Andrew J Wylie- No Longer the Youngest and Never the Fittest

Saturday represents a sad occasion in our recent history as we bid farewell to one of our most successful players of recent times as well as a Treasurer and a top bloke.

My two year stint as First Eleven Captain has been described as the club’s “Doldrum Years”. However, I would like to think that one or two good things came to pass and the signing of “Wyles” was certainly one of the highlights for me.

I had heard of the name Wylie as a certain John Wylie, schoolteacher from Aigburth (couldn’t bring myself to mention the L word) had during his stint as Manager of Lancashire Under 11s coached my younger brother.

Of good stock and used to playing on the County Ground at Aigburth. Where better therefore to make your Collegiate debut than Stocksbridge! Anyway he took 8 for 12 and Ian Howe advised me that it might be worth seeing if he fancied changing his mind and staying with us for the summer rather than just the University term.

You have much to answer for Howie!

I remember early on in his first team career Wyles making a favourable impression at Castleford with his trademark fast in swing accounting for among others John Randerson who left one only to hear the death rattle as his off pole cartwheeled towards fine leg.

So following a successful trial period and no doubt after the odd glass of something cold Wyles agreed to travel back each weekend to play in the first eleven.

This in itself brought many a story, not least when he turned up sporting a Harry Potter like scar to his forehead claiming to have fainted in the bathroom at home, fallen and cut his head on the window! Whilst sober! I got some mileage out of that one!

He had his revenge though directing (Harmison style) a delivery straight to me at slip the following season at Doncaster. I still bear the scar today.

Wyles would stay with Tina and I in our house at Crookes. The rare victories were celebrated with some enthusiasm. One such occasion left Wyles a little worse for wear on the Sunday. Not ideal with another fixture to play that day. Drink three pints of water I suggested. He did. We left the house and I was chatting away to an elderly neighbour when the said three pints made a reappearance leaving said neighbour somewhat bemused.

Wyles had the misfortune to be sharing a car with me the day I was run out going for the run we didn’t need and therefore losing a National Knockout game at York. That the journey home was actually more cheerful than it might have been speaks volumes of the Wylie sense of humour!

There are many more tales but they are reserved for the best selling biography due out later this year!

I was lucky enough to succeed Collegiate legend Bill Croft as first team opening bowler and was delighted to pass the baton on to Wyles in 2000. I am sure all three of us have a HB Willey award but only one of us a Man of the Match award from a National Knockout Final and Winners medal. Wyles progressed quickly during that campaign after being carted by Chorley in the Quarter Final he bounced back to destroy Ormskirk and Eastbourne in the Semi Final and Final respectively.

He has worn the shirt with pride( it is slightly tighter these days) and has been a credit to the club winning numerous titles but more importantly many friends along the way. I hope that the talented young seamers we possess rise to the challenge of replacing the number 11 (someone who can score runs in front of square or on the onside would be preferable).

He is fluent in Spanish and French but yet to master English, a goalkeeper in the Grobelaar mould (some of the goals conceded at De La Salle have raised suspicion certainly!) and for someone who supports that lot is an all round top bloke. He is also a talented artist. No seriously! Those of us fortunate enough to have been gifted a “Wylie” may be able to retire early.

I am sure we have all enjoyed happy times with Wyles and will cherish the memories. He has made an outstanding contribution to some of the club’s most successful years and has added positively to the history of our great club.

I have enjoyed reliving some of these memories. Please feel free to add your own but remember it is a family website!

I trust it will be Au Revoir and not Adios Amigo. I am certain that you will join me in wishing him all the very best for the future. Look forward to seeing you back again soon. I now have Randy Scouse Git on the ipod in anticipation!


P.S Tina says the ban on your staying at our house is now lifted as today is the tenth anniversary of the pre Harrogate conservatory session!

12 thoughts on “Andrew J Wylie- No Longer the Youngest and Never the Fittest

  • 15th August 2009 at 1:24 pm

    If only you’d follow suit. A few of might consider returning.

  • 15th August 2009 at 11:09 am

    Well done Jonesy – a fitting tribute. Good to see the other quitters joining in.

  • 15th August 2009 at 8:48 am

    He wasn’t a bad tenant either. Following the Jeremy Kyle breakfast he moved in to our flat on a “can you help me out for 6 weeks” sort of basis. It then took him over 3 years to move out!

    Some great memories you Scouse git. A legend & one of the greatest no.11 batsmen the club has seen!

  • 14th August 2009 at 6:31 pm

    He won’t need one. He’ll be rifling through everyone’s pockets before he goes!

  • 14th August 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Wyles, I’ve changed my mind. You’re at Treeton tomorrow.

  • 14th August 2009 at 5:16 pm

    I have so many memories of our thieving friend. Our first leo and the subsequent Jeremy Kyle breakfast in Millhouses Park Cafe is one, wanting to glass him in Amsterdam, rooming with him in Bristol and his stag do in Prague are others that spring to mind. One great night was in the early days when Wyles and I won the bowling competition at the Rathbones’ summer BBQ. We were both clattered yet somehow our nerve held and we beat a (really pissed off ) couple to the trophy. Come to mention it Wyles kept the trophy and I haven’t seen it since! That’s a measure of the man who’s departing us!

    On the field, his delivey stride grunt, thigh slap and moaning won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

    I’m sure it won’t be the last we see or hear from him. At least we’ll know where to look if we get burgled or have our hub-caps nicked.

  • 14th August 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Well done Wyles. You’ve put in a good shift for Collegiate which in itself is odd for a scouser! I hope everything goes ok for you in the future.
    I can still visibly remember you sitting in the away changing room at Lord’s almost roaring because the final had been abandoned and you had’nt had a chance to bowl on the hallowed turf. All came good at Southgate though and you deservedly won the MOM. A great day for Collegiate and you in particular. Many thanks,your performance was just reward and it helped to make my birthday the best I’ve ever had. I am sorry I can’t make Saturday, got to play bloody Golf,but I am sure you will have a great time

    All the best


  • 14th August 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Cheers Jonesy. Very kind words.

    I certainly learned a thing or two…mostly about Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Sancerre, but also a bit about sledging. I remember you teling Driffield’s Aussie he was ‘a third grader’, before he continued to score 80 odd and then take 7 wickets.

    Bully, he’d been asking for that for a while hadn’t he! Not quite as subtle as some of my pranks on Hespey or Gareth.

  • 14th August 2009 at 11:25 am

    All the very best Wyles, you have quite clearly been a great servant to SCCC and will be sadly missed. From a personal point of view, would like to thank you for welcoming me to the club in 2003 and offering me your time and advice on how I could improve (yes, it did not work – but the thought was there). Our loss is a club in Manchester’s gain.

    A little anecdote I want to share, as I was the only one who saw it I think, was when he filled one of the make shift yellow bins in the changing room with water and threw it over a “dressed to impress” Tom Main who had sadly refused to help assist put the covers on. The look on Mr Main’s face was a picture, as were the tears that emerged in his eyes. I also welled up – but for different reasons!

    Take care Haknur Gudnasson.

  • 14th August 2009 at 10:31 am

    A touching post Jonesy and despite the fact that he might read this, the ‘selfish one’ will be missed. Lots of good times and memories. Also one of the only blokes I know who managed to persuade a female to plaster Sudocrem on his Jock-rot. A great effort that is possibly greater than his achievements in 2000.
    I trust a large party will be around on Saturday to give him a good send off.

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