One of Our Owen

Norden are delighted to announce the signing of exciting Australian all-rounder Mitchell Owen as professional for the 2024 season. 22-year-old Owen plays for Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield and the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash.

An aggressive right-handed batter and a right-arm seam bowler, he has established himself in first-class cricket this season, making two half-centuries and taking regular wickets during Tasmania’s rise to the top of the table. The club would like to thank Robbie Humphries at WSX Cricket for helping to facilitate the deal and everyone is looking forward to welcoming Mitch for the start of the season.

We recently caught up with Mitch and he said “I can’t wait to get over to the UK and get stuck in with the boys at Norden CC. The Lancs league is spoken very highly of over here in Aus and I’m really excited I get to experience what it has to offer. Stez Wild has told me a lot about the club, so I’m counting down the days til I get over there”

In further good news, Dom Humphreys is returning to Stag Park after a 2-year absence. The club jumped at the chance to re-sign him as soon as it became clear he would be leaving Heywood. Dom’s all-round talent and energy in the field are well-known to all at Norden and he will be a huge asset on and off the field next season.

Leaving the club, though, are Mo Munawar, Usama Malik and Kabir Ahmed:

Munawar has spent nearly a decade at Norden, taking over 250 wickets and helping the club out by captaining an extremely young 2nd XI as we came out of Covid. His ability to prodigiously swing the new-ball made him a real handful at any level and he was the leading wicket-taker in Junior Division 1 in 2023. Always keen to play and make himself available for any team, even playing for all 3 senior sides in one weekend on one occasion, Munny has been a tremendous servant for the club.

Malik divided his Norden career between the 1st and 2nd XI’s. He garnered a reputation for dismissing opposing professionals and his game-winning final over in the Lancashire Knockout against Denton St Lawrence in 2022 was a real highlight.

Ahmed scored 1400 runs in the 2nd XI in just 2 seasons. His remarkable 2022 season yielded 897 runs and his unbeaten, match-winning century in the cup quarter-final against Littleborough this year won him the club’s batting performance of the year award.

All leave with the best wishes and thanks of all at Norden.

Bob Fee

On Wednesday 15th of November 2023 Bob Fee sadly passed, surrounded by his loved ones.

Bob was born in 1945 and became a member of Norden Cricket Club in the early 1950’s and remained a member for over 70 years. He was born and bred in Norden and lived in the village all his life.

Bob was a keen cricketer and loved playing the game. His brother, Les, describes a photo that Pete Fitton still has of him, Bob and Dave Wild all playing at Norden in 1957. Bob played in the junior sides before moving on to the 2nd XI.

A few years ago Bob was made a life member of the club due to his enormous contribution over his 70 year membership. Bob served on the committee in the 60’s and was instrumental in the implementation of a licensed bar for the first time in the club’s history in 1967. Along with his good friend, Dave Wild, they used their skills as electrical engineers to get the bar up and running. In the late 70’s, Bob and Dave re-wired the club as an extension and new bar were built.

Bob left school at 15 and got a job with Whipp & Bourne, a well known electrical engineers in Rochdale. Bob worked for Whipps his entire working life and was an extremely popular figure. For much of this time Bob was in Quality Control alongside his great mate, Joe Rush.
Rushy recalls how the company went in to liquidation in 1976 and they all lost their jobs … for one day, as they were soon taken back on as the company started trading again under a new name. Joe said “Bob was a wonderful man. We worked very closely for such a long time. Never once did we have a crossed word. Bob didn’t like the limelight, he’d always be at the back on photos and things of that nature. We travelled a lot and Bob was an integral part of work social scene at Whipps”.
Andrew Pownall : “What a great guy Bob was, always there to help and guide, whilst having a laugh. Worked with him and saw him occasionally at the cricket when Norden played Walsden. Have some great memories of him and sad to learn this news.”
Ste Holt : “Well appreciated at Whipps; a steady, genuine good guy. Remember him giving me a bollocking for goading Jack Crandon, he was right I needed it. That was Bob, bless that memory.

