CRICKET-crazy landlord Anthony Youel is rebuilding one of the region’s most famous old cricket ground scoreboards brick-by-brick INSIDE his pub, writes Digital Editor Graham Walker.
He was hit for six when he heard the 80-year-old brick building was being demolished two years ago for a new electronic wireless scoreboard at the ground where Geoff Boycott, Dickie Bird, Darren Gough and even chat show king Michael Parkinson played cricket.
So he’s putting it back together, with the original bricks, autographed by cricket greats and celebrity fans, as a new fireplace feature at The Monkey pub, in Hollinmoor Lane, Thurgoland, between Sheffield and Barnsley.
He’s even added wickets, a bat and ball that were also used at Barnsley Cricket Club’s Shaw Lane ground, plus a nod to the year the pub was built - with a score of 1851.
And in a fitting tribute to another South Yorkshire cricket legend who knew the ground well, the late fast bowler Fred Trueman, it’s been dubbed The Fiery Fred End.
Local artist Granville D Clarke, who played for Barnsley CC as a boy, has painted a Fiery Fred picture to help decorate the unique attraction and signed a brick.
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Others who have already autographed the original scoreboard bricks to feature in the fireplace are Geoff Boycott, Dickie Bird, Sir Michael Parkinson, John Hampshire, plus cricket fans Sir John Major, William Hague, Lord Mason, Rick Wakeman, Nobby Stiles, Jack Charlton and even Nick Clegg.
Anthony, aged 49, who often wears cricket war paint sun cream as he works behind the bar, said: “When I went up to Nick Clegg with a brick, to get it signed, he just looked very shocked. I think he wondered what I was going to do with it. But he just laughed and was happy to sign it.
“When they knocked the old scoreboard down at Shaw Lane I was a bit disgusted. Lots of famous cricketers played there.
“I phoned the club to ask if I could have some of the bricks to put in my fireplace and they said yes. So we’re rebuilding the scoreboard brick-by-brick and my regulars love it. Let’s say they’re bowled over.”
Artist Granville, who has been helping with the creative design, said: “We’ve still to get Martyn Moxon and Darren Gough to sign bricks.
“A hero of mine from my childhood was the great Fiery Fred and, to commemorate this wonderful cricket part of the pub, it’s now going to become the Fiery Fred End.
“I’ve actually done a painting of Fred bowling up and flames coming off his arms as he bowls. That will also be decorating the Fiery Fred End.”
The old scoreboard came down as part of a £500,000 makeover, including new changing rooms.
Barnsley CC chairman Trelford Mills, a former professional football referee, has given the project his official approval. He said: “Without this idea some of the history that we had at Shaw Lane would have been dead and buried.
“Now, thanks to Anthony and Danny, we have got something here.
“I know it’s totally different to Shaw Lane but it’s still the original bricks from the old scoreboard, which everybody remembers.”