Kirkby-in-Ashfield author recounts Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s history in new book

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Author Steve Dolman, formerly a Kirkby-in-Ashfield resident and Sherwood Hall Grammar pupil, recounts Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s history in his new book In Their Own Words.

Derbyshire County Cricket Club has had its share of big names and fascinating stories down the years. In Their Own Words recounts the county’s history, ever since the Second World War, through the eyes and words of the men who helped create it.

Beginning with the county’s legendary 99-year-old former groundsman Walter Goodyear, the book is made up of a number of interviews with personalities from every decade since the end of the war.

Key characters from across the spectrum of cricket in Derbyshire each give their personal take on team-mates and opponents, trophy successes, fall-outs and life on the cricket circuit.

County legends, including Edwin Smith, Harold Rhodes, Brian Jackson, Bob Taylor, Peter Gibbs, Geoff Miller, Wayne Madsen, Graeme Welch and many more talk about their lives and careers inside and outside the game including an array of fascinating anecdotes.

In this county history with a difference, the people at the centre of the biggest stories tell how it was from their angle. You will read:

• Walter Goodyear’s thoughts, for the first time in print, on several generations of Derbyshire cricket’s personalities and names from the 1930s to 1980s

• How Edwin Smith took 8-21 on his second appearance for the county – and was dropped!

• Harold Rhodes on the throwing controversy that ruined his England aspirations – and how he became the fall guy in a witch hunt

• Geoff Miller’s memories of a county career that prepared him for the top job in English cricket

• Alan Hill and Tony Borrington’s thoughts on the fastest and nastiest of the many overseas fast bowlers in the 1970s and 1980s

• Brian Jackson’s smooth transition from league professional to one of the most feared seam bowlers in the country

• Devon Malcolm’s unusual route to the county game and the highs and lows of his career

• John Wright’s take on life as an overseas player, and the differences in coaching at county and international level

• The transition of Peter Gibbs from stylish opening batsman to acclaimed writer

• Bob Taylor’s take on wicket-keeping, then and now – and his unique way of preparing his gloves

• How Dean Jones abrasive leadership nearly won a championship, but lost a dressing room

• How Eddie Barlow transformed a run-down club into competitive and dangerous opponents

Steve Dolman is the author of the award-winning and successful Peakfan Blog on Derbyshire cricket. He wrote a sell-out biography of former county spin bowler, Edwin Smith, in 2015 and is a popular public and after-dinner speaker.

He has been a fan of Derbyshire County Cricket Club since 1967 and lives in a quiet, semi-rural village near Glasgow with his wife and two children. He will appear at two launch events.

He will be at Chesterfield Library on July 11 from 7.30pm. Several club legends who feature in the book will also be in attendance. Mr Dolman will give a short talk and there will be an opportunity for questions. Tickets are available from the library and can be reserved by calling 01629 533400. Tickets are £3 with concessions available.

The second is at Elvaston Cricket Club on July 15 alongside former county legend Edwin Smith. After talking about the new book, there will be an interview between the two. Tickets are available from the club, or by calling Andy on 07722 485213. Tickets are £3, with proceeds going to the club’s Defibrillator Appeal Fund. There will be a bar and food available, with the evening starting at 7.30pm.