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Head of Cricket Retires After 18 Year Innings

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Andy Compton has retired as Head of Cricket at Bolton School Boys’ Division. The sport has flourished during his 18 year stewardship, which has seen the School become national champions and several boys go on to forge careers playing county and national cricket. 

Headmaster Philip Britton reflected: ‘Since taking up his post in 2003, Andy has shown an unwavering commitment to school cricket. Whilst the School has never enjoyed such a high profile in the sport on both the regional and national level, this has only come about as a result of Andy’s tireless work behind the scenes. Whilst his role has involved coaching the first team and overseeing the training of other teams across the year groups, he has also meticulously taken care of the administrative detail including fixture arranging, catering, transport and organising indoor and outdoor net sessions. Andy has secured sponsorship for the kit, overseen the drainage and improvement of the main wicket, the purchase of a new boundary rope, a new scoreboard, new bowling machines and improvements to the changing rooms. He has also helped create lifetime memories for several generations of boys who took part in four separate tours to the Caribbean, including visits to Grenada, St Lucia, Barbados and Antigua.’ 

Assessing his tenure, Andy said: ‘The highlight has to have been winning the national U15s’ ESCA/ECB T20 Final in 2012 at Arundel with an emphatic 10 wicket victory over Whitgift School from Croydon. Within that team we were blessed with some prodigious talent, including future England opener Haseeb Hameed and the Parkinson twins, Matthew and Callum, who now play for Lancashire and Leicestershire. Matthew too has gone on to play for England. Over the years, there have been many memorable occasions as other year groups have also made it to a number of national finals and semi-finals. 

‘It was also a privilege to play a part in enabling the School to become one of the seven original MCC Foundation hubs, which allowed us to promote the sport to aspiring young cricketers in the local community. We managed to attract into School a wide range of professionals that trained and inspired the lads, players such as John Abrahams, Otis Gibson, Tom Moody, Sajid Mahmood, Paul Reiffel, Warren Hegg and Dave Gilbert. I’ve enjoyed my time at the helm immensely and I look forward to keeping an eye on the development of some of the up and coming prospects coming out of the School – players that are already on the books with Lancashire, like Praharsh Parikh and Keshana Fonseka.’ 

Taking over as Head of Cricket in the Boys’ Division is Liam Watkinson, a former pupil at the School and someone who, as Captain of the first eleven, was coached by Andy. Having studied PE at Leeds Beckett and played for Leeds Bradford MCCU and Lancashire Seconds, Liam has been back at the school for five years as a PE and Sport teacher. His appointment should make for some interesting matches with local rivals Manchester Grammar School, where Liam’s father, Mike Watkinson, is in charge of cricket there.

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