled a rubber snake to Pagey who was batting. He whacked it back towards JB & it ended, comically, winding itself around the umpire's neck, who promptly fell down & almost abandoned the game!! Suspensions ensued !

In 1992 John completed the Great North Run for charity. Dated 15th Feb 1998, Brad, as Director of Cricket (DOC), compiled an iconic, pre season letter to the 'Northumberland Cricket Bored Over 50's', President: The Count Of Monty Kristo, Vice President: Tinky Winky, joint Sponsors: Stannah Stair Lifts & Ulgham Parish Church. The content is priceless, copies are available !

This last game was played in the same spirit. SNCC old boys Paul Scott, returned from Munich, Jonny Boyes from Walsall, Danny Clark, James Hutton, Tris Meears-White, Phil Hall & Steve Black with Backworth & Percy Main connections, Paul Dutton our NCCC representative, James Miller & Patrick Hatcher captained, 10 juniors were given an opportunity to show what they could do as Brad would have wished. The ground looked a picture, an enduring tribute to the work of Craig Thompson & Liam Dodgson, especially given the rain of recent weeks.

Our guests included Alan, Winnie & Lindsey Crooks, Sheila Smithson, Chris Paterson, Eric Hall, Clive Page, Peter Crane, Doug Hudson, John Douglas, Bill Peacock, Vincente Stienlet, Clive & Veronica Goatman, Peter Shotton, Roger Griffiths, Dave Thompson, Peter Robson, photographer extraordinaire, Ken Waller & a Backworth contingent comprising Geoff Nicholson, Terry Denholm, Ron Seymour & Graham Tulip.

Apologies were offered by Elaine Bradford, Peter Weatherall, David Venn, Ian Watson, Dave Swan, Brian Keenleyside, Mike Yuill, Ken Pearson, Stephen Greensword, Alec Johnson, Howard Sidney-Wilmot, Mike Elliott, Mike Anderson, Nick Gandy, Jon Gill, Alan Dickinson, Parth Mannikar, Cam Skinner, John Taylor, Duncan Mackenzie, Mike Tait & Barry Greenbank.

For the record:

Northumberland X1 183-8 (45o) George McConnell 48, Phil Hall 25*, Patrick Hatcher 24, Ross Ward 33, Albie McPate 13: Paul Scott 3-18, Jonny Boyes 1-18, James Hutton 1-4, Jacques Graham 0-47, Varun Gudipati 1-28, Aadesh Sahadevan 0-16, Jacob McCord 2-21, Will Carr 1-28.

South Northumberland X1 185-4 (35.4o) Tris Meears-White 34, Jacob McCord 53 (rno), James Miller 14, Aadesh Sahadevan 48* Will Carr 19*: Alan Roskilly 1-32, Albie McPate 0-35, Will Alexander 1-31, Will Young 0-21, Patrick Hatcher 0-5, Phil Hall 1-36, Steve Black 1-22.

South North X1 won by 6 wickets.

Umpires Phil Raine & Peter Young voted Aadesh Sahadevan as Player of  the Match. The catering, most kindly sponsored by Peter Weatherall, was a magnificent feast prepared by Bill & Susan Kidd. Izzy Winter was a smiling face behind the bar, post game drinks, most kindly, courtesy of Elaine Bradford.

The comments in the autograph book suggest that a very good day was had by players & guests, remembering John & being at South North.

There is a most sad postscript to report, albeit with a certain symmetry. At some time on Thursday 10th August, the day after the game, at home, possibly afer a fall, Peter Weatherall was found by his caring neighbour & unable to be revived. Peter was John's oldest surviving friend, an SNCC 1st X1 leg spin bowler from the 1960's & early 70's. We await details of the funeral arrangement that Peter had already put in place. Our sincerest condolences & kind thoughts are with Lesley, children Nicki, Clare, Paul, brother David & all his family & friends.

We have remembered John for 25 years with a cricket match in his honour. A fine tribute to a good man; we are proud to have done so. Now when we think of him we must smile. May your season end well please. 

Until we meet again.



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