My favourite place - Justin Moorhouse
PUBLISHED: 00:00 22 October 2018
Justin Moorhouse shares his love of Old Trafford
You say Lancashire to me, and I think one thing. It’s not those dark Pendle hills or the beautiful Ribble Valley. It’s not the cartoon heavy bosomed Blackpool landlady or the post-industrial mill towns I grew up surrounded by. It’s just Lancashire, that one word. Lancashire means to me - cricket. Lancashire County Cricket Club. Old Trafford. Ohh Lanky Lanky Lanky, Lanky Lanky Lanky Lancashire...Old Trafford, not the football one, the cricket one.
That cathedral of northern sporting beauty. Where heroes wield willow and fend off leather flung at them. The cream of the seats cutting into the red brick of the Pavillion; those red bricks themselves a nod to the county it represents. I’m not an expert, but surely they are Accrington? Then there are the red boxes that have sprung up around the ground over the last few years taking the club into the future. The newest addition, a smart hotel where you can roll out of bed and watch cricket from your balcony with your breakfast – how cool? The players are now housed in another red box opposite the revamped pavilion wrapped with matching red modernity and next to it the Point where I’ve hosted many great award nights, the end of season awards when Lancashire had just won the Championship for the first time in decades, players testimonials and Christmas parties for travel agents from Skelmersdale.
When I think of the ground, I can see it and smell it. Grass and paint and beer all mixed together. Breathe it in. My mind rattles with great memories. My first cricket match with my dad, England v India in 1983, Bob Willis, hair flowing, pelting into the Indian batsman. David Bowie at the beginning of this century on a typically wet Mancunian summer’s day walking out and the clouds parting for the sun to shine on the most significant artist this country has ever produced.
I have recently been in that new players’ end, stepping into the TMS studio for View from the Boundary with Aggers at lunch during the Test Match. Magic. More recently taking part in an April Fool’s spoof for the club – purporting I was to be employed as a laughter consultant for the team. (Yorkshire considered it but decided against spending money on laughter, obviously). Old Trafford, the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club, the best place in The World, never mind round here.
What’s your favourite place?
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