THREE Spen cricketers had the honour of meeting England star Tim Bresnan during a photo and autograph session at the All-Rounder cricket store in Headingley last week.
Cleckheaton youngster Sam Gatenby, along with brothers Liam and Jack Bleazard, who play for East Bierley, got the chance to meet their hero Bresnan, who took along the actual match ball from England’s historic Ashes clinching victory over Australia in Sydney in January.
Tim played a vital part in England’s Ashes win and was also part of the side which reached the World Cup quarter-finals last month.
Sam, 12, attends Whitechappel Middle School and plays for Cleckheaton Under-13s, who play in the Heavy Woollen Junior League and Bradford Junior League.
Sam’s mum Nicola Gatenby said: “It was absolutely fantastic for Sam to meet Tim Bresnan. He was really friendly and Sam thoroughly enjoyed it, he thought he was very fortunate to meet the England star.”
It was also a huge moment for cricket mad brothers Liam and Jack.
Dad Jeremy Bleazard said: “It was lovely for young cricketers to meet their Ashes hero and if meeting Tim could help them emulate something similar would make me a very proud parent.”
All-rounder Jack, 11, is already being tipped for big things in cricket and is on the Yorkshire Pathways scheme, aimed at developing promising young cricketers.
Like Tim, Jack is a fast swing bowler and decent batsman, who plays with East Bierley Under-11s and Under-13s, while elder brother Liam, 14, is a left arm spin bowler, who plays for the club’s Under-15s and Under-17s.
Jeremy added: “The boys got the chance to ask Tim about winning the Ashes and he said that it was the biggest achievement in his life, although it would have been nice if he could have helped England win the World Cup.”
The three youngsters also receive coaching from Chris Brice at the Pro-Cricket Coaching Academy.
Brice, who is also from Cleckheaton and plays for Woodlands CC, is pro-cricket’s Yorkshire manager and he runs numerous courses for beginners up to more experienced players.
Pro Cricket Coaching and the All-Rounder store are both run by Cleckheaton’s Yorkshire captain, Andrew Gale, and his long-time business partner and friend, Chris Taylor. Visit www.procricketcoachingacademy.com. for forthcoming courses Chris is helping to organise.