Park to be named after Ashes hero Larwood

Former England cricketer Harold Larwood

Former England cricketer Harold Larwood

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A sporting legend is set to be immortalised by having a park named in his honour.

Following a campaign to rename the Victory Road park and sports barn in memory of former England cricketer Harold Larwood, central Blackpool and North Shore residents last night voted overwhelmingly in favour of the idea.

The Gazette understands Blackpool Council will now implement the public’s wishes, though further details have yet to be announced.

Larwood owned a shop in Caunce Street, which was later to demolished to make way for the park, after his retirement from the sport.

Childhood friends Roy Freeman and John Bradshaw wrote to the council suggesting the idea.

Addressing voters at the Gateway Area Forum last night. Mr Freeman said: “John and myself lived by Harold Larwood back in the late 1940s when he kept a sweet shop.

“He would come out and play in the back streets with us and he was a smashing chap.”

Larwood ran the shop for five years after his retirement from the sport.

He was known during his career for his devastating fast and accurate bowling, and is best remembered for his winning role in the infamous Bodyline series against Australia in 1932-33.

Coincidentally, yesterday also saw the two nations takes to the field to play each other at his former home ground of Trent Bridge, in Nottingham.

A huge 93 per cent of those present at the meeting voted in favour of renaming the park.

After the result was announced Mr Freeman, who now lives in Blackpool Road, Poulton, told the meeting: “Can I just thank The Gazette with this and various other people.”

Speaking to The Gazette after the vote, he added: “It’s brilliant and if the council goes ahead, it would be great.

“He was a player and a gentleman.”