Not The Spin 13

Published: 2023
Pages: 32
Author: Davis, Rory (Editor)
Publisher: Lancashire Action Group
Rating: 4 stars

The one advantage of having overlooked Not The Spin 12 is that when, a couple of days after that arrives, NTS 13 turns up I can, for a few days, almost kid myself that this excellent fanzine turns up weekly rather than, as is in fact the case, three times a year.

So it will be 2024 before I see another copy, and that will be one that I fear will be published following another summer of under achievement for the Red Rose, whose prospects of adding another County Championship to their tally look, at the time of writing, remote to say the least notwithstanding the county having a squad that is chock full of talented cricketers.

And I have to say that as soon as I opened NTS 13 I found myself looking forward to the next issue, and what I hope might be in in it. I say that because it will be ten years next year since the Lancashire Action Group was founded, and a combination of Rory Davis’ editorial in NTS 13 followed by several pages of coverage of the recent Annual General Meeting made we want to read a summary of what progress the Group feels it has made in those ten years towards realising its aims. As to what the answer to that one will be I suspect it will be a case of not as much as they would have liked, but at the same time perhaps more than some expected. Whatever the position though a reappraisal of the original mission statement is something that this reader for one would certainly like to see.

The historical duties in NTS 13 are shared between Mark Gretton, Roy Cavanagh and Garry Clarke. Gretton, in much the same way he looked at Lancashire ‘keepers in NTS 12, turns his attention to spin bowlers. The story starts with the famous pair of David Hughes and Jack Simmons, before ending with the rather sadder tales of Simon Kerrigan and Matthew Parkinson.

There are two contributions from Cavanagh, one going back to look at Lancashire’s two best known cricketer footballers, the Evertonians Harry Makepeace and Jack Sharp, and separately he takes a look at the best captain Lancashire never had, Geoff Edrich of the well known brotherhood.  Clarke also tackles the subject of professional footballers, albeit from a rather different angle. He recalls a cricket match that took place for Ken Higgs benefit in 1968 between Manchester United and Manchester City.

Two more Garry Clarke pieces look at two seaside grounds, Scarborough and Blackpool, both mixing historical angles with the present day. Grounds are a popular subject in NTS 13, information given about several Lancashire are due to visit in the coming weeks.

Moving right back into the current season I was interested to read Mark Giles take on events at Old Trafford in May when the Championship fixture against Somerset showcased all that is worst in the county game as Somerset batted out the whole of the fourth and the final day, latterly against an attack made up in the main of Dane Vilas, George Bell and Stephen Croft. As a Lancastrian my inclination is to apportion blame in the same way as Giles does, but that matters little. What is important is that the same tedium is not repeated anywhere in the County Championship in the future.

Which is just about it for NTS 13, another worthy effort from its publishers. The cost of this one is £3 including postage, and for anyone wanting a subscription for 2024 the cost of those three editions, UK post included, is a mere £7 – the email address for orders is NottheSpin@yahoo.com

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