When Whipps eventually closed down in 2011, Bob took early retirement to look after his late wife Pat.

Cricket wasn’t Bob’s only love; he was a season ticket holder at Manchester United for a while and loved a trip to the races. This article is being written on one of Bob’s favourite days of the year, the Betfair Chase at Haydock which signals the start of the Jump season. He was a regular attendee.

When Bob’s cricket playing days finished, he was an avid supporter of the 1st XI. For over fiftty years he watched home and away, very rarely missing a game. He was a regular fixture at Stag Park, sitting with his crew under the scoreboard. Whilst some members are not very shy of telling you what they thought of your performance that day, Bob was not like this. Regardless of the result, Bob would collect the discs away, lock up the shed and head over to the bar for a drink. He’d never criticise, never raise a voice, never tell you what you should have done. He would love to discuss the game with you. Bob has seen many generations of players come through the club and was so well liked by all of them.

In later life he went on to meet Linda. They married in 2020 and spent many happy times together. Bob was still active at the club, and once he’d retired he got even more work done. He was regularly at the club during the day, whether it be painting the changing rooms, emptying the bins, strimming the grass… anything he could do to help.

Every Saturday and Sunday morning on game day Bob would be at the ground early, putting out the fielding discs and sorting the boundary rope. At the mid-innings break, Bob and his brother Les would roll and re-mark the wicket. They did this for over 30 years and in recent times he was nicknamed Bob the Brush by 6 year old Joe Shotton.

A kind, clever, generous man. Any room Bob walked in to, he made it better. Norden Cricket Club has lost its number one supporter.

Bob was just a bloody lovely bloke who will be so sadly missed by all the cricket club


The funeral will take place at Rochdale crematorium on Tuesday the 5th of December at 15:20, followed afterwards with a reception at Norden Cricket Club. The funeral procession will drive on to the car park at Norden CC at 14:50 and pause for a short while. Anyone who knew Bob is welcome to attend.

Bob Fee

It is with great sadness the club announce the passing of life member Bob Fee earlier on today.

Our thoughts are with his brother Les, his partner Linda and all Bob’s family and friends.

Funeral details will be posted in due course.



Norden Cricket Club, a member of the Lancashire League, is offering an exciting opportunity for a (minimum) Level 2 coach to head up its thriving Junior section. Reporting to the Chair of the Cricket Committee, the coach will be responsible for:

  • Planning and co-ordinating junior training sessions including winter nets (Mondays – U13 and U15 / Fridays – U9 and U11 from January – March) and summer training sessions (Friday evenings from April – August.)
  • Supervise volunteer coaches at all age groups providing guidance and lesson plans where appropriate 
  • Attend a selection of Junior matches to witness and support the progress of Junior players in match situations.
  • Support the transition of Juniors into Senior cricket by liaising with the 3rd Team captain and Chairman of selectors to recommend Juniors for Senior teams.

The role is for 100-125 hours – competitive salary.
Please send a covering letter and CV to to apply

League and Couple Double for Ladies

Norden ladies 8aside softball team won the East Lancashire League and qualified for the finals day at Great Harwood CC on the 16/9/23.

Norden played Darwen in the semi final. Norden scored 230 runs and managed to restrict Darwen to 206 runs.

Norden then faced Rishton in the final. We scored 273 runs and restricted Rishton to 238 runs. Captain Clair Wood lifted the trophy to complete a memorable season winning a League and Cup double.

Zaidi Masterclass Dashes Darwen Dreams

Stag Park was the centre of Lancashire League attention on Sunday, as defending champions Darwen arrived knowing a maximum-point win would guarantee them retaining their title. Norden were looking to play the role of party poopers and Ashar Zaidi, playing his final game for the club, was the man to play pooper-in-chief.

