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Playing Cricket since 1849

Stuart Maher

Date of birth:13th January 1982
Place of birth:Accrington
Batting style:Right arm Ambitious
Bowling style:Right arm medium
Fielding position:Somewhere out of the way so the skipper gets some peace
Marital status:Married
Nickname:Cush, Simba
Height: 6'4" in my heels
Weight:A lot
Previous clubs:None, unless you include Rios, Lar-de-dars and Churchills
1st XI debut1995
Best batting performance:51
Best bowling performance:12.1-5-34-10 vs Brooksbottom 2014
Cricketing honours:Ribblesdale League Representative XI at all ages, Ribblesdale Senior League Chanpionship 2008, 4-time Ribblesdale League T20 Winners, Ribblesdale League Bowling Award, Ribblesdale League Best Bowling Award.
First cricketing memories:My Dad throwing balls at me aged 7 at GHCC
Theories on cricket:If you don't let them score more runs than you, you've got a good chance of winning.
Cricketing heroes:Eddo Brandes
Cricketing superstitions:Don't forget the ibuprofen and cocodomol!
Family cricketing links:None
Comments:Previously opening bowler for the Ribblesdale League representative side. Extremely accurate and difficult to play against.
Profile:Opening bowler, Club Chairman, over 700 1st XI wickets in the Ribblesdale League. Also had a first XI 50 batting at number 11, not that I'd tell anyone about that....

Stuart ‘Simbacush de Stustustu’ Maher was born on 23rd October 1940 in a small temporary hospital erected in an overcrowded favela area on the outskirts of Sao Paolo, Brazil.

From as soon as he could walk, Stuart’s interest in cricket was obvious. He wouldn’t wear anything that wasn’t white and his first word was Gooch. But growing up in poverty on the Brazilian streets, he could not afford a cricket ball and usually played with either a sock stuffed with papers or a grapefruit. It was only on his sixth birthday, when he was given his first leather ball by his father’s table football teammate, champion wrestler Rick Flair, that he really started to show his potential.

At the age of eleven, Stuart was scouted by Zimbabwe-born English legend Trevor Penney, who spotted him playing against the kids from City of God whilst in Sao Paolo filming one of those ‘let’s drag you away from another ‘hilarious’ Lenny Henry monologue to show you what tonight’s all about’ Red Nose Day videos. He was invited over to England to play for Penney’s amateur team, Warwickshire County Cricket Club..

Penney told the directors at Warwickshire that Stuart would be “the greatest cricketer in the world.” However, realising that Birmingham could only offer a standard of living marginally better than that he knew back home, he went on the run and filed for political asylum, giving no fixed address. Stalked by the persistent Penney, he found the only way he could evade capture was to stop playing cricket for a while.

Unfazed, he decided to spend his time out by studying to be a solicitor, helping pay the fees by using skills picked up from watching Rick Flair as a child, and wrestling on the semi-professional British circuit under the pseudonym ‘Law Man’. This paid quite well, and, a minor injury or two aside, let him live a reasonably comfortable life.

He gained his right to nationality, having been in the country for a sufficient length of time, and on completion of the course, he was offered a job in Great Harwood, which he took, and settled into his new surroundings. But the love for cricket had never really left him and when one day he took a wrong turn en route to a game of darts in the Dog and Otter with Phil Taylor, he found a new home.

In the years since he has become a prominent figure in Great Harwood’s Cricket Club’s 1st XI taking what can only be described as shedloads of wickets and finally living up to the potential Penney had spotted all those years ago. Stuart has also become a fan favourite amongst the GHCC first team suuporters, so much so that regulars have adopted a chant for when Stuart is in action. It is made to sound like a laser is firing and goes along the lines of “Stu Stu Stu Stu Stu Stu Stu Stu Stu Stu Stu Stu Stu Stu Stu Stu”, a tribute to one of his middle names

Yet Stuart was not always on the positive end of the supporters’ chants, once subject to heckling by a vocal fan, prominent local figure and entrepreneur Derek Brunt, who aimed the words “Run Stu, you fat b*****d” in a hysterical twang, much to the delight of the onlookers. However, he didn’t let it affect him and completed the run to save the game.

Stuart has come a long way from the dark days on the streets of Sao Paolo. He has held the Sunday XI’s all time records for bowling average and economy and taken over 700 Ribblesdale Senior League wickets, whilst acting as club chairman as well as holding down a job as a solicitor. Indeed, with his healthy pay packet, Stuart is listed as the third richest man in Great Harwood and is rumoured to be planning in the next few months to buy Rishton and Clayton and create one super town, Greater Harwood.