NOT many school cricket coaches can claim to have got a Lancashire and England star out ... but one Fleetwood teacher dismissed two in the same match.
Rossall School teacher Guy Emmett caught out the legendary Andrew Flintoff and bowled David Lloyd in a charity cricket match at his club in Cheshire.
Emmett was a member of the Grappenhall CC Select XI who took on an England Legends XI, also including Michael Atherton and Michael Vaughan, in a twenty20 match.
Paceman Emmett, a former Cheshire player, bowled Lloyd for 37 and then caught Flintoff on the boundary to huge cheers from the home club’s support.
Despite Guy’s efforts in a Grappenhall attack which also included world greats Wasim Akram and Muttiah Muralitharan, Grappenhall could not match the England Legends.
But most importantly, a sell-out crowd of 2,500 turned up to support the event, which marked the club’s 130th anniversary and raised more than £10,000 for the Andrew Flintoff Foundation and the Candice Roberts Foundation – Candice was a Grappenhall employee who died of a nervous disease last year.
The day has left Emmett with some incredible memories to share with his pupils.
He said: “Freddie certainly hit the ball hard at me. My nerves were jangling a little but it was an absolute pleasure to catch him out.
“Freddie had just hit Muralitharan for two sixes when I caught him, but it didn’t get any easier when we saw Graeme Hick making his way to the crease to replace him.
“To play against players like these and be able to sneak a ball through against Lloyd was superb, and it is the most enjoyable game of cricket I’ve ever played.
“It was great to play against some of my heroes. I grew up watching people like Michael Atherton.”
He particularly enjoyed the rivalry between the legends: “When Murali was bowling to Michael Vaughan, you could still see the competitiveness between the two, even though they had retired.
“It was a surreal experience and it was even more strange seeing myself on TV bowling at David Lloyd,” added Emmett, after the match featured on Sky Sports News.
“The day was similar to the Lashings match held at Rossall in June, but despite meeting world legends then I was still a little star-struck.
“This is also a dream come true for the Grappenhall club because hopefully it will inspire a few young players to come down and join.
“In fact, the chairman is trying to get Akram and Murali to sign. I doubt it will happen but you never know.”
Other famous players involved included former Lancashire favourites John Crawley, Warren Hegg, Phil DeFreitas and Neil Fairbrother, who is another Grapphenhall veteran.