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A Geordie All-Rounder: 41 - Man On The Moon

All-round sportsman Malcolm Scott's wedding plans changed at the last minute when his best man was summoned to bat for England.

It is well known that the M.C.C. has long been steeped in out-of-date traditions. Tony Greig, when he captained the England team in the 1970s, changed those policies regarding the picking of the England team. For the first time he checked out what senior players, first class umpires and the counties thought about various personnel. The result was a wider choice of players from previously less popular counties.

Many people believe David Steele was 'discovered' because of this change. David came to Northants in 1963 mainly as a batsman who could also bowl. At the relative neglect of his bowling, he worked his way up the batting order during the following twelve years before being selected for England in 1975. Then with his prematurely grey hair, jockey type cap, rimless glasses and his ability to stand up to Aussie and West Indian fast bowlers, he stamped his true character on the cricket world.

At the end of the 1968 season I surprisingly found that I had a better season than expected taking 46 wickets at an average of 26.4. The trouble was that the team was now overrun with spin bowlers, Mushtaq Mohammed, David Steele, Hayden Sully as well as myself. I was bowling less than half the overs I had bowled in 1964. The writing was still on the wall.

In 1969 the world was excited as Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. More important to Mary and I was the fact that we got married at Park Road Methodist Church in Northampton. Readers expecting me to say the reception was held at the County Ground will be disappointed, it was held at the Angel Hotel near the town centre.
Colin Milburn had agreed to be best man on his return from playing for Western Australia. Unfortunately for me, he did too well out there being the leading run maker in the Sheffield Shield, as a result he was summoned by England to Pakistan where he hit a quick fire 139 in the final Test.

Long time team mate and colleague Brian Crump, who I had shared lodgings with many years ago, stood in for Colin and made an excellent job of it. The wedding was attended by family and friends and several members of the Northants County team. One person I was delighted to see there was family friend Harry Hudson who had followed my sporting career since Mortimer Road school days.

Wedding bells, 1969. Surrounded by both families.

To many people's surprise Mary is not a football or cricket fan. She tolerates my sporting interests with a great deal of patience, for which I am forever grateful.


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