Norden chose to bat on a tacky surface and lost two wickets in two balls with the score on 4 as Lee Crabtree and Jack Taylor fell to Darwen skipper, Kamran Anwar. The big 2 partnership of Zaidi and Josh Tolley was together early, and they looked relatively comfortable until Dave Bowden got one to grip and take Tolley’s edge. Spencer Allen was a good foil to Zaidi and the pair added 40 before Greg Butterworth replaced Allen. Butterworth contributed just 10 to the partnership of 57 as Zaidi started to accelerate. The Norden cause was helped by Anwar choosing to bring himself back on in place of professional Punit Bisht, who had bowled 5 overs of off-spin for just 15 runs. The seamer was much easier to face on this pitch and Zaidi helped himself to 20 runs from the 45th over and a further 11 from the 47th. Zaidi brought up his hundred from 126 balls, an incredible knock given that no other batter was to make it to 20 in the match. Norden’s 197 was a massive score in the conditions and the champions were to get nowhere near it. Zaidi was pumped and his spell of 9 uninterrupted overs from the scoreboard end produced figures of 4 for 6, with each wicket celebrated vociferously. Lukas Debnam chipped in with 3 wickets in his final game before returning home to Australia, taking his total to a very creditable 47 in all competitions. Darwen were bowled out for 85, meaning that Burnley’s washout against Lowerhouse was enough to give them the title. Zaidi finished as the league’s leading wicket-taker with 46 and Tolley was 2nd amongst amateur batters with 664 runs. Special mention should also go to Scott Butterworth, who had an excellent season with 38 league wickets. Norden finished 5th in the 1st Division table, just missing out on Lancashire Cup qualification, but also wondering what might have been had they beaten the two relegated teams, Walsden and Ramsbottom, in the two games prior to this one.
1st XI Scorecard:
1st XI Highlights:

The 2nd XI were in a similar position, with Darwen just a win from the title. What was different in this game was that there was just one league-appointed umpire and Darwen elected to take advantage of this as a run-out appeal was turned down in the 1st over when Darwen opener Zac Whalley appeared to be at least several yards short of his ground. Whalley went on to make a crucial 45 on a very difficult pitch. Norden’s bowlers stuck to their task and Oli Kirkby and Usama Malik both took 3 wickets in bowling Darwen out for 146 in the final over. Rain interruptions brought DLS re-calculations which, in truth, brought Norden into the game but some fine hitting from Malik wasn’t quite enough and Darwen won by 12 runs to take the Junior League title. A 7th place finish for Docker’s men was probably about right given the lack of runs from key men through the season, but the excellent cup run and the introduction of some extremely promising young players gives great cause for optimism. In terms of individual efforts, Mo Munawar must be congratulated for leading the league’s wicket-takers with 38. There were also 29 for Malik and Oliver Kirkby’s 19, to go alongside a maiden half-century, only underline his potential. Kabir Ahmed led the run-scorers with 340.
2nd XI Scorecard:

It was a real mix of young and old as the 3rds closed their season with a 4th successive victory. Alan Howard rolled back the years to make 79 against Clitheroe 4th XI, the heat being much more of a challenge to the veteran than the bowling. The real star of the show, though, was 14-year-old Oli Yates, who struck his 1st Norden century. Remarkably, Yates had just 68 to his name with 2 overs of the Norden innings remaining. He freed his arms to take 15 from the penultimate and when the 1st ball of the last went for 6, the hundred was on. He got there with a ball to spare, and the young man raised his bat aloft to the delight of the healthy crowd. I don’t think there’ll be many betting on this being his last century for the club. Will Hindley and Jake Hill then took over with the ball, taking 3 wickets each and Clitheroe were bowled out for 125. Having been promoted last year and starting with a couple of heavy defeats, it is of huge credit to Jimmy Drury and his young team that they have climbed to a 5th place finish. Very rarely has there been more than one or two players in the 3rds who have also played in a higher team that week and the future of the club looks in great hands with this group of young players. Yates finished as leading run-scorer with 311 and Stan Kearns made 239; both will be looking to have a real impact in the 2nds next year. Charlie Gooding’s 23 wickets came at an average of just 10 and Will Hindley had another good year with 17 wickets, the same number as Mohsin Iqbal.
3rd XI Scorecard:
3rd XI Highlights:

