Bob Schofield has spoken of his delight at all the many messages of congratulations he has received since being awarded the Sir Leonard Hutton Trophy on Friday.
Former team-mates, old rivals, cricket officials from across the region, Ossett members and friends have been paying tribute on Facebook.
“The last 72 hours have been extremely emotional but very special,” Schofield said today. “When the citation was being read out, I realised after a couple of minutes it was about me. I was shocked, but t was such a special moment when I received the trophy.
“I am not normally an emotional person, but I shed a few tears on Friday and the same happened when I read all the lovely messages people sent me.
“I even had a direct message from one of my old rivals Russell Heritage. It was great to hear from him again. He said I was a fierce competitor on the field, but we had some great times off of it.”
Many people have spoken about Schofield’s competitive streak but have also commented on his sense of fair play.
Reflecting on his great act of sportsmanship in the 1984 Heavy Woollen Cup final when he recalled a Gomersal batsman which ultimately led to his side losing by three wickets, Schofield said: “I was keeping wicket and broke the wicket with my gloves. When the umpire gave the batsmen out, I told him what had happened.
“The umpire was shell-shocked and asked if he should reverse his decision. I said he should. Some of my team-mates weren’t very happy with me, but it was the right thing to do.”
One game that has always stuck in Schofield’s mind is a clash with Batley in 1983 when he got a duck. “I was opening with Mick Varley and we were facing Yorkshire and England fast bowler Paul Jarvis and Neil Haines who had won the league bowling averages in the previous two years.
“We had bowled Batley out for 70 and batting wasn’t easy. After 15 overs we were 3-0 and all of the runs were leg byes. Just surviving was a real test,” he said.
Conditions were very much in favour of the bowlers in Schofield’s day with uncovered pitches assisting seam movement but as a determined opening batsman he regularly got 7-800 runs per season.
“You have to remember we were only playing 46 overs per side in those days and the pro would usually bowl half the overs. It was tough but it was also great fun,” Schofield said.
In the coming weeks Schofield will set his sights on a project close to his own heart, creating new changing rooms in the pavilion at the Ossett ground.
Work is expected to start in the new year and will feature one upstairs and one downstairs changing room with a viewing balcony on the upper floor.
It is a return to the old days when Ossett’s players changed in the pavilion rather than the adjacent football changing rooms.
“We are going to make some alterations to the existing lay out of the pavilion as we do not have sufficient funding for a new build.
“It is going to cost us around £95,000 and it will enhance the facilities for the players,“ Schofield said.
And it is typical of Schofield’s devotion to Ossett that as he builds up his strength after a spell in hospital, he is thinking about his club.
“I am going to talk to the architects in the next couple of days so that we can prepare for the start of the work,” he said.
Bob Schofield the tireless worker is again showing the qualities which are admired by so many and acknowledged by the award of the Sir Leonard Hutton Trophy.
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