ALL-TIME top wicket taker Roy Hayden has vowed “to keep on going as long as he’s
ALL-TIME top wicket taker Roy Hayden has vowed “to keep on going as long as he’s fit enough” after taking an astonishing 900th Berkshire Cricket League scalp.
The Peppard Stoke Row bowler reached the magical mark when he caught and bowled Mortimer West End opening batsman Steve Audsley on Saturday, his third success during a spell of 4-55.
The wicket sparked joyous scenes among the Peppard Stoke Row players, and a jubilant Hayden admitted he was proud of his achievements as he closed in on a magical 1,000 wickets.
He said: “I’m very pleased to have finally got there and I was not going to let anyone else go for the catch.
“My aim is to keep taking wickets as long as I’m fit enough and we will see how many I end up on.”
The 51-year-old, who lives in Henley, made his debut as a 14-year-old in the year the league was founded, 1978, and has best figures of 8-31.
He played for Peppard for 35 years â?? for a large period of time with his father, Roy Sr, and latterly with his sons, Daniel and Ashley â?? and continued to take wickets when Peppard and Stoke Row merged at the end of the 2013 season.
Tributes have flooded in from teammates and league officials, with Hayden’s son Daniel descring him as his “hero” and a “bowling machine.”
PSR captain Paddy Hennessy paid tribute to Hayden’s efforts, admitting he would be surprised if the record is ever broken.
He said: “Roy’s ability and longevity are unrivalled in the Berkshire League. To take 900 wickets is simply an unbelievable achievement and I’m so pleased for him. He really deserves it.
“When we joined with Peppard there were a lot of smiles in our dressing room as almost all of our side had got out to Roy when we used to play against him.”
He continued: “He’s a fantastic guy and the Haydens are obviously a key part in the history of the club, so I hope he can keep going and get to 1,000.”
League secretary Sam Peates added: “Congratulations to Roy. To take 900 wickets is remarkable. I am fairly sure it’s a total which no-one will ever come close to, let alone beat.”
The landmark achievement is the second for Peppard Stoke Row this season, with Watts previously becoming the league’s all-time top run scorer back in May.