Zaidi Signs off in Style

Ashar Zaidi has announced that he is to leave Norden after 3 seasons with the club. Zaidi’s last game highlighted what the club will miss as he scored a century and took 4 for 6 from 9 overs as Norden spoiled Darwen’s title charge.

In his 2 seasons as pro and 1 as amateur, Zaidi scored 4,095 and took 212 wickets for the club. All at Stag Park wish to pass on their thanks and good wishes to Ashar for the future.

Greg Shines but Walsden Take the Spoils

An excellent all-round performance from Norden skipper, Greg Butterworth was not enough to prevent Walsden claiming the win and keeping themselves in with a chance of staying in division 1 on Sunday. Butterworth’s 54 was his highest score of the season and helped save Norden from again being dismissed for under 100. Lee Crabtree and Lukas Debnam were the only other Norden batters to make double figures as Joe Gale did the bulk of the damage for Walsden, taking 5 for 49. The fact that Norden managed to get up to 144 before being bowled out, was largely down to an 8th wicket partnership of 83 between Butterworth and Debnam. Unfortunately, when Butterworth was trapped in front by home professional, Sachin Jayewardena, the Norden tail could not hang around and Jake Hooson took the final two wickets quickly, leaving Debnam stranded and 11 overs unfaced.

The Stags have made defending low totals a bit of a specialty in recent weeks, and for most of Walsden’s reply it looked like they would do it again. Ashar Zaidi took the first 3 wickets with just 22 on the board and then Jack Taylor and Butterworth both joined the party on a pitch that was favouring spin. The experienced Walsden pair of Matt Dawson and Stevie Barker came together at 69 for 6 and moved the score on to 106 before Butterworth had Dawson LBW for 18. When Alfie Senior also fell to Butterworth and father Paul was caught by Taylor off Zaidi, Walsden still needed a further 22. Jamie Shackleton was the last man in and there were 5 overs to go. Crucially, though, only 2 of these could be bowled by Butterworth and Zaidi. Barker knew what he had to do; get through the overs of spin and attack against the returning Scott Butterworth. He did this to great effect and the 47th over bowled by Scott went for 9 runs and there were only 2 balls needed of the 49th as Barker went six, four to give Wasden the narrowest of wins.

Norden will close their season at Stag Park on Sunday, as leaders Darwen make the trip looking to secure back-to-back titles with a maximum-points victory. The Stags will be looking to spoil the party.
1st XI Scorecard:

The 2nd team game followed a very similar pattern. This time it was Usama Malik who put in the fine all-round showing and did not deserve to finish on the losing side. Norden batted first and did well to get up to 162 after being 99 for 7. Sami Waheed made an aggressive 39 and Malik and skipper Phil Docker added 55 for the 8th wicket before Docker fell to an outstanding diving catch from Andrew Hakin. Hakin had an excellent day in the field, taking 3 catches to go with his 2 wickets. Malik finished unbeaten on 25. The Colne reply was all-action to say the least. After 9 overs the score was 55 for 5 with Malik taking 3 wickets and Mo Munawar 2. Jake Greenbank then came in and smashed 40 from just 25 balls and when he was caught by Oli Yates to give Malik his fourth, skipper Martin Kegg and Matthew Clark took the game away from Norden with more aggressive batting. The margin of victory for Colne was just 3 wickets, remarkably with 20 overs still to go.
2nd XI Scorecard:
2nd XI Highlights:

