Tribute to local cricketer Mick Haltam who played for Hook and Narberth

Mick Haltam – a great loss to cricket and especially missed at Narberth and Hook

Mick Haltam playing for Hook a few years agoIt was with great sadness and shock that we at learned of the untimely passing of Mick Haltam this week because we felt that he embodied all that was good in our cricket.

He was a doughty opponent but always played within the spirit of the game – and liked nothing better than a chat and a pint in the bar afterwards.

I last met Mick late in the season at Narberth and as usual we  talked about games past – and then the fact that he was battling his cancer and was determined to overcome it.

Sadly, it was a battle he couldn’t win and he has passed away at the very young age of 51 – but has left a legacy that will long linger, especially at Hook and Narberth, the clubs he adopted here after moving across the border.

It was a pleasure to know Mick Haltam and the tributes below show just what an impact he made in this county – just by being Mick Haltam.

Hook Cricket Club

Mike and his son OliverThe premature passing of Mick Haltam brought genuine sadness to all those associated with Hook Cricket Club. Mick was a larger-than-life character who will be remembered fondly by all at the club.

Mick played for Hook for over 15 years and was immensely popular with teammates and opponents alike. He believed in playing hard but fair, gaining enormous respect during his cricketing career.

Despite his work, based at RAF Brawdy, affecting his availability Mick was always ready to don the whites and play the sport he loved. Like in life, as a top order batsman Mick was known for playing straight. He hit the ball hard and was a regular contributor with numerous half centuries to his name. He was also, unsurprisingly, a fearless fielder who was renowned for his great skill fielding close to the bat.

Mick played much of his cricket in Hook with some of the real legends of the club, including Keith James, Jamie Phelps, Brennan Lay and Martyn Rees in what at the time was a very good Hook side. As a very proud Englishman, Mick wore his red rose tattoo with pride despite the regular ribbing he would receive and even late-night attempts of his teammates to remove it and replace it with a Welsh Dragon!

Off the field Mick was no less the character. He enjoyed nothing more than a night in the bar with the boys and was usually the last to be escorted out! His guitar playing on a Saturday night in the club became legendary, as he would entertain the crowd with his Mick Jagger impressions.

In more recent years Mick would be seen arriving at the club on his motorbike to watch and support his son Oliver playing for Hook juniors. The pride Mick felt in seeing his son follow in his footsteps was always evident and his encouragement always positive.

It may well be an overused phrase these days but cricket really has lost a great character in Mick. It was impossible not to like him and his passing is a great loss to Hook Cricket Club and cricket in Pembrokeshire. He will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him.

Narberth Cricket Club

Mick and his wife CarmenMick joined Narberth Cricket Club in 2019 and settled in right away. He struck an instant rapport with all his team mates and his considerable cricketing ability and experience was immediately obvious. During that season Mick transitioned between the 1st and 2nd Xl‘s with ease and played a pivotal role in helping the firsts earn promotion back to Division One.

Mick was a superb batsman who scored runs freely and regularly, a safe pair of hands in the field and was always encouraging of his team mates. Despite his illness, Mick played every game he could in 2021 and ended the season being the 2nd team top run scorer with 276 runs. He was also honoured to be selected to play for Wales Over 50’s that same year. He was awarded the club’s Chairman’s Award in 2021 for his superb contributions to the club, both on the field of play and for his dedication to the club’s committee.

His infectious personality on the field and in the bar afterwards will be sorely missed by us all, but we count ourselves very lucky to have known Mick. He was undoubtedly one the nicest blokes you would ever wish to meet!

Our deepest condolences and love go to his wife Carmen and family at this very sad time.

RIP Mick - From the Narby Army