“When the legend becomes fact, print the legend”
Sport can bring out both the best and the worse in people.
The general consensus is that as well as demanding the best from himself, Robert Read managed to bring out the best in those people he played with and it’s no surprise that has made an indelible mark at a club where he has grown into, and will always be considered, a legend.
Robert and his family are stalwarts at the cricket club, we know that he appreciates the encouragement that they have given him over the years and he would be the first to admit that any tribute paid to him has to take into account their enduring support during this time.
The winner of 2 Lancashire league titles, 2 Worsley cups, 3 T20 cups, 2 Second XI leagues titles and 3 Third XI titles, Robert can look back with pride on a terrific career and who better to put his legend into print than the teammates and friends who have been with him during his career at the club.
“I’d personally like to thank Rob for his contribution towards Ramsbottom Cricket Club’s success in recent years. He has been a pivotal member of the team and has always given 110% on the field. I know what it meant to Rob to represent this great club and he would run through a brick wall for the cause. His defining moment coming in the Worsley Cup Semi Final at Todmorden when he and Tom Parton saw us home in one of the greatest game I’ve been involved in.Enjoy retirement, good luck for the future and I look forward to working alongside you with the U19s this season.”
“I guess most people are going to try and embarrass you with tales of your yellow smelly underpants and the season you averaged 5.87 in the U15s so I won’t go into that! It’s been an absolute privilege to play with you for c.25 years and I’ve got you to blame for actually getting me into cricket all those years ago! A true one club man who did everything with the best interests of the club at heart. The playing side of the club will miss you immensely however I’m sure you’ll be around to help in whatever capacity is required for years to come!Seems mad to think I won’t see you out there on the pitch anymore! Some of the best days of our lives have been spent on that field, days we’ll never forget! Enjoy retirement... I’m sure you will! RIP"
“I could write an essay about Ready but all I’m going to say is Fallowfield an hour before stumps.”
“Rob was one of the people who brought me to the club and the environment he fostered as captain and as a senior player was second to none. A great bloke who always had the best interests of the club at heart. Enjoy the retirement Bob and you can finally bin those undies!”
“Rob took over the captaincy in 2014, my first of three as professional at Ramsbottom. Two things were clear from the start: Rob was Rammy through and through, and secondly, this was the start of a journey with a new regime heading in a new direction. In 2016 we raised the Lancashire League trophy and although he wasn’t at the helm at that point, the role he played for the majority of that journey was invaluable for the final outcome. It was a pleasure sharing a changing room with him and for those that have been lucky enough to do so too, they will know what I mean when I say that I’m just grateful that we were at opposite ends of said changing room.”
“From the moment I saw Rob shun the obvious and pour the sherbet of a Dib Dab onto the lolly rather than go for the conventional dip I knew we would get along. Will leave a bigger hole in the dressing room than the one in his underpants. Enjoy retirement Rob you have earned it.”
“Needless to say there will be a lot of tributes pointing towards what a great servant Rob has been to Ramsbottom Cricket Club throughout his long and illustrious career. While this is undoubtedly true, I’d like to draw the reader’s attention to the more importantk questions: how can a man win so much and inspire so many yet neglect the basics of general hygiene? How often did you buy new briefs? Was this the secret to your success? If I cut a hole in my briefs will I win leagues and cups multiple times over?
Congratulations on a fine career Rob. You won the lot, but more importantly conveyed what it meant to represent this great club. Enjoy retirement. You deserve it.”
“Always sad to me when a player decides to ‘call it a day’ especially when it is a lad who has been associated with just one club & especially when that club is Ramsbottom. Rob is a lad who has progressed through all the stages at Rammy, watching as a child, playing in all the junior sides, third & second eleven then on to the first team where he proudly was awarded the Baggy Green and later the Captaincy. Both of which he should be rightly proud. Robert played in the region of 250 league & cup matches for the first team & I am sure he will now have plenty of time to look back on as many matches that he can remember & afford himself a little smile of pleasure knowing he gave his all both on & off the field of play.
Happy retirement Rob, hope we still see you down at Acre Bottom for a long time to come.”
