Down the years, The Elf has attracted many an interesting ‘character’. Some of them who are still involved with the club (and have their own Legends page on the menu) but some, for a variety of reasons, no longer around.
Here, our resident historian Steve Fell looks at some of the waifs and strays who have made their way through The Elf ranks.
Paul joined the club as Paul Morgan and it was known he had a heart condition. This led to odd bits of quirky behaviour such as the time we played Henley-in- Arden and we had to find a shop open so Paul could get something to eat (not so easy back in the day), or when after a match he decided he needed some exercise so spent an hour running round the boundary. Paul was also a craftsmen and painter, a skill that came in useful one week when the pitch markings were a bit pale. Paul duly got some white paint and re-marked the creases. For completeness he then signed his work PS so all would know. His shining hour though was when someone mentioned how cheap it was to change your name by deed-poll. ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘I’ve always liked the name Sebastian, I might change mine to that’. And he did, but we all thought he’d become Sebastian Morgan, how wrong we were. Tragically Paul died suddenly of a heart attack when only in his early forties.
For a period of a couple of years Dave was the club wicket-keeper, and his efforts were a joy to behold, at least for the opposition. The club statistician needs to check this, but it is unlikely Dave ever stumped anyone because his first movement when standing up was to move backwards and if the opposing batsman was out of his crease, or even if he wasn’t, he’d hurl the ball at the stumps. But he kept the job only because, as the saying goes, one volunteer is worth ten pressed men. Only this one probably wasn’t!
It is alleged he only wanted the job so that he could take the gloves home with him to use as some bizarre sex aid for his girl-friend.
However, Dave had a heart of gold and tried hard for the team. We even allowed him to arrange a fixture for the club. The result was that we were one of three teams that turned up at the Sandvik ground nears Halesowen.
Martin ‘Liggo’ Liggins
When the ‘Elf started it was mainly formed from hospital staff, Rick Jarrams, Steve Fell, Andy Gorton, Dave Williams, Vijay Singh, Frank Jacob, Dave Williams, Andy Hobster to name but a few that worked at or had connections to the Manor. Plus, of course, Pat Jacob and Brian Stuart who give their names to two of the club awards. Martin also worked at the Manor and played his cricket for Pelsall. After a bit of a falling out with Pelsall (I know, who’d have believed he’d fall out with someone, certainly not Jonty!) he started to play regularly for WHCC.
One thing Martin brought to the team was a superb cricketing brain. He was also an excellent spin bowler and a more than useful batsmen. He could be a bit moody (see ‘Tales from the Cricket Bag‘) but overall he helped move the club forward and made many people better players. He was almost single-handedly responsible for one of the clubs greatest victories (see Midweek Team).
He stopped playing for the club for a number of years, allegedly because he finally discovered women, but made a brief but not very successful, by his own high standards, return in 2012 and 2013. As far as being a club Legend goes he will always be ‘pencilled in’.
The only professional to play for The Elf, although to be fair he was only about 12 when he started and he’d long since stopped playing when he made his debut for Warwickshire. Once tipped by Derek Randall to be a future England captain, Anurag was a delight to have in the team although rumours about his temperament away from the side showed a different side to his personality. He never fulfilled his potential as a professional cricketer and was last heard of being banned for hitting another player in a minor league match. Sad.