A STALWART of the West Tyne Senior Cricket League has announced his retirement from the game on the eve of the new season.

Allan Murray was a regular for Humshaugh for almost three decades - helping them to four league titles.

The 62-year-old showed no signs of slowing up last season, when he played a key role the most successful season in Humshaugh’s history.

The opening bat scored 523 runs at an average of 43.58, as Humshaugh won a West Tyne league and cup double, as well as the Northumberland C Division, and the Ian Appleby Cup.

“I just feel as though the time is right,” he said. “I have never wanted to go on for too long, and stop younger players who can do the same job from getting a game. It is a good opportunity to go out on a high after what we achieved last season.

“I will miss it. There’s a good set of young lads at Humshaugh and I take with me great memories. I hope they go on to achieve further success.”

Allan, who played for the Northumberland county over 50s team last season, said he had made many good friendships during his time in cricket

He played for Tynedale as a youngster, but because he wasn’t available every Saturday at that time, Allan moved on to play for Bellingham, before joining Humshaugh in the early 1990s.

For about 27 years, he remained a firm fixture, and was part of title winning teams in 1996, 1998, 2005, and 2018. Humshaugh’s honours also included Divison One Cup success in 1997, and winning the Northumberland section of the national Village Cup, during the same summer.

“For years we had a core of a team with the likes of Peter Westall, Michael Baker, and Dickie Purvis,” said Allan, “and we enjoyed a lot of success.

“I always wanted to play the game properly. Play hard, but fair. Respect must always be shown, both on and off the field, and you must shake hands afterwards.”

The granddad of two also played football in his younger days, winning the Northumberland FA Minor Cup with both Prudhoe East End and Wark.

“In the early 1990s, local football looked as though it had a brighter future than cricket,” he recalled. “But all these years later, it’s great to see the West Tyne League still going strong. “

Long term Humshaugh teammate Dickie Purvis, who retired from playing in 2015 aged 66, said: “As an opening bat, Allan knew how to build an innings, and his favourite shot was a cut-shot through point.

"He was a perfect timer of the ball, and his runs total last season was not only the highest in the club, but the highest over a period of years.

"Allan would help with the teas, cleaning up afterwards. He was a proper club man.”

Humshaugh captain Andy Crawford said: “Allan had the third highest average in the league last season and played a vital role in our historic season. He is a true gentleman and his boots will be big ones to fill.”