Jack Houldsworth met up with fellow cricketers and Rotarians to give an inspiring speech at the weekly meeting of the Church and Oswaldtwistle Rotary Club. As most people are aware Jack born in 1935 served Church (and Oswaldtwistle ) Cricket Club for 32 years in which time he amassed the huge total of 1,247 wickets , an achievement that has only been bettered 3 times as an amateur since the Lancashire League started up, over 140 years ago.
During his working life Jack was HM Inspector of taxes retiring in 1995, but remained committed to Church CC making this an impressive 67 years of service to the club and he still is an active member.
In the audience was Ian Haworth a long servant for the East Lancashire Cricket Club who like Jack was a bowler of outstanding merit having taken over 800 wickets all for the same club and also remains an officer and member of the Club he joined as a youngster.
Many people in the Hyndburn district who attended Lancashire league matches from the 60’s will have fond memories of the fiercely contested matches between both Clubs, many matches having Ian and Jack facing each other.
Jack gave the history of Church CC in depth from its original roots in the 1860’s , outlining the great stars who have played for the club, and showed photos of the huge crowds who attended Lancashire league matches right up to the 1950’s when “house full” attendances where the order of the day, and when the local derby between Church CC and Accrington CC drew attendances of over 7000 and the matches were really cut and thrust.
Neil Hawke the great bowler from Australia who played for a few Lancashire league clubs was quoted in the local press as saying “Houldsworth’s command of length and direction, coupled with an ability to move the ball either way in the air seemingly at will, is sufficient to earn him a bundle of wickets in any season”.
We take off our hats to Jack Houldsworth a magnificent bowler and a local lad who attended Accrington Grammar school between the years 1947-1954.
The photo shows left to right Jim Hargreaves, Youth Chairman, Jack Houldsworth, Ian Haworth East Lancs CC, Nick Westhead East Lancs CC and Michael Jackson