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Park named in honour of cricket legend Harold Larwood

After a successful campaign, the Victory Road park and Sports Barn are to be renamed in honour of English cricket legend Harold Larwood. Pictured L-R are John Bradshaw, Councillor Graham Cain, Keith Mitchell and Roy Freeman.

After a successful campaign, the Victory Road park and Sports Barn are to be renamed in honour of English cricket legend Harold Larwood. Pictured L-R are John Bradshaw, Councillor Graham Cain, Keith Mitchell and Roy Freeman.

A Blackpool park has now been officially named in honour of a cricketing legend.

A Blackpool park has now been officially named in honour of a cricketing legend.

And it is hoped the move to re-christen the Victory Road Park in memory of former English bowler Harold Larwood will inspire more youngsters in the resort to take up sport.

Mr Larwood – a key member of the England team in the landmark ‘Bodyline’ series of 1932/33 – was the world’s fastest and most feared bowler during the height of his career in the 1920s and 30s.

He played league cricket for Blackpool and ran a sweet shop in Caunce Street where the park now stands, after he retired from playing.

The campaign to honour him was led by residents who were among his customers when they were growing up, and backed by The Gazette.

Roy Freeman, 69, of Poulton, said: “We’re really chuffed this has come about, and I hope it will encourage local children to have the curiosity to find out about Harold.

“His name will be remembered forever in cricket, and it is great to think that where his shop once stood, there 
is a park now named after him.”

Roy was joined by childhood friends John Bradshaw, 68, from South Shore, and Keith Mitchell, 68, from Bispham, who all remembered Harold’s sweet shop from their childhood.

John said: “Harold used to come out into the back street and bowl at us.

“As kids we thought it was fantastic!”

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet member for leisure on Blackpool Council, hopes 
renaming the park will help inspire today’s youngsters.

He said: “Harold Larwood came from a poor background, like a lot of people in Blackpool, but it shows what you can achieve.

“We want to encourage more people from our town to get involved in sport, and for our youngsters to know they can aspire to becoming a sporting legend no matter what their background.”

 

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