Two Overs At ... Jimmy Shaw
One of our most enduring opponents, Springhead's Jimmy Shaw always plays the game with a smile on his face - though that could be mainly from laughing at many of the ludicrous situations he's found himself in. In this revealing expose, Jimmy opens up about that maiden ton in 2015, his cricketing journey, and what he gets up to outside of cricket.
Tell us a bit about your cricketing background?
I grew up in North Wales, and played cricket from the age of 11 for school, and then a couple of clubs from 13/14 onwards. I was always an off-spin bowler, but having the upper body strength of an Iceberg Lettuce hindered me as I got older, so by the time I was 17/18 I was just chucking pies and getting smashed all over the place. I stopped playing, got a job, had kids, moved to the North West and decided when I was 25 I wanted to start playing again, mainly to get out of the house! I asked around a few colleagues where I should go, and they pointed me in the direction of Springhead.
The first game I played was away at Westleigh Meths. In my first over, I came on chucked some pies, and Kieran Lloyd smashed one for a six that landed on his then 2-year own sons bonce, on the full. It horrified me so much I quit bowling and reinvented myself as a middle order Ďbatterí, (the inverted commas are definitely needed) and have loved every minute of my 9 seasons since.
Who were your heroes growing up Ė and who are they now?
Iím not one for heroes, but in terms of cricketers I always like people who entertain. I used to love Darren Gough and Brian Lara from when I started watching cricket, and latterly people like Flintoff, KP, De Villiers, etc. All the people that make you sit up and watch. Closer to home it would have to be Malc Sweeting, our firebrand chairman. Still playing at 71 years of age week in week out, How can you not be inspired by that?!!
Favourite cricketing memory?
So many to choose from.† As a teenager I walked around the outfield of a county match being played, but sadly rained off for the day, at a ground where I used to live. I was supposed to be in school but wagged it. I was a sad 14 year lad with a bat and an orange windball who just wanted to watch some cricket. A guy broke off from the group of players huddled by the boundary, dressed in a Glamorgan tracksuit & approached me and asked if I wanted to play in the nets for a few minutes. I quickly realised it was none other than Waqar Younis. I had a good 15 minutes in the pissing rain, just me and him. And it was absolutely amazing. Iíve never been coached, as is evident by my way of playing the gameÖ but I learned more in those 15 minutes than the rest of cricket days combined.
More recently, I would have to be the 103 I scored (sloggedÖ) at Blackley for the 1sts last year. Anyone who knows me will be groaning as Iíve not shut up about it since.
How are you finding the transition to the GMCL?
Other than the fact it has been about -4 degrees centigrade and gloomy, and I donít think we can blame the league for that, I think it has been excellent. Promotion and relegation, a professional feel from everything thatís been organised, lots of new grounds, itís great. I think youíd have to be naÔve to think that there wonít be a few hiccups along the way with such a big undertaking as this league, but itís all been done very well so far.
Whoís your favourite teammate at Springhead, past or present?
Itís hard to pick out one, as there are very few who I havenít liked. We always have a laugh, but if pushed Itíd probably have to be the mighty Austrian oak that is Tristan De Havillan, as not only as he is a really nice guy, but because he was one of the best batters, bowlers and fielders in the old NMCL. He is back for this season after a hiatus, which is great. I love all the lads though, we always enjoy ourselves, win or (mostlyÖ) lose!
Funniest thing you've seen at a cricket match?
Amongst many funny things at Springhead, my all-time favourite must have been when we were searching for a lost ball at Blackley a few years ago, amongst all the long grass and debris, Bainy put his whole right leg up to the middle of his shin in a tin of white paint that had been discarded in the growth. Upon pulling his limb out and dripping with dulux one-coat, his passing comment of Ďthatís taken the gloss off the dayí still has me chuckling now. Tris then asked him if he was Ďfeeling emulsionalí. I donít think I could take the field until Iíd regained composure about 2 overs later.
Away from cricket, what fills your time?
Children, sleeping, watching the kids play their cricket, eating cake, working, Game of Thrones, Sky Sports, San Miguel, my Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Missy), moaning about things, whatsapp, committee meetings, being the treasurer of SCCC and a charity, Jelly tots, Podcasts, football, staring silently into the middle-distance wondering where life goes, Red Dwarf DVDís, Compiling lists, Twitter, and every now and then I have some time for my girlfriend.
Favourite book, song, and film?
Into thin Air by John Krakeur, Whatís my age again by Blink 182, and Spirited Away/Terminator 2. I cannot split them. Please donít make me.
What are you looking forward most this season?
All the new grounds, some new teas (there had best be some battenburg somewhere), some wins, and for Rob Shaw to get some runs please. Most of all I hope itís a success. We canít all be winners, and there will be some moans and gripes on social media (what else would you use Twitter for?!) but it should be much better than what we all had previously.
Whatís the best Ė and worst Ė ground youíve played at, and why?
Ignoring Springheadís Beautiful, stark, freezing cold field with its rather ramshackle clubhouse, it would probably have to be Colwyn Bayís Penrhyn Avenue ground where I had my aforementioned interaction with Waqar. Glamorgan play there every year, itís a first class venue and it was lovely. And I was lucky enough to live next door until my late teens.
Whatís the most exciting thing about your club right now?
The fact we have a committee doing things and trying to move forward. We are trying very hard to secure funding to not only exist but to improve as much as we can, to do things such as improve our much-maligned clubhouse. We finally have a license to sell alcohol, we hold social events such as our first ever bonfire last year - and We have spent several thousands of pounds on the outfield and square recently, which to a club of our size is an astronomical sum.†
If you could play in any sports team in history (cricket or other), which would it be?
You mean other than Tottís 1st XI? Itíd have to be the Birmingham City Carling Cup winning team of 2011. Iíd like to be the one rolling the ball in the net in the 89th minute instead of Obafemi Martins. If you can arrange that itíd be just great, cheers.
As an aside, I hope Totts have a great year and hope our paths cross again at some point, it was always a pleasure playing against you, even though we generally lost. In case any of your players are wondering who I am, I am the skinny bespectacled shambles of a player usually found fielding at square leg, moaning about being cold. All the best!
If you'd like to take a turn in the hotseat, please drop Doc P a line via firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll whizz you over some questions. We'd be delighted to hear from players, supporters, partners, friends of the club or anyone who fancies taking part - all welcome!