KEITH Roscoe admitted relief was the overriding emotion after becoming the Lancashire League’s record wicket-taker.

The 59-year-old claimed the one wicket he needed to beat the record set by Fred Dueer in 1929 – eventually finishing with impressive figures of 6-63 to help Rawtenstall beat Nelson and take his personal haul to an incredible 1,817.

The left arm spinner began the season needing 13 wickets and while it was something he never set out to do, he admitted he was delighted to write his name in to the record books.

“The closer it got, the more important it became,” said the Rawtenstall captain. “It was never something I set out to achieve but of course when it is within your grasp, it is something you have to go and do.

“They were the hardest 13 wickets I have had to take so while I am delighted to have done it, I am more relieved than anything.”

After claiming the wicket of Jack Bradley, caught behind by Rizwan Shafiq, Roscoe ran to the boundary to celebrate with club chairman and former wicket-keeper Vinnie Hanson.

“We were the best double act in the league,” said Roscoe. “We took 440-odd wickets between us so it was only right that I went at celebrated with him. We’ve done a lot together.”

Despite claiming his first wicket more than 42 years ago as a 17-year-old, Roscoe remembers the day vividly.

“Second of June, 1979. Bacup v Burnley, Roland Harrison caught Wilson bowled Roscoe,” he said. “I remember it like it was yesterday. It was my debut for Bacup and I took two wickets, Peter Brown was the other one and he was a good batsman so I was happy with that.”

Fast forward five decades and there have been plenty of memorable performances but the wicket of West Indies legend Vic Richards is the standout victim.

“The best batsman in the world and I claimed his wicket twice,” said Roscoe of Richards’ time in the league with Rishton. “I had him caught behind at our place then caught behind and stumped at the same time at their place so you could say I dismissed him three times!

“But what a wonderful gent he was and a truly magnificent player.”

Roscoe moved to Rawtenstall from Bacup in 1985 and apart from a four-year break to pro in the Sunderland League and for Edenfield in the Ribblesdale League he has been at the Worswick Memorial Ground ever since.

He said it has been a tough season for Rawtenstall who are struggling in Division Two so was happy his record-breaking feat also helped secure a fourth win of the campaign.

“It was a great win and to claim six wickets which was my best performance for a couple of years,” he added. “So it was a good day all-round.”

Roscoe admitted he was humbled by the amount of messages he got after breaking a record that had stood for 92 years.

“It was incredible, people messaging and phoning me to congratulate me, it was pretty overwhelming to be honest,” he said. “They made an old man very emotional!”