Five hat-tricks, 31 five-wicket hauls and 1166 wickets - the story of Lancing Manor Cricket Club's record-breaker Steve Luckhurst
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The medium pacer broke the record against Bosham 2nds on August 19 in the Sussex Cricket League Division 11 South match. Luckhurst, who is the club statistician, has always been interested in club records and enjoyed compiling records when he joined the club.
The 55-year-old started with Manor in 1988 and made his debut a day before his 20th birthday, Having schooled at nearby Boundstone School he knew some of the members already. Steve said: “It was midway through my first season when I asked about club records that someone said there weren't any, but the scorebooks back to mid 1960s were in an old players garage!
“I took them and compiled records from that and from then on became club statistician. One of our retired players, David Wood, spent many years researching the club history and found we formed in 1922. Old newspapers had records and stats and we then found a few more long-lost scorebooks.
“2022 was club centenary and over 80 guests of past and current players attended an event at Sussex County FA headquarters at Lancing FC. For that I wrote a history book, some 180 A4 pages of season by season reviews and loads of stats, of course.
By then end of 2022, Steve was just 16 wickets short of the club record 1,157 that was set by the late Bill Winter in 793 matches.
Steve said: “I broke the record against Bosham 2nds, the first of three wickets that day. The ball was a good one, cutting back and bowling their number three middle stump.
“It had taken me 795 matches - two more than Bill, though he'd bowled 500+ overs more.”
His best figures were 21-8-45-8 against Pulborough in 1994. One of 31 hauls of five wickets or more.
“I've taken five hat-tricks too.”
He hit, literally, another milestone this season, notching up his 100th six for the club. He has never made a ton with his highest score being 93 not out. Steve said: “In my younger days I batted higher up the order, hitting 6s and gained the nickname 'Beefy' due to a Botham moustache and a love of Beefy crisps!.
The last game of the 2023 season - his 36th for the club - was Steve’s 801st which is 53 behind another club record and he is now on 1,166 wickets now.
“Maybe 1,200 would be good number to stop at or 1,234,” said Steve. “I was lively medium pace bowler in younger days, accuracy the key as I didn't swing or seam it much. Nowadays, slower medium which deceives batters who think I should be quicker!”
And how long can he continue for? “Everything hurts for days after a game,” he said. “55 years old and perhaps just a season or more to come....and I can take up umpiring!”