Accrington Cricket Club

Champions again (1959 - 1964)

After languishing in the middle of the table since the early 1950s, Accrington decided to sign a top class professional. That man was 23 year-old Bobby Simpson, a right handed opening batsman and leg spin bowler, and a player who would be regarded as the best slip fielder in the world. At this time, Simpson had played in six of his 62 Test matches. He was a player who was capable of turning hundreds into double hundreds and later in his career he would captain his country. In his season at Accrington, Bobby Simpson rewrote the club record books, scoring 1444 runs at an average of 103.0. He also created a league record by scoring eleven consecutive half centuries in a total of sixteen in the season. The cricket was mostly played in glorious sunshine as Simpson reaped a golden harvest of runs. Shots were played to every corner of the field, all along the ground, as the young Australian Master compiled a total which may never be beaten, interspersing quick singles with classical boundaries.

Slip catch at cover
The team got off to a bad start, losing four of the first six games until three victories over Church in the space of seven days kick started the season. After little success in the first part of the season bowling leg spin, Simpson started bowling some spells of seamers which increased his output of wickets to 42 by the end of the season. After a duck against Nelson, Simpson began his sequence of eleven half centuries which continued until the end of the season. League leaders Nelson were the first to suffer as Simpson scored 73 not out in the 9 wicket thrashing at Accrington. In the last eleven matches of the season, Accrington won seven and drew four as Simpson compiled 885 runs with seven not outs for an average of 221.3. The victories were usually acquired when chasing runs, Simpson's second century (109 not out) at Bacup, requiring 184 to win being a prime example. In his last game against Todmorden, Simpson took a marvellous one handed slip catch at cover point! It is a catch still talked about today by those who saw it. Accrington finished the season in 4th place, having won 11, drawn 10 and lost 5 matches. Lindon Dewhurst (398 runs), Frank Rushton (397) and Roy Dewhurst (327) enjoyed good seasons with the bat and Jim Eland (42 wickets), Derek Rushton (34) and Eddie Robinson (27) bowled very well. The club's 700 members had had a season to remember.

Rolls Royce
Accrington continued with their policy of signing top class players when they engaged 22 year-old West Indian Test 'Rolls Royce' fast bowler Wes Hall for the 1960 season on a two year contract. Hall had played in 13 of his 48 Tests and was fresh from a home series against England in which he had taken 22 wickets at 30.9 each. After a slow start to the season, Wes eventually finished with exactly 100 wickets, the first time since 1934, when Dick Tyldsley was professional, that this feat had been achieved. Three amateurs also had outstanding seasons: Jack Collier created a club wicketkeeping record with 40 victims, Derek Rushton scored 411 runs and young leg spinner Eddie Robinson took 41 wickets, including 6-18 against Burnley and 5-13 against Lowerhouse as Accrington finished in 6th place in the league.

No fewer than eleven Test players lined up as professionals for the start of the 1961 season, including five from the West Indies. Wes Hall was joined by Lance Gibbs (Burnley), Chester Watson (Church), Conrad Hunte (Enfield) and Seymour Nurse (Ramsbottom). At Accrington's pre-season get together, Wes stated that he wasn't satisfied with his performance last season (he only took 100 wickets) and said that he would be all out to do much better in the 1961 season. True to his word, in the first eight matches, Wes took 48 wickets at an average of 7.7 in 92.4 overs. In a purple patch in May, he took 30 wickets in four matches, all wins, against Enfield, Rishton twice and Church. Accrington immediately signed him up for 1962 with an option on his services for 1964 (the West Indies were touring England in 1963). The win over Church was significant in that all three Accrington teams triumphed over their West End rivals on the same day. Accrington were now top of the Lancashire League. The games won were generally low scoring matches featuring some fine close catches and tight bowling by Jim Eland and Derek Rushton to support big Wes. June was not a happy month with only one league win, but it was an important one. After two successive defeats, Accrington were chasing their highest total of the season, 173 to win against Colne. They were very soon 44-4 when Martin Welbourne joined Derek Rushton at the crease. Together they turned the tide as a match saving partnership became a spring board for victory. Both players were dismissed in quick succession to leave Accrington at 136-6, but Brian Rutter stood firm as Accrington edged closer to victory. Wickets tumbled, but Rutter steered his team towards the target. 35 to win in 27 minutes became 29 in 15 minutes as the last over approached. One wicket to fall, 6 runs to win. The easy option was to play for a draw, but between them, last man Jack Collier and Brian Rutter won the match in the last over. Brian Rutter had played what would turn out to be one of his most important innings for the club in scoring an unbeaten 38.

