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Legends of Offley Stopsley Cricket Club


Martin Bigmore

Playing for Stopsley Cricket Cub is something of a family tradition in the Bigmore family, Bighaas started his cricket career mid eighties as a gangly free spirited 11 year old, joining both his father and uncle in the team.

In the early years he played to enjoy it all rather than push himself, indeed it was 1998 before he scored his first century. Being one of those weird right handed creatures who prefer to bat left handed cannot have helped. He has suffered more than most from the family hindrance of large backsides so quick singles were not a priority. Instead he prefered to brutalise short pitched bowling, pity the fool who pitched it on leg stump.

For such a tall man he was a surprisingly nimble and very very solid wicketkeeper. In fact he was our first wicketkeeper/batsman of note.

He tired of the English weather though and decided to pursue his summer dreams in the more regular climate of Australia in Nov 2006, after previously threatening to move to New Zealand, America, Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

Simon Warrington:

Without him there would have been no Offley & Stopsley Cricket Club. The critics can have their say – and few have ever been shy of holding forth on the merits or otherwise of S. V. Warrington – but had he not had the vision to persuade Stopsley’s players to abandon Lothair Road in favour of a move to Offley there would in all likelihood be no club. Warrington was at his best off the field, winkling funds and artificial surfaces out of the ECB and living the dream of transforming Offley into one of the great sporting venues. From an administrative point of view we shall not see his like again.

The same can probably be said of his playing skills. For a man with such an enthusiasm for sports it is perhaps fair to say that he did not excel at them. At various times Warrington tried his hand at keeping wicket, opening the batting, loopy spin, medium pace and, most disastrously of all, captaining the side. At his best safely hidden down the order and charged with the task of knocking over a few rabbits at the end of the innings, Warrington was an accident waiting to happen when he took charge.

After leading the Second XI with some success – at least in the sense that there were no player revolts and they managed to draw the odd game – Warrington assumed command of the Millman League team in 2002. It proved to be a relatively unhappy experience for all concerned as a dismal season ended with relegation. Captaincy couldn’t really be said to have affected his form as he never had much to begin with but it may have clouded his judgement as batting orders were chosen in accordance to the time at which players arrived.

Minor differences of opinion with key players were perhaps inevitable (one subsequently remarked that he was, “not fit to skipper a feckin bathtub around the pi**ing harbour”) and his relationship with his one-time friend and confidant Steve Bexfield suffered. It was as if Starsky and Hutch had irrevocably fallen out over which one got to drive or Butch and Sundance had decided that they would be better off going solo.

Warrington returned to the ranks in 2003 but his enthusiasm for the game had dwindled and after one last tragically sad outing (0 runs, 3 drops, 1-0-plenty-0, including a lost ball) he headed into the sunset to spend the rest of his sporting days on the golf course. He truly was one of a kind.

Still, we’ll always have that f*****g rope to remember him by.


Keith Towndrow

Few could argue that the man they called Turtle was the most talented cricketer ever to sport the twin lions. Even less would contest the fact that when it came to milking the most out of his talent Towndrow was a wastrel par excellence. Not that the man himself was ever overly concerned by the manner of his dismissal, whether it was helping a wide long hop to cover or holing out to long on against a Boatwright-calibre spinner. Towndrow’s casual acceptance of success or failure may have prompted his captain to tear his hair out in exasperation at times but the man himself carried along on his merry way regardless of centuries (of which there were an abject two) and single-figure aberrations (of which there were a ridiculous amount).

Yet talent was never the issue. A man who had crossed swords with the likes of Marcus Trescothick, Mark Butcher and Adam Hollioake at an early age was not to be judged by the usual standards of Offley players. On his day there was no finer striker of a cricket ball and opponents were generally happier when they had sent him back to the pavilion, regardless of the mode of dismissal. A penchant for the agricultural mow was often the undoing for a player who could caress the ball through the covers with the minimum of ease yet often looked as if he would be happier in the neighbouring fields armed with a scythe rather than a bat.

His bowling also caught the eye. Seriously sharp when he wanted to be, yet invariably frustratingly wayward, meant he took far fewer wickets than he should have done.

Yet whatever his shortcomings as a batsman or bowler (and as a drinker come to think of it), when it came to fielding it was Towndrow first and the rest nowhere. His fielding was simply on a different plane to the rest of his colleagues as he proved himself to be blessed with a cannon for an arm and a pair of hands that could hold to even the sharpest chances. If Towndrow couldn’t hold it, the chances were that no one else would have got near it, with the possible exception of one truly inept display where he shelled three in the same afternoon, including one effort that he headed over the boundary for six.

As a midweek captain he led the club to successive triumphs in the cup, demonstrating a flair for diplomacy that saw the final abandoned in 2002 and the semi-final scrapped in 2003. Needless to say Towndrow and his team occupied the moral high ground on both occasions.

Baalmar 'Beefy' Baines

One of the club's earlier - and admittedly less successful - forays into the overseas player market, Bains was able to display notable credentials when it came to considering the identity of the worst Indian cricketer in history. To be fair that is a slightly harsh judgement. Obviously there have been worse Indian players than Beefy, they just didn't happen to be playing for Offley & Stopsley at the same time.

Unlike many Indian cricketers his batting could never be described as wristy. Perhaps pokey would be a more apt description - he did at times bear a resembalnce to a man playing French cricket with a frying pan.

