NCCC Supporters Club


The Official Newsletter of Northamptonshire County Cricket Supporters Club (Founded 1988)

Chairman: Trevor Bailey, 41 Debdale Road, Northampton NN3 2TR Telephone (01604) 409371 Email:

Secretary: TBA

Treasurer: Mrs Linda Fisher, 110 Denmark Street, Bedford. Telephone: 07989844171 Email:

Membership Secretary: Dianne Ward, Flat 2, 13 Park Avenue, Northampton NN3 2BX. Telephone: (01604) 635800 Email:

Newsletter Editor: Bill Horsley, 10 Delamere Road, Northampton NN4 8QG. Telephone (01604) 765780 Email:

Committee members; Sheila Kent, Jim Finney and Michael Wells.



“Look at my hopes, Look at my dreams,  I'm building bridges from these scenes, Now I'm ready to rise again.” Taken from the lyrics of the song 'Rise' by Gabrielle. Writers; Gabrielle, Ollie Dagois, Ferdy Unger-Hamilton, Bob Dylan


BBC Radio Northampton were recently so desperate to fill some airtime that they interviewed me. Unfortunately it generally seems that I'm more likely to be interviewed when things are not going well and, of course this was again the case. On these occasions it is difficult to know what balance to strike. It is impossible to pretend that things are going well but, nevertheless I am a Northamptonshire supporter and I have to believe that, sooner or later they will do again.

At the time of writing the team are yet to commence their 50 over campaign and therefore the slate (as far as that is concerned) is clean. Northamptonshire have as much chance as any county to succeed in this competition. There is encouraging news that Alex Wakely may yet be able to play some part in this season and new New Zealand Test player Neil Wagner will be arriving. Hopefully the team may yet enjoy an 'Indian Summer'.

I am fully aware that much of the season so far (particularly the Championship season) has been painful to watch for Northamptonshire supporters. Matters are not made easier by the fact that last year the team was so successful. But if the recent past has shown us anything it is that things can quickly change around. 2012 was a dismal season but 2013 was triumphant. Who knows what the immediate future holds?

Please support our coach trip to Cheltenham on Sunday 27 July. If you have never been it is a lovely , picturesque venue for cricket. It would be nice to take a full coach to a Northamptonshire away game again. Come on Northamptonshire!



The opinions expressed by the authors of articles in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or Northamptonshire County Cricket Supporters Club.



Bill's mention of Tim Lamb in the May newsletter recalled an unexpected phone call from Tim.

It happened in 1995 when Tim was Cricket Secretary of the TCCB. Northants had beaten Yorkshire at Headingley in the semi final of the NatWest. It was a terrific day out, and an outstanding victory, spoilt by some drunken supporters transforming the atmosphere to that of an out of hand football crowd.

The bone of contention for me was the presence of two Yorkshire umpires, Chris Balderstone and John Hampshire. Added to this Barrie Leadbeater was appointed as TMO.  He had one or two run outs to judge, as five of the fifteen wickets fell that way.

At the time I was dismayed by the arrangements, for a match at Headingley, a semi in front of a big crowd, rarely a less than hostile crowd, and three officials from and formerly players for Yorkshire.

I fired off a letter to the TCCB, and after some time assumed a reply would not be forthcoming. Then one evening, the phone rang and to my amazement, it was Tim Lamb replying to my letter questioning the wisdom of having three Yorkshire umpires at Headingley for a home semi.

He was driving home, apologised for not replying sooner, and we had a conversation, with Mr Lamb on hands free, I presumed. He explained the availability of umpires had led to the appointment of the three Yorkshiremen, and then we moved on to reminiscences of Northamptonshire.

As Tim was a regular for Northants when I began watching them in 1979, we covered a number of things, and naturally, homed in on the Lamb (T)/Griffiths partnership which saw us home by one wicket in the 1981 NatWest semi against Bumble’s Lancashire. He told me that he felt no nerves being totally immersed in the situation, and suspected it was far worse for the supporters. He didn’t speak for Jim Griffiths who was the man chaired off by the fans, and haltingly interviewed by Richie Benaud for the highlights show.

Then Tim announced he was turning into his drive and that was the end of the conversation. It was a real pleasure to talk to him and by the end 

of the call, I’d completely forgotten the case of the three Yorkshire umpires.

