Two Overs At ... Paul Johnson
Our Scouse hero can only manage a few games a year, but he's been a big hit at the club. Find out more about his cricketing career, what makes him tick and what ambitions he has left in this exclusive interview!
How did you get involved at TSJCC?
I'd been retired from cricket for ten years when work brought me to this part of the world. A former colleague of mine is a mate of the chairman, and on hearing I was moving to the area mentioned to Scott that I might be worth tempting out of retirement. So when I then found out that TSJCC was the club my dad used to play for, how could I not take up the invitation!
What's your cricketing background?
I've played for two clubs other than TSJCC.....I came through the junior ranks at Maghull CC before making my first team debut at 16. I played ten years for Maghull CC including a spell as captain before joining Southport & Birkdale CC in 1991. I spent three injury hit years at Trafalgar Road before returning to Maghull CC for second ten year spell before deciding to call it a day.
What are your career highlights to date?
The highlights have to winning the Sandhurst Shield with Maghull CC in 1989, and clinching the Liverpool Competition First Division title in 2001. (Personal highlights would be 4 wkts in 4 balls at Halsall CC in 1990, and returning to Southport & Birkdale CC with Maghull ten years after leaving Trafalgar Road and taking 5-19 in a relegation shootout that had prompted S&B to bring in a number of 'guest pro's' to no avail......money wasted!)
How are you finding life at Totty?
I love life at Totty, right from the moment I first went to winter nets everyone has made me feel very welcome. TSJCC has a great atmosphere and attitude within the club.
If you could change places with any world cricketer, past or present, who would it be?
That's an easy one......it would have to be Shane Warne during the time he was married to Liz Hurley!!!!
What developments are you most looking forward to, at Totty and in the local game?
I'm still relatively new to cricket in the area, and I'm looking forward to visiting different grounds in the new league. (Also I think we're all looking forward to the new pavilion extension).
What other sports do you follow?
Football......let's face it with my roots what other answer where you expecting, (and unlike my old man I'm a red)! In my younger days it was playing for local teams in Liverpool, but these days it's watching 'mini me mark 1' playing for St.Georges under 14's in Liverpool, and also taking him to Anfield.
Aside from cricket, what fills your time?
It used to be golf, but these days it's my cheeky kids......don't know where they get it from!
Who's the best player you've played with, and who's been the best opponent?
I've come across a lot of well know names and test players over the years, but the best player I've played with still has to be my late father-in-law I.W.Howie (ex Maghull CC and Lancashire). Ian was a proper gentleman & sportsman in the Corinthian mould, and one of the most destructive batsman I've seen.....he was still despatching fast bowlers back over their heads even in his later years, and over 16,000 runs for Maghull CC says it all. Difficult to pick the best player I've played against, but the toughest opponent to deal with was the West Indies opening quickie Marlon Black....it's a different game facing guys of that pace.
Any favourite comedy moments from your career so far?
Hard to pick comedy moments, but two make may laugh when I look back at them now. Firstly playing for five overs after tea at Leigh CC with a terrible itch on the inside of my left thigh that no amount of scratching would ease.....only to open my whites and have a live wasp fly out, (should have done the lottery that night)!
Secondly would be playing in front of a big Bank Holiday crowd at Trafalgar Road with our opening quickie Marcus Sharpe needing one wicket for 50wkts that season, and dropping two dolly catches in three balls at slip......there was a groan from the crowd for the first drop, but the second drop was greeted by absolute silence until after what seemed like an eternity there was a lone voice from the back of the crowd "He's done it again!"
If you could impose one new rule on cricket (at any level) what would it be?
Put a stop to 'sledging'......I'm old school and it's the one thing I absolutely hate about the game these days!
Pick your cricketing World XI ...
This is a tough question and there are many players I could have included, but my world XI, (that also gives my age away), would have to be:-
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!