Nostalgia Letter: Harry had safe hands
MADAM, – Re: All Our Yesterdays Saturday, November 14 – the mystery sportsman Harry Griffiths, ex-Everton and Port Vale professional footballer.
Like John Malkin, Harry was another sportsman who, when he retired from his profession, found another string to his bow on joining Meir Heath Cricket Club.
As a wicketkeeper he provided the club with a safe pair of hands behind the stumps, capable of standing up to the wicket and removing the bails in one quick deft movement should the batsman stray out of his ground.
A quiet unassuming person, he did not talk much about his football days except to explain it was sometimes difficult juggling his football career with his duties as a police officer. Often he badgered his fellow officers to change shifts, in order to turn out for Port Vale.
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Harry had also represented England at International baseball. That was during his Everton days. He always seemed a very fit athlete, walking miles on his days off. I never knew him to have a car, bikes were his usual mode of transport.
At the time he played cricket for us at Meir Heath, he lived in a detached house at the bottom of Dudwall Road, Normacot, now demolished.
When he retired from the police force he took up the post of park keeper at the Queens Park in Longton.