Chesterfield Cricket Lovers' Society

VISIT OF CLIVE RADLEY, MBE - Wednesday 5th October 2011

It was an honour for us to be able to open our 49th Season with a visit from Clive Radley, MBE, who has worked at Lord's for five decades, first as a very fine batsman and fielder with Middlesex and then, latterly , as Head of the MCC Cricket School.

In the early 1960s Clive had been at school in Norwich and was spotted playing for Norfolk by the former Middlesex and England icon, Bill Edrich, who had promptly recommended the young man to his old County. In the late 1970s Clive had enjoyed an all-too-brief Test career (he won 8 Caps), but in all spent 23 Seasons with Middlesex, before taking up his coaching appointment with MCC. Mr. Radley's run in the Test Team began when he received an urgent phone call in Australia one night (where he was carrying out a Winter's coaching engagement). He was instructed to make his way post haste to Lahore, as he was to replace Mike Brearley, who had broken his hand. In the event Clive did not play in that Test - the plane he was on had broken down in Bangkok and so he was too late to be considered for selection - but did gain his cherished .Three Lions. a few weeks later in Christchurch, when the touring team had moved on to New Zealand. Clive's first match was the famous one when quick runs were required in England's Second Innings in order to set up a meaningful declaration on the last day, but some of the players felt, rightly or wrongly, that Captain Boycott was not scoring as freely as was required, Ian Botham then went in and ,very shortly afterwards, G Boycott was run out. Whether this was by accident or design, the runs began to flow more quickly thereafter (Geoff Miller 89), a target was set and England squared the Series.

Clive spoke with affection of the many well known cricketers with whom hw had played over the years and had amusing anecdotes regarding such names as Fred Titmus, Brian Close, Mike Brearley, John Price - and even Derbyshire's Harry Cartwright! Titmus had been his great hero at Middlesex and he also spoke admiringly of the two spin twins of a slightly later era, Edmonds and Embury, who, with their diverse bowling styles, had complemented each other and had done so well for County and Country. Mr. Radley had few memories of matches in which he had played on Queen's Park (he modestly said that this was due to the fact that he had never managed to score any runs there - not entirely true!) but, quite apart from its attractive setting, the Ground had always been highly regarded by professional cricketers because of the fast pace of the pitch - not always the case with the more northerly Grounds.

Questions and Answers ranged over a number of issues, including Mr. Radley's thoughts on what makes a good coach, umpiring matters and the newly introduced (on 1st October) Regulations in International Cricket concerning runners for injured batsmen and the use in Limited Overs' Games of a different ball at each end.

Mr. Radley was a most welcome visitor and got our Winter off to a superb start. Acting as Chairman for the first time was John Paulson, whose relaxed knowledgeable and informative style came across very well - he did a fine job as emergency stand in for our much loved Society Chairman, David Marshall, who had entered Hospital that morning for a pre-planned operation and Mike Taylor, who had a business commitment on the day.

Earlier in the evening John Paulson had also chaired an admirably brief AGM, in which we received a progress report on the plans to celebrate the Society's 50th Anniversary Season next year. Best wishes for Mr. Marshall's speedy recovery and return to his rightful position in the Chair were recorded, coupled with similar good wishes to Vice President Jim Brailsford, who had been taken ill very recently. The Meeting stood in silence in memory of the passing of long standing Members - Nick Blackshaw, David Robinson and founder member Ian Buxton - coupled with thoughts for the distinguished Test Cricketer and .Headingley 1981. hero, Graham Dilley, whose death had been announced that morning.

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