Shephard shines in debut season for Norton

Richard Moon presents Gavin Shephard with the prize for his club.
Richard Moon presents Gavin Shephard with the prize for his club.

A village cricketer, who in his county playing days smashed Freddie Flintoff’s bowling all over the park, has been voted our Player of the Month for July.

Each month, in association with Leamington solicitors Blythe Liggins, we celebrate a player who has done something special, with the winner being presented with a box of six new cricket balls for their club, provided by Blythe Liggins.

Our July winner is Gavin Shephard, whose knock of 156 in his first season with Norton Lindsey & Wolverton was almost emulated with a score of 110 the following week.

Gavin, who played county cricket for Warwickshire at all levels, was made man of the match in 2001 after reaching 73 not out while facing six international bowlers - including Flintoff and one of the greatest Test bowlers of all time, Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan - playing for Warwickshire Cricket Board against Lancashire. “It was my greatest cricketing achievement,” said Gavin.

After playing for a number of Birmingham clubs, Gavin and his twin brother Stuart, who also played First Class cricket, are now enjoying their first season with Norton Lindsey .

“It’s a lovely, progressive club with great aspirations. There’s plenty of talent there and they’ve just spent £35,000 on nets,” said Gavin.

“It has a flourishing youth section, an excellent pitch and yes, amazing teas.”

Former England and Barbarians rugby international Richard Moon, a partner at sponsors Blythe Liggins, where he heads both the employment law department and the firm’s sports law unit, said of Gavin: “His county pedigree has stood him in great stead for village cricket where, now in his mid-40s, he is still proving to be a class act.”