Seldom the most mobile in the field Bains nevertheless proved to have a fairly reliable pair of hands, an atribute that was never better demonstrated than during his substitute appearance for Luton Nomads, where he clung on to a steepling offering from DaveBridgland.

In his defense Bains worked hard to improve his game and gradually developed to the point where he was considered "good for 4," although he was never likely to delay the opposition for long. Had he been as difficult to pry from the crease as it was to persuade him to buy a round or smoke his own cigarettes then Bains might never have been dismissed.

Tony Maidment:

Tony to himself, Ming-Mong to everyone else, Maidment was a curious individual who at first glance was something of a spastic but through hard work and a lack of common sense established himself as a solid player. Introduced to the club by Simon Warrington, Maidment made little impression in the early stages of his career with the club but by the time of his departure to Australia it was clear that there would be another like him.

Ming-Mong’s shortcomings were considerable but that did not stop Warrington trying to turn him into an opening bowler with particularly lamentable reward. A useful number nine and a committed fielder, Ming-Mong could generally be relied upon to put in a solid effort assuming he turned up and was not waylaid by any unfortunate run-ins with some of his East End gangster chums or his mate Charlie.

Despite a relative lack of success on the field, Ming-Mong distinguished himself on successive tours. In 2000 he made his mark in Bournemouth by sitting on Towndrow’s bed and lovingly massaged his bed as a mildly stoned Towndrow enjoyed his porn mag, blissfully unaware that he was being felt up by Maidment. The video of the incident did little to please either individual. The following year Ming-Mong excelled himself at Trent Bridge where he jumped on an unwary Bexfield’s bed and tried to persuade him into an impromptu bout of wrestling.

He left for Australia soon afterwards.


Chris Jarvis:

A player who saw his finest days at Stopsley, Jarvis played an important role in helping the club find its feet at Offley before heading for the golf course where Simon Warrington continues to blight his weekends.

A talented all-round sportsman with a reliable pair of hands, Jarvis never saw a ball he thought he couldn’t hit across the line. The result was invariably a convincing LBW shout or a shovelled offering to square leg and he seldom took advantage of his undoubted power to hit down the ground. Nevertheless he could be a destructive force when the mood took him and he registered a century for the second team.


Gary McDermott:

Few were as happy to swap the grim wastelands of Lothair Road for the rustic charm of the O.C.G. as McDermott. In his prime he was a destroyer of bowling attacks but he was content to spend the majority of his time at Offley shoring up the relatively weak ranks of the second team. A sparkling century in 2002 persuaded him to stand for the captaincy in 2003 but his season and ultimately career were cruelly cut short by a back injury. He has however recently been spotted at Kenilworth Road expressing a desire to smash the ball around again.


Barrett Odedra:

The Prince was the self-regarded mainstay of the OSCC batting in the club’s early campaigns. A player of undoubted ability, Odedra’s regard for his own talents was not always matched by the rest of his colleagues. However, he was a consistent source of runs, even if his strike rate left a little to be desired at times. To express it more succinctly there were times – notably before he reached 50 – when Odedra displayed the vitality and exciting stroke play of a comatose Chris Tavaré. Having reached his personal landmark Odedra was not averse to assuming the guise of Sachin Tendulkar and pressing on for three figures or consolidating his not out depending on his chosen preference. A career average of 53.24 suggests that his approach had its merits.


Scott Addy

Scott blitzed his way into the club in the balmy summer of 1997 with a quite stunning display of hitting at the large Flitwick ground. He hit an entertaining 47 in 19 balls which made everyone sit up and take note of the new talent in the club. Alas he never hit those heights again. Subsequent trips to the crease were often short and embarassing as he attempted to match his initial feats with some feeble hoicks to mid-off.

Never to be put of though he continued his career as an all rounder. On occasion he would be a medium pace trundler with a quicker one that could surprise batsmen. On most occasions though his attempts to bowl fast would lead him to be a dibbly dobbly leg side trundler that dis not surprise any batsmen.

His fielding though was another matter entirley. He could through the ball from one boundary to another flat, fast and accurate with ease. The nearest thing to a human cannon Offley Stopsley Cricket Club ever had.

Dan Jordan:

Enters the hall of fame for battering the Saracens League with both bat and ball throughout the 2006 season Dan proved a forsmidable signing for the club. Hailing from New Zealand the former Black Caps youth player trundled around the wilds of Bedfordshire and Herts with good grace despite spending hours travelling from London each week. Probably the most technically gifted batsman to represent the club and certainly the most patient. Dan scored 476 runs with an astonishing average of 95.2 as well as taking 27 wickets with his never before unleashed fast bowling.

Sadly he returned to New Zealand with to get settle down with his new wife where they have since had a baby boy.


Richard Hatfield:

Cymbals had a rare gift for failing to hold on to chances and break his finger in the process. A perennially late arrival for games, he displayed limited ability with the bat and was regarded by opposing bowlers as something of a walking wicket. Rarely allowed his abject lack of cricketing skill to upset and consoled himself with having possibly the largest penis in the known world. With Dennis for company, Cymbals would never be lonely.


Robert Boatwright:         Salmonella Teas                       £15

                                               Value on the pitch                   three pence

                                               Funds misappropriated          plenty

                                                Getting shot of him                    priceless


Dennis Day:

Probably the worst scorer in the world, Dennis brought an olde worlde charm to scoring. He also brought an utter lack of competence and an inability to count, “qualifications” that hastened his departure.


Contribution by Richie Barker