There’s no better way to celebrate the official launch of our new website than an interview with Mr Cannock CC himself, Graham Machin…

Hello Graham, how did you first become involved in our club and what year was it?

OK… goes the boring history lesson! My Dad played for Cannock in the 60’s & 70’s when we were based at the original Morris Ground in Hatherton Road and played our 3rd team cricket at Cannock Park. I used to go down with him when I was around 10 years old (that’s 48 years ago!!). We had a two storey scorebox in the clubhouse, with a hatch to go up to where the numbers were. First one there got the job of pulling the strings and getting a free tea!!

I was there every week!

You’ve been Honorary Secretary for many years now, what have you enjoyed most about the role and what have been the challenges?

I took over from Angie Cooke in the role of Secretary in 1995. I had been on the Management Committee before that. Unfortunately, I have to say the role has taken over my life……but on the other hand I have to say I’d be lost without it, and I enjoy doing my bit every day.

I think the biggest challenge had to be the introduction of Clubmark in 2006. The policies that had to be written and introduced were a challenge, but probably the best thing ever as it helps to safeguard our juniors.

This is an incredibly exciting time for Cannock CC, what’s your vision for the club over the next 5 years?

We are halfway down the road at the moment, and I just want to get to the end. With the redevelopment of the existing clubhouse now at the planning application stage, the prospect of having our own stand-alone, turn-key pavilion really excites me. I just hope that the authorities let common sense prevail and allow us to get to where we want to be.

From all the years you’ve been involved in our club, what’s the one moment that stands out as your favourite?

Making the final of the Staffs Cup in 2009 has to be one of them. We played away at Audley. You were allowed a ‘sub-pro’. They had Lou Vincent, former New Zealand international. We had Worcestershire’s Matt Pardoe.

I sat by Chris Mayer, surrounded by their supporters. At one random, totally unexpected moment, Chris decided that their opening bowler’s run-up was overly long, that he was slightly overweight, and decided to tell him in the way that only Chris knows how!

Thankfully, the retaliation from the other supporters died down after about an hour and we lost by 42 runs.

Who’s the best player you’ve seen in a Cannock shirt and why?

Apart from the overseas players, I have to say Paul Humphries. The whole Humphries family were very talented. Dad Dennis played at the same time as my Dad, a quality batsman, and the lads followed. Eldest son David was a good batsman / wicket-keeper who got signed by Worcestershire. Paul was the middle son. He was such a natural, aggressive batsman and went on to score 256 not out in a game against Wellington. Then, of course there was the youngest, Mark, who played for us for many years, and went on to be a Staffordshire CCC legend. Great to still see him every few weeks on the umpiring circuit. Dennis passed away a couple of years ago, and sadly Paul was taken far too early in life.

Are you looking forward to spending a week in Devon with Dave Robinson again this summer?

NO. Seriously though, we do the tour for the lads. They seem to have such a great time…..a real bonding exercise. It really isn’t a holiday for Dave & I.

Not everybody knows this but many years ago you were a damn good DJ, what was that like?

Yes, I did a bit of DJing in the past…..for over 30 years. Played some great venues, plus a ‘mobile’ disco for weddings, engagements etc. Don’t like to brag, but played a club called Xenon in Tamworth (formerly The Edge and later Kube) for 10 years. 1000+ people on a Friday was some buzz!

And finally…when is the world famous “70’s & 80’s disco” returning to Cannock CC???

We’ll definitely have one last big one in the function room before we lose it. The last one was a few years ago now, but we had 450 people there. Good old days!

Thank you for your time Mr Secretary, I’ll let you get back to preparing those 6am emails now.


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