BRIAN Woodhead says he is ‘so proud’ after he was handed a special award at the Lancashire Cricket Board OSCAs on Friday night – but admits he was probably the most shocked person in the room when his name was read out.
The OSCAs honour unsung heroes of cricket across the Red Rose county and the glittering ceremony at The Point at Emirates Old Trafford is an annual highlight.
Woodhead, who is the chairman of the Houldsworth Solicitors Ribblesdale League, went along to the evening as always and was expecting to be able to sit back and soak up the occasion and support the nominees for the nine categories.
But the final – and surprise – award of the night, the Jim Kenyon Trophy for Outstanding Services to Coaching, went to Woodhead.
“I was stunned,” he said. “I never expected anything like that and I had gone along to enjoy the night and low and behold when it came to the final award they read my name out.
“A few people knew about it and had kept it quiet and it was funny that my wife didn’t go along to the night for the first time.
“But I took my daughter with me and there was a table from Cherry Tree so I was in good company.
“You don’t do the work for any awards but it is nice to be recognised and I am so proud of this.”
The award to Woodhead was particularly fitting.
Named in honour of the late, great Jim Kenyon who died last year, the award was selected by the LCB Coaches Association – and for Woodhead it carried greater significance.
“Jim and I were next door neighbours,” he said. “And I was the one who got him into senior coaching many years ago.
“He was always doing bits with the youngsters but I got him involved with senior teams so it was particularly special to get the award named after my great friend.”
Woodhead was not the only local winner.
Longridge’s Tom Haworth won the Behind the Scenes award and Darwen’s Paul Earnshaw walked away with the Building Partnerships category.
There was also an award for Lancashire’s Ashes-winning quick bowler Kate Cross, who was named as the Young Volunteer for her work at Heywood Cricket Club and beyond.
The night was a huge success and LCB managing director Bobby Denning said: “Congratulations go to the winners and nominees.
“We have thousands of people who have devoted their lives to cricket and I would personally like to thank all our volunteers in Lancashire cricket, not just those honoured.”
Cross, Haworth and Earnshaw will now go forward to the national OSCAs event at Lord’s later this year and all the proceeds from Friday’s event will be invested back in to grassroots cricket across Lancashire.