The real highlight for Norden at the back end of the season has been the improving form of the young 3rd XI. Another win on Saturday was secured with 8 junior players and the way in which they are adapting to senior cricket and putting in crucial individual performances has been great to see. The stars this week were Jake Hill with the ball, taking his second consecutive 4 wicket haul, and Harry Mason who made 30 under real pressure in the run-chase. Rishton’s 4th XI is a team of experienced over 35’s and they posted 143 thanks to an unbeaten 74 from former 1st teamer Stuart Roberts. Hill was well supported by brother Callum, Will Hindley and Oli Yates who all took wickets. Yates then made 34 opening the batting before Norden collapsed to 69 for 5. Mason joined Callum Hill and they put on 27 before skipper Jimmy Drury came in to replace Hill and he and Mason continued the good work. When Mason was run-out looking for an overly ambitious 2nd run, he left the field to a well-deserved warm applause. Theo Andrew joined Drury and two quicker runners between the wickets you will struggle to find. The pair ran their more senior opponents ragged and Norden reached their target with 9 balls to spare. Drury finished unbeaten on 30.
3rd XI Scorecard:
3rd XI Highlights:

Stags Come up Short

It may only have been the tiniest of flickers, but Norden’s title hopes were extinguished on Sunday as they failed to chase down the target of 146 set by a Ramsbottom side fighting for survival. Yet more rain reduced the contest to 33 overs per side and Greg Butterworth chose to put Ramsbottom in, despite recent successes defending low totals. Ashar Zaidi was straight into the wickets when Ali Abbas found the safe hands of Jack Taylor on the square leg boundary. Lukas Debnam then had Tom Parton well caught behind by Lee Crabtree from his first delivery and followed that up by dismissing visiting captain Harry Caton. It was the 4th wicket partnership between Ben Pearson and Seb Schofield that formed the backbone of the Ramsbottom innings. Both defended well and were able to find the boundary when they freed their arms. Schofield’s was the only other wicket to fall, but not before he had made a valuable 30 from a partnership of 68.

145 felt like a pretty par score, but it was now Norden’s weaker suit that was going to be under pressure. At 50 for 1 with Josh Tolley and Taylor, looking every inch the 1st team top order batter, going along nicely, Norden looked favourites but Tolley edged Josh Dentith to slip for 36 and Zaidi rolled his wrists on a short ball from Toby Anderson to pick out deep square leg and the momentum had shifted. Taylor had made 31 when he was adjudged to have dragged his back foot and was given out stumped by the excellent Caton behind the stumps. The middle and lower order now had the unenviable task of having to score at a run-a-ball from the last 10 overs, which would include 5 from Pakistani Test off-spinner Bilal Asif. Asif was not far from unplayable on a pitch offering spin and bounce for a bowler who uses his height to great effect. Alex Willis was trapped in front and Butterworth was a tad unlucky when he got a good piece of a reverse sweep, only for the ball to hit Parton in the chest at slip and bounce up kindly for the catch to be taken. Scott Butterworth did find the boundary on a couple of occasions, but it was not enough; Asif’s figures of 3 for 17 from 10 overs proving to be the difference.
1st XI Scorecard:
1st XI Highlights: 1st XI vs Ramsbottom Highlights – YouTube

The seconds got off to a terrible start at Acre Bottom as Ramsbottom raced to 88 without loss, but a good recovery with the ball saw Mo Waheed and Oli Kirkby take 5 wickets between them for just 10 runs. A 6th wicket stand of 50 put the hosts back in charge, though and despite Waheed’s 5 wickets, they were able to post 170 from their 34 overs. After Kirkby was first man out, Haris Hussain and Kabir Ahmed put on 61, but an all-too-familiar collapse did for Norden’s hopes. 4 wickets fell with just 3 runs added and Danny Devine’s valiant 32 was only good enough for 3 batting bonus points.
2nd XI Scorecard:

A double-header weekend for the 3rds started at Bacup on Saturday. A good performance with the bat saw Norden score 162 for 8 from their 40 overs in tough conditions. 46 from Oli Yates and 35 from Mohsin Iqbal were the highlights, before the storms came and ended proceedings early.