Michael Wells


Nearly forty years ago we took our two boys on a coach trip to Bridlington. We did the usual seaside things including fish and chips, but the thing we most remember was the road train to the cliff top.

We found a cricket match under way so we sat enjoying the game with no idea who was playing. We hoped that one good hit would send the ball over the cliff. All too soon we returned to the coach and were back home again.

It was such an enjoyable day but the match made it.

Florence Nicholson



Local bakery firm Oliver Adams has opened a shop based in the old bowls club pavilion at the County Ground. This will form a major part of a new partnership with Northants Cricket for the 156-year old company which has 52 outlets across the county. The new shop opened its doors for the T20 blast match against Yorkshire.


Law firm Shoosmiths have also signed a partnership deal with Northants Cricket. As part of this they will be the main sponsors of the Royal London One Day Cup match between the Steelbacks and Worcestershire Royals at Campbell Park, Milton Keynes on Tuesday 29 July.


James Middlebrook won the Steffans Jewellers Player of the Month Award for May. David Willey and Ben Duckett were also nominated.


Local street dance troup Cartel will perform at the County Ground on 23 July during the Nat West T20 Blast match against Nottinghamshire Outlaws. The group recently reached the semi-finals of ITV's Britain's Got Talent.


Yardley Gobion were the winners of the Kwik Cricket County Schools Finals at the County 

Ground in late June. The other schools competing were; Cedar Road , Danesholme, Wooton,  Mawsley, Wellingborough Park Junior ,  Boothville,Gretton and Freemans.


You don't need me to tell you that Northamptonshire's season so far hasn't been a bed of roses. What better time to remember 11 better days for the Tudor Rose....

31 July 1878

The present Northamptonshire CCC is formed as a result of a meeting at The George Hotel, Northampton. The club battled through years of being considered 'third class' to become pace setters in the Minor Counties Championship as the century turned leading to...

18 May 1905

At five minutes past twelve George Thompson faces the opening delivery of Northamptonshire's opening County Championship match.. The opposition were Hampshire and the venue the old  Southampton ground. The match ended drawn but  Northants' first victory in the Championship against Derbyshire at the County Ground was only a few weeks away.

29 May 1939

Northants hadn't won any of their last 99 matches. What price an innings victory? But not one for the visitors Leicestershire. Dashing young captain Robert Nelson led his side to a two day victory which featured 187 from Dennis Brookes. Poignantly Nelson was to die in World War Two less than eighteen months later.

16 August 1965

Northamptonshire defeated Lancashire at Old Trafford to go 28 points clear at the top of the County Championship. Haydn Sully took 11 for 87. We'll ignore how the rest of the season went shall we?

8 August 1972

Back in 1921 Northamptonshire lost to the Australians by an innings and 484 runs. Forty years later they nearly beat them. Eleven more years were to pass before the first victory over the men from Down Under was achieved by seven wickets. David Steele (60*) was there at the close  and he wasn't finished with Australia.

4 September 1976

It began with Farouk Engineer being bowled for a duck. It featured David Hughes hitting 26 off Bishen Bedi's final over. But it finished with Northamptonshire claiming their first major trophy – the Gillette Cup. Peter Willey (65, 103 for the first wicket with Roy Virgin (53)) was Man of the Match.

21 July 1980

Four years after their first triumph Northants gained a narrow victory over Essex at Lord's to win the Benson and Hedges Cup. Allan Lamb's 75 in a total of 209 earned him the Gold Award. Sarfraz Nawaz took 3-23 as Essex declined from 112-1 to 203-8.

5 September 1992

After a twelve year wait Northamptonshire secured their third major trophy with a comfortable eight wicket win over traditional rivals Leicestershire at Lord's. Alan Fordham (91)  was Man of the Match (no England call up though....)

19 May 1999

Who would have thought it? The poor, little considered County Ground stages international cricket. A World Cup match in which South Africa defeated reigning champions Sri Lanka.

The ground also staged Bangladesh versus Pakistan in the same tournament a match which saw a well-remembered upset.

9 September 2000

Northamptonshire complete a drawn match against Essex at the County Ground which ensures the side promotion as Division Two Champions. Thus Northamptonshire finish top of a County Championship table – a sadly rare occurrence. Northants might have won but for some chap called Stephen Peters scoring an unbeaten 50 for the visitors – what happened to him?

