1980 - 1981 Season Report
1980 - 1981 Season
Harold "Dickie" Bird made his second and to date final visit to the Society on the 2nd October 1980. By this time he was an established test match umpire highly respected by the players and cricket authorities.
"They all rated me the best: Sobers, Richards, Lillee and Botham. That means a lot I can tell you," he admitted.
Dickie was later awarded the MBE in June 1986 in the Queen's Birthday Honours List and gained many friends, including former Prime Minister John Major, John Paul Getty and writer Stephen King. "I wish I'd had a family. That's where I missed out in life," he said after his retirement but he admitted he was "married to the game."
"He's a good Yorkshireman and won't do nowt for nowt", remarked his long time friend Doug Wilks after Dickie declined a further visit to the Society.
Chris Old of England, Northern Transvaal, Northumberland, Warwickshire, Yorkshire made his first appearance as our guest on the 6th November 1980. At the time Chris Old was coming towards the end of his England career. Always a natural athlete he was plagued by injury through most of his career. His elder brother Alan was an England rugby union fly-half. Chris had developed into a rhythmic and powerful fast-medium seamer, noted for accuracy and potent late outswing, and a dangerous lower-order left-hand hitter.
George Cox was our guest on the 14th November 1980
Graham Wiltshire made his Fylde Coast Cricket Society debut on the 3rd December 1980. He had only a short seven year career in first class cricket making only nineteen appearances in that time. He was however a committed coach and league cricketer who would returm to the Fylde on a number of occassions.
Bob Ratcliffe of Lancashire had just retired from the first class game in 1980 when he visited the Society as our guest on the 14th January 1981. A right arm bowler he took 205 first class wickets and scored over a 1000 runs in his 82 matches.
Jim Combes was our guest on 13th February 1981.
John "Jack" Cope of Gloucestershire was our guest on the 13th March 1981. He made only 3 first class appearances for his county. Jack sadly passed away in January 1995.
Norman Gifford of England, Warwickshire, Worcestershire spoke on the 13th April 1981. Norman was a left-arm spinner who would have had much greater success had his career not overlapped with Tony Lock and Derek Underwood. However, Gifford who was a good-natured apple-cheeked Lancastrian played15 Tests, most of them while Ray Illingworth was captain. Later Gifford would go on to captain England in a one-day series in Sharjah in 1985 at the age of 44.
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