“Robs a top guy. He’s done so much for myself and the club and will be sadly missed. He’s taught me how to be a specialist fielder, I’ve nearly crashed his car driving about 10 yards and his boxers are angin. Been a pleasure to play with and wish him the best”
“Good cricketer. Even better man. Played the game with great sportsmanship and dignity. Many people talking about his legendry knock against Tod in the Worsley Cup. I thought the one against Lowerhouse with Trigger last year was better. On the biggest stage against a fired-up House he delivered the perfect counter attack. It didn’t seem like a swansong at the time but I suppose it was. When the knees say it’s time to call it day you’ve no choice. His greatest legacy will be the team he leaves behind however. Thomas and his Band of Merry Millennials have benefited from his guidance on the playing field and dressing room up to now. If they’re smart they will continue to do so from the warmth of the bar.”
“Rob has always been more like a little brother to me more than a cousin, from our early days of playing on our Nan’s drive through to walking out together representing Ramsbottom he has always given 100%, I’m probably the reason he didn’t bowl! Back in 2014 when he was given the captaincy he rang and asked me to come back to Ramsbottom, I made him sweat, it took four cans of Guinness and about an hour before I agreed! Everything he does regarding Ramsbottom Cricket Club has always been for the right reasons and I’m sure in the future he will fill a role and continue to do so! Always a joy sharing a dressing room and we have some great memories to look back upon. Be proud of a great career Rob, see you Saturday at Gigg!”
“Having played all my senior cricket alongside Rob, I was gutted to find out he was no longer going to be playing this year. Few have been so committed to Ramsbottom Cricket Club, both throughout successful seasons and in times of need. In 2014 he most notably led us to the Holland Cup, and created an enjoyable dressing room. I’m sure he’ll be no stranger to Acre Bottom, and will regularly be found supping excessive ale, sporting a poor man’s Tommy Shelby outfit and scoffing Donna topped pizza on Bridge Street!”
“Rob should be really proud of his cricketing career with RCC. He is Rammy through and through.
Although winning trophies is not the be all and end all - Rob has contributed massively in winning all the major trophies that the Lancs League has to offer. His semi-final exploits will live long in the memory!
His commitment and dedication throughout his playing career should be an inspiration to future cricketers who wear the baggy green of Ramsbottom Cricket Club. Happy retirement Rob!”
“It was Rob who first introduced me to Ramsbottom cricket club and encouraged me to come down and train and eventually become part of the team down at Acre bottom. It was a time when a lot of big names had left the club and he had just taken over the captaincy. He brought a lot of people together that year and certainly for me, made it a very good environment to play cricket in whilst also making me aware of the pride that should be taken in wearing the Ramsbottom badge. There have been so many good memories since, apart from his ‘lucky’ underwear (it was never lucky, you were only lucky if you wasn’t sat next to him when he was wearing it) which I hope will be retiring alongside him. Enjoy your retirement Rob.”
"On hearing of Robert Read’s retirement from playing cricket I tried to remember when I first saw him make the first eleven but it’s so long ago now that it makes him a real stalwart of RCC of the club - one who has been a true one club man. Having played senior cricket for years and having captained the first eleven it will be strange not seeing him wear the whites of Rammy again. He will not be leaving us though as he will be helping to run the under 19 20/20 team in this years competition. I wish Rob all the best and am sure he will be enjoying the games with a bottle of beer in his hand rather than a bat - maybe with the yellows!"
“I have known Rob Read all his life and seen him come through all the age groups of the club. He has Rammy CC tattooed on his heart and will be sadly missed on the playing field. His career, like most of us, as had its ups and downs but I think that when he was made Captain after a disastrous previous season when morale had reached rock bottom his leadership qualities brought back unity within the Club which now makes us this force to be reckoned with. On the field Rob will always be remembered for his partnership with TP which won us the Worsley Cup semi against Todmorden but I think back to an Under 17's game against Burnley when he smashed Jimmy Anderson et al around the ground in semi darkness to give us an unlikely success. Rob has slipped down the order in recent seasons and has had problems with his chips and peas but has continued to come to the party when needed highlighted by his innings at Lowerhouse last year. His fielding has always been top notch and around the dressing room he has been invaluable for morale. Although he has now retired I am sure he will still be there to help out the lads and I hope to see him taking the reins as team manager soon. A good lad. Thanks Rob.”
anyone else wanting to make an addition to this article, please contact John Fox or Jonny Dack