How the tears and runs could flow at anniversary

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THE three of them will talk (and, boy, they can certainly all talk), and they will reminisce and no doubt have a laugh or two while they’re at it.

The three all reached the top of their particular profession and, along the way, became legends.

But amidst the chat and the reminiscing and the chuckles, there may well be a tear - certainly from one of them - at the poignancy of a special reunion. Certainly special to them.

For Dickie Bird, Geoffrey Boycott and Sir Michael Parkinson will be reuniting back at the club where it all began for them as budding, starry-eyed young cricketers over half a century ago.

All of them, the country’s long-time favourite chat-show host included, began their cricket at Barnsley Cricket Club and the three of them will be back at the Shaw Lane ground a week on Sunday when the club celebrates its 150th anniversary with a Festival of Cricket day.

Now what would make Dickie weep, I’m pretty sure, is if he and Parky were persuaded (and it might not take a lot of persuasion) to don some whites, put on the pads and gloves, pick up a bat and recreate the moment of nearly 60 years ago when they walked down the pavilion steps and on their way to a spot of Barnsley Cricket Club history.

For when those young, fearless opening batsmen, Bird and Parkinson, eventually returned to that pavilion on that long-ago 1950s day, they had put on 227 runs - an opening partnership that is still a club record for Barnsley to this day!

It’s a pretty mighty achievement at any level of cricket but to have done so at Yorkshire League standard is quite something.

And the story has it that the other legend, a schoolboy Boycott, was in the pavilion waiting for one of them to get out because he was in next!

The appearance of these three together will make it a very special day and no doubt an emotional one too because it is unlikely that these three greats will be gathered together again back at the club where it all began for them in cricketing terms.

In fact, some of their old teammates will be back too and also lots of other big cricketing names who started at Barnsley and went on to big things with Yorkshire and England.

These include luminaries such as Darren Gough, Martyn Moxon, Arnie Sidebottom, who all played at Barnsley and went on to play for Yorkshire and England, and plenty more, although Gough’s appearance depends on England not progressing to the Euro 2012 quarter-finals. If they do, he’ll be required out there by the radio station he works for!

The organisers of the event promise a bumper day with three of the innovative and fast-rising Last Man Stands cricket games.

This is 8-a-side, 20 five-ball overs and is said to be a fast-growing form of the game and the world champions will be playing in one of the matches. The organisers have even got stars from Coronation Street and Emmerdale playing as well.With the first game at 10.15am and the final one (Yorkshire Greats v Barnsley Greats) starting at around 3pm, it is going to be a full day.

The club finish off with a celebration meal in the evening and if Parky was to do his chat show bit and ‘interview’ Dickie and ‘Boycs’, then what a day the old boys will have had - and those sitting in on it too, I imagine.

What a finale that would be to cap the anniversary!