Year:- 1987, I was 14 years of age at the time. A tall, beanpole teenager with spots. Shyness and nervousness to the fore (what’s new?). My old team were playing a match in the local area. I was down to do the scoring, coloured pens at the ready.
The other umpire was a kindly, avancular man who used to be a cricket umpire tutor, you know, the stuff I do now during the winter. I was sitting down, pens and book at the ready, when this gentleman said “Come on Allen, out you come to the middle with me, I’ll look after you”.
This was my first ever match as an umpire. At 14 years of age. This can’t be happening! But it was. Absolutely terrified as hell. I’d picked up a few pointers from doing practice matches in the school playground, but this was my first ever game. Eeeek!
I got through the match, I don’t know how, but I did, without too much trouble. My colleague helped me through and was reasonably complimentary afterwards. Though he was avancular, he was a hard taskmaster. There was much work to do to iron out the rough edges, of which there were many. But I can look back now and say that was my first ever game, thirty years and plenty of blood, sweat and tears later. It’s been a hard road, but it’s good to look back at favourable and enjoyable times on occasions.
Purely memories now of course….