Typhoon Tyson
Two more defeats meant that Accrington had won only one out of seven matches from the beginning of June until the middle of July. Then they faced three matches in four days during the holiday period. On Wednesday 19th July, Todmorden were the visitors. Batting first, Todmorden were dismissed for 81 with Wes Hall taking 8-44. In reply, Accrington made a good start against visiting professional Frank 'Typhoon' Tyson. Opening the innings, Wes Hall was first to go bowled by his opposite number for 21 with the score at 30. Martin Welbourne and Eric Foster followed in successive balls to give the Typhoon a hat-trick, which became 4 wickets in 6 balls with the dismissal of skipper Lindon Dewhurst. Frank Rushton and Brian Rutter soon followed to leave Accrington at 38-6. Five men were out without scoring. In came Russ Cuddihy to join steadfast opener Derek Rushton. Together they battled away until a tired Tyson had taken his sweater, to chip out 37 priceless runs until Cuddihy fell to Whittaker. Eddie Robinson came in to join Derek and together they guided Accrington to a fine victory. Derek Rushton received a standing ovation from the crowd massed outside the pavilion for his match winning 34 not out. The next day at Centre Vale, Todmorden were again defeated. Wes Hall took 7-60 and Derek Mark scored his maiden half century for the club in a 5 wicket victory. At this point in the season Hall had 85 wickets in the league and 16 in the Worsley Cup. He was being tipped to break George Nash's all time club record of 132 wickets set in 1881. Another holiday double over Bacup saw Accrington back on top of the league with two fine team performances, Derek Rushton's 5-19 and Wes Hall's 52 being the highlights. There were now six games to play. Could Accrington stand up to the pressure of being top of the league again to bring the title back home for the first time in 45 years? The answer was yes. Five of the last six games were won, all of them batting second. Lowerhouse were crushed by 5 wickets (Derek Rushton 65), rivals Nelson held to a draw and Lowerhouse were again beaten by 3 wickets with Wes Hall claiming his 100th wicket of the season. The championship was sealed with a 5 wicket home win over Ramsbottom. Eddie Robinson took 7-55 to dismiss the visitors for 157. Frank Rushton (36), Jackie Hope (46), Derek Rushton (23 not out), Martin Welbourne (12), Lindon Dewhusrt (7) and Brian Rutter, who hit the winning runs in making 17 not out, all chipped in to crown a typical team performance in a victory which was repeated in the final game at Acre Bottom. Accrington had won 14, drawn 7 and lost 5 matches to give a winning total of 63 points, 8 ahead of Burnley and Nelson.

Captain Lindon Dewhurst received the Lancashire League Trophy from League President Mr Crabtree during the tea interval at Ramsbottom. After the match, the champions toasted their triumph in champagne before returning to Accrington on an open top bus. A huge crowd welcomed their heroes outside the Town Hall as the players were received by the Mayor Councillor Wilf Wallwork and Harry Hynd M.P. After the civic reception, the players and officials and their relatives attended an informal buffet at the Commercial Hotel where Wes Hall was presented with a club cap and tie.

Once again Accrington had won the championship with a solid team effort with everyone contributing at some point in the season. Professional Wes Hall took 106 wickets and scored 253 runs, Derek Rushton scored 430 runs, Frank Rushton 395 runs, Jackie Hope 331 runs, Martin Welbourne 261 runs and Lindon Dewhurst 227 runs. Brian Rutter, Derek Mark and Russ Cuddihy also made useful contributions with the bat. Jim Eland (34 wickets) and Eddie Robinson (39 wickets) were the pick of the bowlers and Jack Collier claimed 28 victims behind the wicket. Eric Foster and Neville Richardson also played their part when the opportunity arose.

