Cricket club should not be allowed to stagger into oblivion

Councillor Paul White and Joel Duerden at Colne Cricket Club

Councillor Paul White and Joel Duerden at Colne Cricket Club

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Sky Sports’ recent programme graphically pinpointed the precarious state of financial affairs at Colne Cricket Club.

It was a frank and interesting programme, but also a very sad one.

Do people realise just how deep the problems are or that this proud club needs a sizeable financial transfusion - and without delay?

Colne Cricket Club has always had a core team of volunteers willing to give unstinting time and effort to the cause.

And the present supporters are no less determined and eager to win their biggest ever challenge.

I don’t know if our local authority has been approached for help but surely they would appreciate the importance of retaining such a sporting institution?

Can local MP Andrew Stephenson not be persuaded to use his contacts to seek a grant from some national sporting source?

If hard work and fervent hope count for anything, Colne Cricket Club will not be allowed to stagger into oblivion.

Whatever its ultimate fate, there is no possibility that Colne or, indeed, the league itself, will ever celebrate its former glory days again.

The Lancashire League, once known throughout the world, is unfortunately now a pale and insignificant shadow of what it was in its pomp. What memorable days to look back on with nostalgia.

Professional stars, such as Bill Alley, Stanley Jayasinghe, Collis King and Jack Manning were at Colne. International icons Ray Lindwall, Steve Waugh, Dattu Phadkar, Neil Hawke and Johnny Wardle were among the cream of the crop at Nelson.

And elsewhere in the star-studded league constellation around that time Cec Pepper (Burnley), George Tribe (Rawtenstall) and Bruce Dooland (East Lancs) were continually weaving their spin magic.

How many of the league’s crop of professionals in recent seasons would have found a place in cricket’s hall of fame? How many of today’s Colne amateurs are capable of gracing the county championship ranks like Alan Wharton (Leicestershire), Andrew Kennedy (Lancashire) and Geoff Hall (Somerset) did?

It is to the present and future we must look, however, and fervently hope that the club’s sporting status can be assured once again.

Eric Greenwood

Nelson