Interview by Miles Dilworth
Born: Chatham, Kent
Role: Umpire, general factotum
Nickname: Al, AEG, Clint Thrust
Special strength: Talks a good game
Cricketing Hero: Dennis Lillee
Walk out song: Five Mile - Eminem (That's not a song, Alastair. Do you mean 8 Mile?)
Richmond CC in three words: My favourite place
How did you start out in cricket?
I started playing cricket in the garden with my Dad who built a net at the top of the garden. At prep school I soon established myself as an opening bowler who couldn’t bat. I batted at number 11 until after I retired as a quick bowler in 1981 bar one day guesting for a Presidents XI at Old Whitgiftians in 1979 when I was invited to open by mistake. I slogged 42 before I got found out.
How did you get involved with Richmond?
I joined in 1978 after seeing a poster at university in Kensington. My first game was at Old Meadonians at the Fuller's ground in Chiswick. I brought my girlfriend, Sue. On discovering that she was a keen scorer, we were instantly welcome!
What have been the highlights of your time at the club?
I have been on 42 tours with Richmond, but the tour to Sri Lanka in the winter of 1978/79 (click onAEG's photo for a video of the tour) remains one of my favourite cricketing experiences. I left England as a third team sprayer and returned as the opening bowler for the 1st XI. The challenge of playing against essentially Test players, combined with some click in my action caught the eye of the 1st XI captain David Heyn, and I was pencilled in. I took 84 wickets in the season, had a trial for Kent, and got an invite to play a season in New Zealand the following winter - so quite a result. Winning the 1997 Middlesex Cup after scraping my way back into the 1st XI as a spinner and taking four wickets in the final is also up there.
You ran the summer colts camp for 15 years. What was that like?
It ranks above any personal achievement. It was fantastic. I loved being out in the sunshine, sharing my love of cricket with hundreds of youngsters. Some are in our senior teams today, some are running colts at other clubs, some have found me on LinkedIn now they are working for Goldman Sachs and the like.
How has the club changed over the years?
The club has changed a little over the years, particularly in the bar. For the first 30 odd years, there were always guys left in the bar at closing time, nowadays less so. Cricket wise though, the Richmond spirit has stayed pretty solid, which is great.
How do you think others would describe you?
A bit eccentric, maybe a bit marmite as I tend to say exactly what I think. But overall, I hope they see me as a loyal member of the club and a decent bloke.
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