Monday saw a fantastic display secure 12 points against a Ramsbottom team with 7 players who had played either 1st or 2nd team the day before. Norden had only one, and for a genuine 3rd team to put in such an excellent performance was a real credit to them. Jimmy Drury top-scored with 40 as Norden set Ramsbottom 137 to win in very tricky batting conditions.14-year-old leg-spinner Jake Hill was the star with the ball, taking 4 for 34, and brother Callum finished the game by clean-bowling 1st XI captain Harry Caton with an absolute peach of a delivery. Well done lads, you were superb!

3rd XI Scorecard vs Bacup :

3rd XI Scorecard vs Ramsbottom :
3rd XI Highlights vs Ramsbototm:

Bowlers Deliver Again for Norden

The last 3 weeks have seen Norden bat first and be dismissed for scores of 50, 82 and 64. Remarkably, they haven’t lost any of these games and another superb bowling performance on Sunday meant that the 64 posted at Burnley’s Turf Moor ground was enough for another 12 points and a move up to 4th in the table with 3 games to play.

Greg Butterworth won a toss that he probably would rather not have done, and he chose to bat on a pitch that looked ok at one end but pretty damp at the other. Openers Tolley and Willis didn’t last long, but Jack Taylor and Zaidi brought a little bit of calm to proceedings before Zaidi sold his young partner down the river and he was run out. Amazingly, the next four Norden batter fell without scoring and it looked like the season-low score of 50 was under threat. Home professional Ockert Erasmus was finding prodigious turn and batting was extremely difficult, but Zaidi decided he had to attack and managed to find the boundary on a few occasions as last man Dean Lord held firm at the other end. Zaidi was last man out, but he contributed 41 of Norden’s 64 and with conditions as they were, this somehow felt like a semi-competitive score.

It was actually much more than that, as Burnley started badly and never recovered. Zaidi and Scott Butterworth combined for 8 wickets with Zaidi turning the ball square and Butterworth bowling off a short run-up to great effect. Butterworth’s 5 victims took him to 47 in all competitions this season and, even though he put a catch down at slip off brother Greg which would have finished the game, he made amends when he dived forward to claim the match-winning catch off Lukas Debnam.

This Norden team has its flaws, but the character and bowling skill on display in the last few weeks has been outstanding. Whisper it quietly, but they are only 11 points off the top spot. Stranger things have happened.
1st XI Scorecard:

The 2nds fell just short in their run chase at Stag Park. Taking on a strong Burnley outfit, not quite fresh from their Junior Cup win the day before, Usama Malik, Oli Yates, Sami Waheed and Jamie Taylor all took 2 wickets to bowl the visitors out for 182 in under 40 overs. Veteran, and persistent thorn in the Norden side, Steve Brunt was the mainstay of the Burnley innings with an unbeaten 58. The all-too familiar issue of extras reared its head again with 30 runs donated to the cause.

3 early wickets didn’t help the reply, but Haris Hussain and Yates recovered the situation and added 72 for the 4th wicket. Unfortunately, both were dismissed in quick succession. Yates was bowled by Matthew Thornton and Hussain slapped the same bowler straight to long-off just after reaching his first half-century for the club. Thornton went on to take 5 wickets, and despite decent efforts from Taylor, Waheed and Mo Munawar, Norden fell short by 17 runs.
2nd XI Scorecard:
2nd XI Highlights:

A second consecutive victory for the 3rds laid to bed any relegation fears. Usama Malik shone with the bat, hitting 66 from just 43 balls with 6 sixes as Norden reached 183 all out. Opponents Todmorden looked well set to chase the runs down, but from 97 for 2 they collapsed and could only add another 26 runs. Mohsin Iqbal started the rot and Joe Golden picked up 3 wickets as the maximum 12 points were secured.
3rd XI Scorecard: