Glenn Chambers

Inside Alder Meadow - An interview with Pontblyddyn legend Glenn Chambers

Pontblyddyn Player/Legend: Glenn Chambers

As we wait for news on whether we will be able to play the game we love this Summer, to help pass the time we have done a number of player interviews - past and present to talk through their memories at Alder Meadow.

You can’t have one without the other. Next up is the second half of the opening batting partnership that carried our efforts for so many years. Talented, gritty and highly competitive, Glenn is widely seen as one of the best all round players North Wales has ever produced. The stats with both bat and ball back this up. Here is his memories of a great career that isn’t finished just yet.

I will start by saying that I have been lucky enough to play with and against many amazing players at many lovely grounds. I apologise I couldn’t mention you all. There have also been some not so good of each but those will remain nameless ;).
I would also like to thank the current crop at Pontblyddyn for keeping me young and my enthusiasm up. We have struggled a bit over the past few years but these boys are good cricketers and Pontblyddyn CC is in good hands for the future.

First Memory:
My first cricket memories are playing with my Dad Martyn in the back garden, he wouldn't let me smash it until I had learnt how to play the front and back foot defensive shots properly. He used to say “learn these and you’ll be in long enough to play the other shots”

Best Game I’ve Played In:
I’ve been lucky enough to play in a lot of good games with good players over the years. The games I have played for Wales will always be special but the two that stick in my memory are as follows:  The Last time Pontblyddyn won the Flintshire KO I was skipper and we beat a very good Mold side over two legs. I remember the ball flying to all parts but we managed to stay cool under pressure and win.

The other was the final game against Pilkingtons when I played in Connahs Quay’s league winning side. The great thing about both of these was that they were done with some very close friends and sharing that success with them was special.

Best Personal Performance:
My best score is 149 at Halkyn for Brymbo and best bowling was an 8 fer against Ruthin, which included bowling Shaun Roberts between his legs with a leg spinner...........sorry Shaun.  However neither of these are my favourite. I got 124 against Llandudno at Pontblyddyn when they were winning everything. They threw everything at me that day, including a fair amount of verbals :), and they were a class side. Great to score runs under pressure and against good players.  

Best Cricketing moment:
I have been lucky enough to have had many great moments in the sport including caps at all Welsh levels and my over 50s cap is a real treasured one. I guess that happens when you’ve played as long as I have! I am going for two best cricketing moments, firstly opening the batting with my Dad and playing with my family in so many games was really special. Also watching Jamie get his first 50 at Hawarden Park I have never been so nervous!

Best Overseas Player:
There have been quite a few in the North Wales League. Paul Hoffman (Bethesda) was a great bowler, Tarique Khan (Llandudno) was probably the best All Rounder but I really enjoyed my tussles with McNeil Morgan (Bangor) the most. Special mention to Matthew Edwards, Marcel Frenzel, Jeff Litturi and Romario Greaves here, really enjoyed playing with them at Pontblyddyn and we are still close friends now.

Favourite Ground:
Has to be Pontblyddyn I’ve really enjoyed my time here and is one of the most picturesque I have been too. I have also a real affinity with Connahs Quay, a real amphitheatre. Dave even prepares my favourite wicket when I return!

Favourite Team to play against:
Has to be Llandudno, they play it tough, have had some really good players over the years and I usually do pretty well in those games. Going to mention Bangor here too great lads and a lovely place to play.

Most Feared Opponent:
That will be Llandudno again, came at you hard and enjoyed that. Will give the Menai boys a mention..............I must like earache! Individually had to be Nigel Roberts, scored runs for fun.

Best Player Played Against:
I could mention a couple of Pros here but I will stick with a North Wales boy. Nigel Roberts is one of the, if not the best ever in North Wales. I batted with him once at Brymbo when I had the season there. I was horribly out of form and he said “Don’t worry, take your time, I will hit some boundaries and then give you the strike to play yourself into form”. He got a ton that day!

Best Player Played With:
There is a few of these! Adrian Dale was class, as was Rob Croft. But I have played with David Lloyd once in a friendly and he is top drawer for me.

Best Batsman Played With:    
I am going go with ‘Big’ Phil Davies. It was actually a pleasure standing at the non strikers end watching him play for so many years.  You could have placed his cover drive in any coaching video at any level.

Best Batsman Played Against:
I played against Mark Ramprakash for Wales, he was unreal. Scored a ton against us and looked every inch a future Test player.

Best Bowler Played With:
Again there have been many, Karl Peers at Northop Hall was awesome, Nigel Owen at Brymbo was class, but I am going to go with our very own Rhys Jones.  Never gives you anything............apart from a word or two!

Best Bowler Played Against:
David Williams was rapid, Shaun Roberts had a yard and word in him! But I played against an Indian Leg Spinner when I was 20 called Raja Venkat, 31 years later I am still trying to work out which way it was going to turn!

Best in the Changing Room:
Three people here, Rhys Jones you can’t take your eyes off him for a minute and an absolute star. My Uncle Mark Chambers, the only man I have seen wear wellies in the shower and Mark Neath, an absolute changing room menace.

Longest In The shower:
Phil Davies, Matthew Edwards and Ross Roberts used to be in there forever ;)

Best Drinking Partner:
Phil Davies, Rhys Jones and Mark ‘Tippy’ Neath. We genuinely have talked some rubbish in the pavilion after the games.

Favourite Drink:
Peroni although partial to a real ale now I am a bit older

Favourite Umpire:
David Alyn, one of the best, Paul Jones and Eric Rogers (Eric had to be one of the best characters on the circuit).  Although I will say that there are an awful lot that do a great job

All Time Pont XI – No Pros
1.       Phil Davies
2.       Richie Dorman
3.       Mark Hughes
4.       Jules Morris
5.       Mark Neath
6.       Phil Snell
7.       Mark Chambers (wkt)
8.       Chris Moss
9.       Nigel Snell
10.      Rhys Jones
11.      Steve Evans
12.   Steve Paige

All Time North Wales XI – No Pros
1.       Mark Jones
2.       Phil Davies
3.       Nigel Roberts
4.       David Lloyd
5.       Matt Needham
6.        Robbie Jones
7.       Mark Chambers
8.       Gareth Ryan
9.       Karl Peers
10.      Rhys Jones
11.      David Williams

I could have named about five teams here!

Advice to youngsters starting out:
Listen to all the advice that good players and coaches give, you may hear something that turns you into a better player forever. Work hard, believe in yourself but stay humble. This is a great game full of great people. And to quote the person who had the biggest influence on my cricket career “Learn the front and back defensive shots first, then you will be in long enough to play the others”
And don’t forget to enjoy it.