Lawrence Moore (CricketEurope)
We asked Lawrence Moore to come up with his NW touring squad. People who he'd enjoy spending time with and who would be guaranteed box office craic off the field if not on it.
I was very fortunate to have been on a few 'tours' organised by the late George McDaid in the 80's, so the bar is high!
Connie McAllister is first in and I doubt if that needs much explaining. There has to be some corner of the globe that hasn't heard Connie's repertpoire, so we'll go there for the trip.
Next on the bus is Martin Gormley, another Ardmore and former City of Derry player. Was set to become one of the North West's brightest lights at just 16 before he went clean off the rails. That's why he's coming with us.
There's usually a party to be had at the Rectory most weeks and if there's a party, there'll be 'Wee Bob'. If we get around to playing any cricket, I can't wait to hear some Australian guy getting sledged from backward point after every single ball.
Another of the more experienced guard next and there will always be a seat on the bus for Lofty McGonigle. Fantastic person to have around at 'Happy Hour' and Irene has offered to pay for diesel if we take him.
There have been a few characters up in Sion through the years and Lee McGonagle was another easy choice. How on earth could you leave out the only man ever to be 'timed out' in the NW after he got locked in a toilet, and who once broke both his arms trying on his first pair of flip-flops?
Into Donegal next and the King of the Barn Dance, David Macbeth also makes the cut. His recent cameo on Sky TV where he talked about Ole Gunar Solskaer and folk thought he was Polish, tells you all you need to know.
A couple that you might not be as familiar with next are former team mates at City of Derry. Kevin Dunlop is first and as well as being one of the fittest people you can imagine, he would happily confirm that he only ever played cricket to work up a thirst for a Saturday session. First person I ever saw buying jugs of beer.
Karl Duncan was something of a legend at Judges Road. An excellent swing bowler who had no idea where the ball was going, his West Indian upbringing helped him to bring up a variety of 'plants' after matches. He once invited my ex-wife and I to a party at his house and told me not to let her eat any of the wide range of cakes and breads provided 'for her own good.'
I'm a fan of dry, mischievous humour so David Rankin is also in. I literally have no idea when he's serious or joking so just assume it's the latter all the time. As well as being funny, he's coming in case we have to play.
Every tour needs a double act so keep the two seats at the back for Brian Devine and Stephen Hetherington. There's no better way to spend a summer evening than watching a decent match and having a laugh, and that Donemana v Fox Lodge game a few years ago when Stephen filmed 'Quacker' going into bat and getting clean bowled first ball was the funniest thing I've ever seen at a cricket match.
As Brian came back 'up the brae' Stephen announced that 'Quacker' and 'Sheepy' had a bet on which one of them would score the most runs this season and Sheepy was leading 1-0. And this was July!!
There are a few others who readily spring to mind- the late Eric Cooke and Alan Dunn were essential to any party worthy of the name. That vicious sense of humour of Mr Chambers himself of course means he'll always get an invite too, and if singers are required then Michael Gillespie would be the man.
Get the bus booked for the trip to Kerry!