Simon Bullock looks ahead to the renaming of the pavilion at Sandal school.
On Saturday we’re renaming the pavilion up at Sandal school, in memory of our old friend Simon Heginbotham.
For those of you who don’t know him, Heggers was our loudest ever wicketkeeper. Our least stylish batsman – although he smacked plenty of vital runs over the years, mostly paddled over midwicket. The most prodigious sledger – of his own teammates. The owner of the dirtiest pads and whites of any player, past or present, in any nation.
He was a top club man. He captained the thirds, fourths and fifths over the years, including the glorious Cawthorne Cup win for Baildon Meths in 2002. Most of his summer Friday evenings and Saturday mornings were spent, pint in hand, in the thankless task of trying to cajole seventy year olds, or people with pulled hamstrings, or - in desperation - rugby players, to turn out for us at the last minute. He always wanted to help the juniors get along, and get better. He cared about the club, and the people in it. And he raised thousands of pounds, particularly through the beer and gin festival (please come along to that this year, 23rd-25th July up at Jenny Lane). Even after he left us, he’s kept on helping the club - he left a good deal of money to Baildon CC in his will, and a lot of that has gone to improving the facilities up at the school.
But more than all of this, he was great company. On or off the field, he had always had a story or a joke, the ruder the better, most often at his own expense, though no-one escaped. He made the game more enjoyable, more fun; a pint afterwards more entertaining.
There were many things in his life he was passionate about. He loved his long treks across the Scottish Highlands; his travelling in Africa; real ale and a game of cards with his friends; the hundreds of folk gigs he organised at Victoria Hall. But he loved his cricket as much as all of this, and Belmont school, playing the game he loved with his friends, was one of the places he was happiest. We don’t need a plaque to remember Heggers. Even after he’s long gone he’ll not be forgotten. But it’s right that we’re renaming the pavilion at Belmont in his honour and memory, and if you fancy raising a glass, come to the ground at 6.30pm Saturday May 29th, after the 3rd team derby game vs. Shipley Prov. RIP Heggers, old friend.