Read CC's "unflappable" groundsman recognised

Gary OConnor (left) receives his award at Emirates Old Trafford from Bob Hinchliffe (Chairman of the LCB).
Gary OConnor (left) receives his award at Emirates Old Trafford from Bob Hinchliffe (Chairman of the LCB).

One of Read Cricket Club's very own has been recognised for his services to cricket, with their devoted groundsman the winner of the ‘Get The Game On’ Award at this year’s Lancashire Cricket Board OSCAs.

Gary O’Connor, a loyal, one-club man, has almost 50 years of service at Read CC as a player, member, and groundsman, showing real dedication to his club, preparing wickets for the juniors just as diligently as he does for seniors.

Ensuring that the changing rooms, plant room, ground flags, showers, and scorebox are as ready as can be on a game day as well as creating a wonderful wicket, Gary makes it his mission to make sure all is in place for games to be played.

Club Treasurer, Val Bennet, said: “As a man, Gary is constant, truthful, unflappable, and treats all in the same way and this is much admired by our players. His endeavour motivates our players to be the best they can be.

"His voluntary efforts inspire and encourage those around him to support him and he always aims to get the game on,” Val added.

Despite working full time, Gary spends every spare moment in attendance at the ground ensuring the machinery and ground are in tip-top condition, and will now be put forward to be considered for the National OSCAs, which will take place at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Monday 9th October.

“I take a lot of pride in the work that I have done in cricket," said Gary. "You don’t do these things for awards, you do it for pure love of the game, but to get an award is just the icing on the cake. I’m really proud.”

Managing Director of the Lancashire Cricket Board, Bobby Denning, added: “It was great to recognise the commitment Gary has put in to the Recreational Game. The fact this has been focussed at one club for 50 years speaks volumes.

“It was a proud moment for Gary and no doubt for Read Cricket Club too, and I was delighted he could share receiving the award with a few of his family members present.”