As we build up to the 2021 season, its another trip down memory lane, with another Question and Answer session, this time with Hill legend Bill Smalley.
Q1. How many years have you been a member at the Hill?
A1. My first senior game was on a Saturday 3rd XI friendly in 1958, so this season is 63 years later.
Q2. What other clubs/teams have you played for?
A2. Whitekirk Cricket Club in Leeds, Leeds University Cricket Club, Northumberland County Cricket and Chinghoppers Essex.
Q3. What’s your best performance for the Hill?
A3. 6 for 36 and 53 v Blyth. 72 out of 103 v Benwell, we lost by 8 or so runs chasing 112, yet another Hill collapse.
Q4. What was your most memorable game and season at the Hill?
A4. Winning away at Benwell, we were 109 all out and then skittled Benwell out for 16, one other stands out wining away at South North, Benwell Hill 183 and South North all out for 29.
Q5. Best player you have played with for the Hill? and elsewhere?
A5. For the Hill with the bat it would be Mike Younger, and with the ball it would be Stewart Allen, elsewhere Jack van Geloven, who played for Yorkshire in 1955, Leicestershire between 1956 and 1965, and then for Northumberland.
Q6. Best player you have played against? Batsman, Bowler and WK?
A6. Batsman – Rohan Kanhai; Bowlers – Mushtaq Mohammad and Courtney Walsh; Wicketkeeper – Kevin Corby
Q7. Most feared opponent’s when playing for the Hill or other team?
Q8. Best ground’s played at?
A8. Old Trafford and Hastings
Q9. Team you always love to beat?
A9. Tynedale and South North in equal measure
Q10. If you could make one change at the Hill what would it be?
A10. Nothing springs to mind
Q11. If you could make one change to NEPL what would it be?
A11. How about 50 overs per side – win or lose!!
Q12. Advise for young cricketers?
A12. Try to cut out the sledging on the field and enjoy the game.
Q13. Favourite cricketers of all time? Batsman, Bowler and WK
A13. Batsman – Sir Viv Richards; Bowler – Sir Ian Botham, Wicketkeeper – Alan Knott
Q14. Your best Hill XI – I played with
A14. P Atkinson, NCD Craig, J Charleton, ME Younger, WJ Smalley, N Hamilton, S Dunsford, D McKay, JT Hounsome, S Allen, H Dyson
Q15. Best Northumberland XI – I saw play
A15. K Pearson, G Morris, RW Smithson, M Crawhall, ME Younger, G Halliday, K Corby, A Johnson, A Brown, J van Gelovan, K Norton
Q16. Your best ever England XI - I have watched
A16. G Gooch, A Cook, DS Compton, J Root, KF Barrington, B Stokes, IT Botham, A Knott, G Swann, S Broad, J Anderson
Q17. Your best ever World XI - I have watched
A17. B Richards, S Tendulkar, IVA Richards, G Pollock, V Kohli, G Sobers, K Sangakkara (Wk), S Warne, M Marshall, DK Lillee, M Muralitharan
Q18. Finally, funniest memory on a cricket field
A18. Venue – Carlisle Cricket Club on last day of a Hill cricket tour. The current President (Tom Willy for those that don’t know) who was very hungover was placed out of the way at deep mid-wicket. When the ball came to him for what should have been a comfortable catch, he misjudged the steepling ball by a slight amount, and the outcome was a header for 6, and a very sore head, funnily enough he did not seem too aware of what had occurred, he has been reminded about it plenty of times since however.