This week it’s the turn of club veteran, Phil Heighway to go under the spotlight…
Hi Phil, not many of our current players were at the club when you first joined. How did you get round to joining Cannock?
Surely it wasn’t that long ago…. I think the legend “Pistol” Pete Pritchard was junior Chairman then. I have always lived just up the road from the club and I had two neighbours that played and coached the junior section, Chris and Steve Proud. They were Nick Bell’s school friends, and Matt Osborne used to deliver the pools to our house on his bike back then. At my first session Paul Greenfield was the under 11s coach and the rest is history!
How has the club changed over the years you’ve been here?
I am very proud that I have played Birmingham Premier Cricket with some of the legends of the club. They were great days when we used to pack out the member’s bar and all stay and have food down the club after a game. However over the years players come and go. We have gone up and down the tables but I am very pleased that we have always stuck to our principles as a club. We have always had a strong youth section and tried to deliver four sides on a Saturday as well as two on a Sunday. It’s great to see and not many clubs will have performed as consistently both on and off the pitch.
You were picked in the 1st team at a very young age, what was it like to be in that team when you were so young?
It was fantastic and I just loved representing the badge! I used to make my dad drive me down to the club to check the team sheet on the club board, there was no WhatsApp back then. It was great to see my name in the 1st team next to some legends of the club. All of the senior members helped me to get to grips with 1st team cricket. I was still in the era of doing things “old school” which meant you worked hard and did what you were told! Guy Bulpitt always had faith in juniors and gave us lots of chances to show what we could do. I learnt a lot of on field tactics and a lot of off field tactics from those guys!
What’s been your favourite on-field memory so far?
First 50, first 5fer, 1st team debut, bowling out Wellington away in the 2nds, batting out for many losing draws, winning leagues or local cups both junior and senior. Watching Rob Smith “Biffo” pour a whole jug of blackcurrant over a player’s arm at drinks after being sledged…there’s been so many! But mainly I just like winning! Never a better feeling on a Saturday than winning and celebrating in the bar!
And what about off the field?
Having my first beer (thanks Ozzy and Perky)
Numerous parties and after game drinks!
My 21st birthday party
Meeting my wife! The current Mrs Heighway
My stag do at the club
I think these all revolve around the bar, beer, good friends and having fun!
And finally…when will we be seeing some even smaller Heighways running round Chase Park?
Ha I’m sure it won’t be too long! I’ve seen many great cricketing families down the club from the Fleet’s, Pritchard’s, Bell’s, Humphries’, Wood’s, Martin’s and many more! I would love to have my family continue that tradition!
Thanks for your time Phil, good luck for the rest of the season!