17 August 2013

Do I need to remind you? An even longer 21 year wait for a major trophy is ended with a thumping 102-run victory over Surrey at Edgbaston. David 

Willey (60 and 4-9) was Man of the Match. It runs in the family you know...

Bill Horsley



What is it with men and their cricket books? They never seem to have enough of them and they never seem to tire of reading them.

They leaf through pages displaying faded photographs of past heroes. They pour over columns of batting averages and bowling figures. Then they turn back to the beginning and start all over again.

We would not keep reading John le Carre or Ian Rankin would we? We know who the heroes and villains are and the full plot. But that does not seem to matter to men and their cricket books.

How many times can you read a report on an event that happened many moons ago and still find it interesting? Typical of this obsession was illustrated at a recent gathering at the Turner Suite. There was a raffle and the chap next to me won a prize. There were lots of lovely goodies he could have selected- anything from boxes of chocolates to bottles of wine. But what did he triumphantly grab from this cornucopia? A book about cricket, of course.

When I mentioned my bewilderment to my companion she suggested that the reason men like cricket books is they endeavour to memorise all the anecdotes, analysis and statistics. Then they can impress their fellow obsessives with their knowledge and memories of the glorious game.

I think she may have solved the mystery of men and their cricket books.


Sue Nuttall


Weather ended the T20 match against Leicestershire at the County Ground on 12 May. Northants had made 134-7 in their 20 overs.

Against Middlesex at Dunstable Northants suffered a 188-run defeat in the Second Eleven 

Trophy in mid-May. Chad Barrett claimed 3-53 but the visitors totalled 268-6 in their 50 0vers. Northants crashed to 80 all out in the 33rd over.

Two days later the two sides played two T20 matches at Uxbridge. Middlesex run out winners again in both – by nine wickets and 7 runs respectively. Trialist Andrew Lowe hit 50 and 82 for Northants.

The next fixture for the Seconds was a pair of T20 matches against the Unicorns at Great Tew. Northants made 179-5 in their 20 overs with Richard Levi (51) top scoring. The Unicorns were 12-1 in the third over when rain arrived. This also prevented the planned second T20 from being played.

In late May the Seconds suffered three completely washed out days – the Trophy match against Kent at Dunstable and the first two days of a friendly against Derbyshire at Stowe School. On the third day a 40-over match was arranged and Derbyshire totalled 247-6. Northants were 128-2 in the 28th over with James Kettleborough 54 not out when more rain ended the match.

Long Marston was the venue for the Trophy match against Unicorns in early June. The Unicorns were all out for 195 with Chad Barrett taking 4-32. In response Northants fell to 32-6 before a partnership of 147 for the seventh wicket between Saif Zaib (76) and Barrett (65*) swung the match. A two-wicket victory was claimed in the 47th over.




The Steel-Ettos continued their Royal London One Day Cup campaign at Bishop's Stortford in late May. Hertfordshire won a low scoring match by 13 runs. Joanne Gardner starred for Northants with 3-14 and an unbeaten 30.

The next scheduled match against Gloucestershire at Sywell was washed out.

Play was possible at Kibworth where Leicestershire won by four wickets. Laura Tonks (81)  top scored in a total of 196-7. Northants' best bowler was Siobhan Smith who took 3-18.


Northamptonshire and Somerset face each other in a County Championship match for the first time in seven years. It is 102 years (almost to the day) since the two teams first faced each other.

The County Ground welcomed Somerset for the first time on 11 July 1912 and two days later Northamptonshire were to run out winners by ten wickets. Daventry's 'Bumper' Wells claimed 11 wickets in the match while John Denton (74) top scored in Northants' first innings of 300.

Northamptonshire also claimed the return match at Bath, by the massive margin of 283 runs. Sydney Smith produced a devastating all round performance, hitting 136 out of a second innings total of 310 and taking ten wickets in the match (including 8-39 as Somerset were all out for 55 in the second innings).

A variety of venues have witnessed this fixture over the years including; Kettering, Weston-super-Mare, Frome, Peterborough, Rushden, Glastonbury, Yeovil and the Imperial Athletic Ground at Bristol.

The 1954 match at the County Ground saw Northamptonshire achieve the rarity of winning a County Championship match having only lost two wickets. Declaring their first innings at 362-2 (Dennis Brookes 210*) Northants then bowled Somerset out for 110 and 323 (Syd Starkie 10-123 in the match). Brookes and Jock Livingston then knocked off the runs required for a 10 wicket win.

