Norden Cricket Club is extremely sad to report the passing of Barry Pickles

Barry was a Norden Cricket Club devotee having played as man and boy, scoring 4840 runs in 319 first team innings and 1813 second team runs in 92 innings. His best first team season saw him score 490 runs in 1970. Barry was awarded the Joseph Coupe Cup (best Clubman) in both 1966 and 1975.

Barry also served on the General Committee for over 20 years. Latterly he was most well known for his exceptional work as groundsman making Norden’s ground the envy of the County.

It is always very sad to lose long serving members of the club who have contributed to its successful development and proud history. It is important to remember and celebrate them and our thoughts go out to his family at this difficult time. 

Tributes

EX-President Brian Butterworth recalls Barry making his debut in the 2nd XI : “Barry came in to the team in the late 50’s as a real young lad. He was a flare batsman with a great eye. We knew it wouldn’t be long before he moved on to the 1st team.

Mike North also commented “Barry was extremely talented. Not just at cricket but he also excelled for the club’s table tennis team. He could turn his hand to any sport really.”

Stephen Williamson “Barry was a lovely bloke, and certainly showed us young uns how to enjoy the social side of the game”

Ex Chairman Stephen Pickles recalls “Barry was a club man through and through. He lived in the village all his adult life and gave so much to the club whether it be playing, on ctte, on the ground or housing the club professional”

Pete Gladigau of Adelaide, South Australia, signed for the club as professional in 1990 and formed a close friendship with Barry. Gladigau said: “He was a great bloke and we got to know him and Brenda well during our time at Norden. We stayed with him on a couple of our other trips back to England in 2003 and 2005 and still spoke with him on regular basis. During my time at Norden Baz was the curator at Norden and he produced a superb looking ground and an excellent pitch. He took great pride in his work and loved his striping!  I loved playing on Stag Park. Another great bloke from Norden gone unfortunately and he will be sorely missed by Rae and I. Rip Baz.”

Bob Fee recalls “He learnt his trade from Joe Wood, before helping his brother George. In later life Barry didn’t get down to the club as much. However this didn’t diminish his love for the club. I used to go for the paper every Monday morning, on what should have been a five minute walk. Barry would always see me approaching and come out for a full match report on all teams. He also wanted to know how the wicket had played and if the bar was busy. He never stopped thinking about the club. My five minute errand often took thirty minutes.”

Ex Chairman and President John Murphy said  “Barry was a wonderful character who was passionate about Norden Cricket Club. I have fond  memories of him and his partner in crime Phil Herd chasing the jackpot on the bandit every weekend. Many late nights were followed by early mornings tending to the ground that he took great pride in. RIP Barry, a true legend of Norden.

Greg Tattersall added : “As a young lad I joined the club in the early 90’s and Barry was a permanent fixture, either on the mower flying round the outfield or at the bar passing on his advice. He always had a chat with everyone and his passion for the club was very clear. He was a true Norden man and he will be sadly missed by all those that knew him. Rest in peace Baz”

STAGS SIGN UP SCOTT KERSHAW AS HEAD JUNIOR COACH

Norden are delighted to announce Scott Kershaw has joined the club as Head of Junior Cricket. Scott is a vastly experienced coach,  recently working full time for The Cricket Asylum and also with Milnrow CC. Scott is well known locally, having come up through the ranks at Littleborough CC.  He then became the pro at (Bamford) Fieldhouse and also spent time at various clubs in the Huddersfield league.

“I recently met with the Cricket Committee and they explained their vision and where the club is driving towards”.

Scott is no stranger to Stag Park, having previously held a coaching role at the club in 1995, “It was actually one of my first formal proper coaching roles working with the likes of current 1st XI captain Hashum Malik, who was 14 at the time” explained Scott.

“I recently met with the Cricket Committee and they explained their vision and where the club is driving towards. I am really looking forward to getting started. Whilst I will oversee the whole junior section my main duties will be doing one to one sessions with selected players and working and developing the current coaching team they have in place. I just can’t wait to get started”.

Club to reopen with basic food menu

Covid 19 Update from Norden Cricket Club

As promised we have been working hard to find a way to open safely and within the rules.

We are really pleased to announce that from 5PM Friday 30th we are now able to serve a basic food menu and therefore can open and allow you to have food and drinks.

We will still be showing football and sporting events so why not coincide your meal with the games. We recommend you book to ensure your table please message or ring 01706 645 639.

Please remember all the Covid regulations still apply so continue to follow the rules as in the past so we can keep Norden Cricket Club a safe environment.

We look forward to welcoming you all back again.

Dexter stands down

DEXTER Fitton has stood down as Norden’s cricket chairman and head coach, and retired as a player after 40 consecutive seasons in the game.

During his time in league cricket he scored more than 12,000 runs and achieved a unique record of having played first team cricket for all four local clubs in the Central Lancashire League

He was with Rochdale as a young player before spending one season as professional for Stockport.

His quality was quickly recognised and he joined Lancashire County for five seasons.

After leaving Old Trafford he served as professional for Littleborough, Milnrow, Clitheroe, and Elton, and there was also a stint as pro with Radcliffe. He also played as deputy professional for several clubs, including Accrington and Ramsbottom.