All ten
1962 was the final season at Accrington for both Wes Hall and Lindon Dewhurst. Wes had his best season with the club in scoring 553 runs at an a average of 27.7 and taking 123 wickets at 10.2 inspite of having missed the first game of the season and seeing two more lost to the weather. He just failed to pass Walter Hall's 1901 club league record of 126 wickets. Wes became the first Accrington player to take all 10 wickets in a Lancashire League match when he took 10-57 against Burnley on July 14th at Accrington, a feat he repeated on August 25th against Bacup, also at Accrington when he took 10-28. Lindon Dewhurst had stepped down as captain at the end of the previous season and at the end of the 1962 campaign, he announced his retirement. The team finished 4th in the league with a total of 48 points. Martin Welbourne left the area during the season and Jim Eland was unavailable due to personal reasons. Eddie Robinson also missed several matches due to injury. A young left arm spinner made his debut against Rishton, taking 3-24. His name was David Lloyd.

David Lloyd
David Sincock from South Australia was Accrington's professional for 1963. 20 year-old Sincock was a left arm spin bowler who would go on to play 3 Tests for Australia. Although a big spinner of the ball, Sincock's control was disappointing and he only took 51 wickets at 16.3 each. He also scored 487 runs at 22.1. The club had decided on a policy of promoting promising young players into the 1st team if they performed well in the 2nds and several of these were coming to the fore. David Lloyd established himself in the side as an opening batsman, scoring 276 runs, Lindon Dewhurst junior scored 298 runs and David Taylor 192. Eddie Robinson took 45 wickets and medium fast bowler Neville Richardson emerged with 29 wickets. Accrington finished the season in 5th place in the league.

Exactly 1,000
South African Test star Eddie Barlow joined Accrington for the 1964 season. Fresh from touring Australia and New Zealand, when he scored 1900 runs, including 201 against Australia in the 4th Test, Barlow was South Africa's opening batsman in a team that also included the Pollock brothers and Colin Bland. A solid right handed batsman, strong off both front and back foot, he was also a medium pace bowler and a brilliant slip fielder. Eddie had played in 13 of his 30 Tests when the Lancashire League season commenced. David Lloyd had joined the Lancashire staff and was only available for one game, in which he scored his maiden league half century and Eddie Robinson had joined Great Harwood as professional. Frank Rushton had also left the area. Accrington had a very poor season, winning only two games and finishing next to bottom of the league. No amateur batsman had managed to score 300 runs, Brian Rutter with 279 being nearest and only Derek Rushton (36) and a youngster called Alan Worsick (21 wickets) got more than 20 wickets. Eddie Barlow however, had a great season. Going into the final game at home to Bacup he had taken 68 wickets and scored 876 runs. Bacup batted first and scored 195-7 declared, Derek Mark taking 5-64. When Accrington batted, Barlow opened with Russ Cuddihy. After a steady start, Barlow upped the tempo as he approached 50. With half an hour to play he had scored 65 not out. Accrington were not going to win, but Barlow was determined to achieve his goal. As Eddie opened up, Bacup set the field very deep. Undeterred, Eddie reached his century out of 137 with the help of 4 overthrows. There was now time for only two more overs. Twelve runs were needed off the last over and then six off two balls. The ball trickled over the boundary for four and then a two off the final ball of the season, meant that Eddie Barlow was the second player in Lancashire League history after Learie Constantine to score exactly 1,000 runs in a season.

Rising stars (1965 - 1973)
The Worsick Era (1974 - 1983)
The Bumble is back (1984 - 1989)
Put to the Test (1990 - 1999)
The New Millennium (2000 - 09)
Back to Earth (2010- )
Junior Success
Accrington and District League Days

Early Days (1846 - 1890)
In league with the best (1891 - 1910)
The road to glory (1911 - 1916)
Between the wars(1919 - 1939)
Rockin' and rollin' into the 50s (1940 - 1958)

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