Beattie Arlow Factfile
David Holmes (Total Cricket, News Letter)
Q. How did you get started in the game: I started off playing at Donaghcloney Primary School. I had two uncles William and James who were great enthusiasts. I think they were actually glued to one of the benches at The Lawn throughout the summer.
Q. You have three careers to talk about here, tell us about the playing side: I played at Crossbows from 1956 -1968, it was at the old optical factory in Lurgan, and we called it Hill 60 it was near the Jubilee fountain in Lurgan Public Park. We played in Qualifying A against teams like Dunmurry, Laurelvale, Ballymena and Drumaness, plus others that are no longer around. We used to win the league but could not get promoted because we had a copper beech tree near the edge of the square. Moved to Waringstown and played mainly for the seconds; hard to get into a side with the likes of the Harrisons and Reithís around! When the club decided to bring in the next generation of young players, a move which I totally agreed with, I finished my playing career at Portadown
Q. You made it to the top pretty quickly as an umpire, what qualities took you there: Started umpiring in 1983, been said before but it is without doubt the best place to watch the game; right out in the middle. I remember my first game with Pete Reith, he told me you have to earn the players respect and I believe I did that. Then if you made a mistake it was treated as just that, a mistake, not that you were a bad umpire.
Q. Highlight of your career Without a doubt the Commonwealth games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998. It was entirely different, a once in a lifetime experience. Got up in the morning and just licked my lips thinking about the day ahead.
Q. What about locally Challenge Cup Finals, I was appointed to do my first final and had to wait five years to get it as Waringstown were in the first four. I umpired the tied final in 1994 between Lisburn and North Down. I also remember the 1992 final when Waringstown won the treble and Paul and Charlie McCrum were on opposing sides.
Q. Best cricketers when you were in the middle Two stand out; at Clontarf, Ireland v Australia when Allen Border went mental against the unfortunate Angus Dunlop. The other was at Ormeau, watching Richard Hadlee; he was a different class, not just the pace but the movement.
Q. What about your time as groundsman Again started at Crossbows helping prepare the wicket there. Worked at Chambers Park which was rugby hockey and cricket. Then I moved on to Collegians at Deramore and I like to think I plated my part in turning it into a ground fit to stage Inter-pros. Then I was asked to be Head Groundsman at the school Methodist College. Now I do some work at Lisburn Distillery.
Q. Any further ambitions I love my cricket and I canít think of any better place to watch it than at The Lawn; thatís the only ambition I have.