Dexter first joined Norden as coach to the club’s juniors, then in 2009 he signed up as a player and became head coach at Stag Park.

In that 2009 season Norden finished top of the table on the same number of points as Monton and Weaste, but Stags lost out on a fourth countback.

It was the start of one of the most successful spells, if not the most successful, in the history of the club.

In that spell Stags won the league title four times and captured the Wood Cup twice. They  added the Tom Hardman T20 trophy in 2014 when the club had a clean sweep of honours, and in 2016 they became North West T20 champions. The second team won the title twice and lifted the Burton Cup once, while the ladies’ team became Lancashire Softball champions.

Stags had disappointment in 2014 when they lost out in the Lancashire Knockout final, but in 2019 they won the trophy by beating Darwen in the final on Heywood’s Crimble ground.

It was a fitting climax to an amazing career and Dexter said: “I gave it a lot of thought before ending my long working relationship with Norden.

“Cricket is the greatest but most demanding game. In addition to time, sacrifice and technical work players experience many ups and downs. There is no greater sporting reward than celebrating team success with colleagues who become mates through a culmination of collective hard work and individual moments.

“On a personal note, leaving when the team are Lancashire champions fits OK.

“It has been an honour and privilege to work at this fabulous club . I wish Norden every success  for the future, and look forward to catching up socially.”

Dexter’s interest in cricket was formed at a very early age when his father Derek played for Robinsons in the North Manchester League.

He made his first team debut for Rochdale aged 14, and quickly became a regular as an all-rounder bowling medium pace.

Rochdale secretary Alistair Bolingbroke said: “In 1983, and  Dexter not 18 until August, he was the CLL’s leading all-rounder with 599 runs and 52 wickets. The following year was also successful for him, and by that time many clubs in the area had taken note of his talent.”

After leaving Lancashire County Dexter joined Littleborough  and club stalwart Brendan Miskella said: “Dexter fitted perfectly into a team of close knit local lads who played hard both on and off the field.

“We shall never forget his performance in the Wood Cup final win over Rochdale. His big beaming smile stands out in the post final team pic sitting proudly in my office with all my team-mates that day as we sang Back Home with Dexter clutching his man of the match prize of 24 cans of John Willie Lees.

“It was a pleasure to play with Dexter and we have remained very good friends. I know for a fact that every one of the lads who played with Dexter in 94 and 95 have all stayed in contact with him, which epitomises what a great bloke he is.”

Milnrow also won the Wood Cup with Dexter as professional, and former club scorer Stuart Roberts said: “His move to Milnrow was seamless as he carried on where he had left off at Littleborough.

“With Dexter in the side Milnrow were always a tough side to beat. When he left the club in 1999 he was regarded as one of the finest professionals to have played at Ladyhouse.”

So to Norden, and the club’s new cricket secretary Greg Tattersall said: “Dexter was a player of immense experience and it was great to have him in the team. He was a natural leader. He had a unique model of captaincy, mainly because nobody could understand a word he was saying with his rhyming slang team talks.

“Whilst it is very true that for a team to be successful many people need to contribute and it’s generally a real team/club effort. But it’s fair to say that Dex had as bigger influence as anyone over the past 10 / 12 years.”

“He got a lot of enjoyment out of seeing the younger players flourish and was instrumental in developing the likes of Olly Makin (90 wickets in 2011) and Nick Brierley (900 runs in 2010 and 2012). Many of the current 1st and 2nd XI players came through as juniors under the coaching of Dex and he was instrumental in the setting up of the clubs Ladies section.

“With an incredible 18 Senior trophies between 2010-19, including 4 CLL league titles, 2 Wood cups, 2 League T20 titles, 1 x ECB T20 North West Champions and the holy grail of the Lancashire Cricket Foundation Knockout Cup in 2019. This has not just been the most successful period in the clubs history, but arguably the most successful team in the county! A lot of this is down to Dex.”

Norden Sign Ashar Zaidi as Professional for 2021

Norden are delighted to announce that the talented and experienced Ashar Zaidi has signed as club professional for the forthcoming 2021 season.  Ashar is a left hand batsmen and left arm spin bowler who is very familiar with the Lancashire League having previously had a three year spell as professional at Accrington between 2011 and 2013.  The 2013 season in particular was a huge success as Accrington won the Lancashire League and Ash finished the season as top run scorer (1,446 runs) and leading wicket taker (79 wickets).

Ashar Zaidi signing his contract with Cricket Chairman Rob Greenwood (left) and Club Chairman Stuart Hunt (right)

Ash has represented both Sussex and Essex in UK first class cricket between 2014 and 2019 and, in his native Pakistan, Ash played for Islamabad.  Ash has had a successful T20 career and in the 2015-16 Bangladesh Premier League, he was named man of the series helping Comilla Victorians to the title. 

The club are understood to have faced a lot of competition for Ash’s signature and are very pleased to have secured him as he was our number one target.  Ash, who now lives locally, and has acted a deputy professional previously for Norden, also brings great coaching expertise and is an ECB Level 3 coach with international coaching experience following a coaching position with the Hong Kong national team.

Welcome to NCC Ash and good luck for the 2021 season!