Date: 26th Jun 2017
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JOHN SIMPSONS' HAPPY MEMORIES OF ORMSKIRK AND THE COMP.

Date: 15th June 2017

JOHN SIMPSONS' HAPPY MEMORIES OF ORMSKIRK AND THE COMP.

A Paul Edwards copyright exclusive for L&DCC Official Website.

Paul Edwards spoke with the Middlesex gloveman during the recent county match at S+B

One of the most encouraging qualities of the Liverpool Gin Liverpool Competition is its ability to encourage young cricketers who go on to have first-class careers in the game; and some of the pleasantest half-hours of the summer are spent catching up with those players and discovering that their memories of the Competition are fresh, warm and appreciative.
 
One such cricketer is John Simpson. As the rain tippled down at Trafalgar Road last Saturday, the Middlesex wicketkeeper - perhaps the most underestimated gloveman in the county game? – chatted about his two years at Ormskirk (2007-8) and spoke of his intention to visit Brook Lane and chat over not so old times with Ian Robinson, Matt Glayzer et al.
 
However, Simpson’s wish to go back to Brook Lane is not fuelled solely by a desire to see his friends; he regards the club as important in helping him become a professional cricketer and his tribute to the place could scarcely be warmer.
 
“Ormskirk is a model of how a league club should be run,” he said. “The two years I had there were fantastic, we won the title in one of those years and it’s probably one of the best clubs with which I’ve ever been involved.”
 
“I still speak to a lot of the guys at Ormskirk and t
he two seasons I played in the Comp were really enjoyable. 
They are a fantastic bunch of people and they really welcomed me from the first day that I signed for the club. To be honest I miss going down there but I’m going to try and get over there at some point during these four days.”
 
It’s doubtful whether Simpson achieved his aim. The life of a first-class cricketer allows little time for socialising. But what was surprising and impressive was the way Simpson could still reel off the names of the Ormskirk team in which he played and his knowledge of the Jones, Baybutt, Lavelle generation currently continuing the Brook Lane tradition of success. 
 
“I played with a great bunch of people but they’ve got a younger side this year,” he said. “When I joined they had a mix of ages because we had Adam Waterhouse, Johnny Armstrong, David Heyes and also Ian Robinson, Matthew and Ian Glayzer, Nicky Caunce and myself. Simon Kerrigan and Martyn Farrell bowled slow left arm  and we had that fantastic blend of youth and experience. Now they have a younger group of players but they’ve now got a couple of seasons’ experience in the Comp and I’m sure they’ll have a very good season.”
 
But what advice, one wondered. might Simpson offer to very good young cricketers currently contemplating a career in the game?
 
“It’s case of working hard, keeping your head down and enjoying the moment,” he said. “Take every opportunity you get to score runs or take wickets because that will put you in that spotlight. Have that selfish approach: turn the fifties into hundreds and make your spells count.
 
“Keep following your dream. My dream was to play for Lancashire but that didn’t happen. However, the nine seasons I’ve had at Middlesex have been amazing. Angus Fraser has created a little family down there and I absolutely love playing at Lord’s each week.”          
    
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