In 1963 at the County Ground the match between the two counties was drawn with the scores level. Set 237 to win Northamptonshire ended on 236-8 with Mick Norman 117 not out.

In 2003 Mike Hussey hit an unbeaten 331 at Taunton. To date this is the highest first-class innings by a Northamptonshire batsman.

The first limited overs match between the counties was in the 1967 Gillette Cup at the County Ground. Somerset won by 36 runs 

Mervyn Kitchen (40) top scoring in a total of 184 and Fred Rumsey (4-23) helping to bowl Northants out for 148 (this included trapping Colin Milburn lbw for a duck).

In the late 1970's the two teams twice met on neutral territory. The match we would like to remember is the 1978 Fenner Trophy semi-final at Scarborough won by five wickets. (Yorkshire were defeated in the final – a trophy!).

Unfortunately more people are likely to remember the 1979 Gillette Cup Final. In this match Viv Richards (117) scored a century as Somerset reached 269-8 from their 60 overs. Joel Garner (6-29) then bowled Northants out for 224 with skipper Jim Watts unable to bat.     

The counties have met regularly in T20 including two Quarter-Finals, in 2005 and 2010 with Somerset winning both times. Last season's group match at the County Ground saw the Steelbacks successfully defend a total of 150 with Mohammad Azharullah taking 3-16.

A number of cricketers have represented both counties. One of the best known is Roy Virgin who was born at Taunton and began playing for his home county in 1957. For Somerset he received his county cap in 1960, enjoyed a benefit in 1969 and was named one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year in 1971.

In 1973 he joined Northamptonshire and was capped the following season. He captained the side for most of the 1975 season. His Northamptonshire career ended in 1977. In the 1976 match between the two counties at the County Ground Virgin (145) added 370 for the fourth wicket with Peter Willey. (227) This is still a Northamptonshire record.

Yorkshire born Neil Mallender also played for both counties being capped for Northamptonshire in 1984 and 1987 for Somerset. Neil's two Test Match appearances were as a Somerset player.

Also worth a mention is Haydn Sully. Sully joined Northamptonshire from Somerset in 1964. In 1966 he enjoyed his most successful season taking 101 wickets and being given his county cap.






Coach Departs 8am from The County Ground

A Deposit of £10 is required which will be refunded if the coach does not run.

Please book at The Signal Box or with Jim Finney on 01933-443950.



There is still time to renew your Northamptonshire County Cricket Supporters Club membership if you haven't already done so. Membership rates are currently £3 per year or £15 for five years. Please pop into the 'Signal Box' to see us and renew.

N.B. If you have a five year membership which began in 2010 or later you obviously do not have to renew this year.



 The Supporters Club has received thanks from Northants Cricket  Chief Executive David Smith for the donation we made to the parent Club at the start of the season. As always we are delighted to assist the Club as often as we can. Long may this continue to be the case.


Any addition to the comparatively small number of books about Northamptonshire cricket is very welcome and none more so than this publication by former Chronicle and Echo cricket correspondent Andy Roberts. Andy has interviewed a number of key people from Northamptonshire's recent cricketing past who are able to give a number of insights.

The book covers the forty year span from 1974 to 2013, ending with the Steelbacks' T20 triumph last season. It does not claim to be a history of these years but the description of a number of matches which took place during my formative years as a Northamptonshire supporter certainly make it a fascinating read. It certainly brought back a lot of memories for me. There are a number of amusing anecdotes and one of my favourites concerns then then PA announcer Ron Staniford learning the reason why Kent's flag features a white horse on a red background (I'm not explaining more here – you will have to read it!)

Fields of Maroon and Gold is available during the season from The Signal Box at the reduced price of £10 for Supporters Club members. For non-members to price is £15.



On 6th July 1964 The Beatles' first film A Hard Day's Night was released. Exactly one week later The 13th July  saw Northamptonshire complete a two-day innings victory over Nottinghamshire at Kettering. Notts were dismissed for 121 (Jim Watts 6-60) and 102 (Malcolm Scott 4-30). Roger Prideaux (53) top scored in a total of 229. Those were the days!

Northamptonshire County Cricket Supporters Club would like to thank Autohome for their assistance in the printing of this newsletter.