‘Milly’s’ back to see old pals from Neyland

Andrew Milne
Andrew with daughter Poppy


When Neyland beat Haverfordwest to celebrate being county cricket champions for a second successive season one of those delighted to cheer them on was Andrew Milne, who kept wicket for the Neyland team when they previously won the silverware as long ago as 1996, who now lives in Bourne, Lincolnshire, with his wife Wendy and children Poppy (18) and Rocky (15).
 ‘Milly’s’ back to see old pals from Neyland
Andrew was delighted to watch his former club’s success and renew acquaintanceship with old adversaries at The Racecourse who would have remembered him as an abrasive, gritty wicket-keeper who also batted well in the middle order. He also played rugby for Neyland in a similar vein at scrum half and showed his willingness to help Pembrokeshire’s ‘All Blacks’ by turning out at hooker if they were short in the front row.

A proven all-rounder

It was a similar story in cricket because occasionally who was called upon to take off his pads to bowl a few overs of medium pace, a fact proved in the Milford Mercury on 30th June 1995 when there was a picture of him keeping wicket at Hook on one page – and another from the same match overleaf which captured his bowling action, with someone called Bill Carne as the umpire!
It is pleasing to report that at 48 years of age Andrew, known to all as ‘Milly’, is still playing cricket and last October  passed his umpiring exams and now officiates in the South Lincolnshire League, with clubs as far afield as Boston, Grantham, Skegness and Grimsby.
“I have really enjoyed being involved but only now do I realise how good the umpires were in my playing days in Pembrokeshire,” admitted Andrew, “and I don’t think the standard of play is quite as high here as back home!”

Involved in Lincolnshire Cricket now


‘Milly’s’ back to see old pals from Neyland

He moved to Bourne with his work in 2001 and although he misses local sport he has become involved in cricket with Barnack CC in the Cambridgeshire League and was sporting a few ‘war wounds’ in Haverfordwest because he had been keeping wicket (standing up to the stumps as ever’
“The ball kept low and would have hit my knee if I had got up from my crouch quickly enough,” he told us, “but I stayed down and suffered for it – that’s why I’ve got a cut nose and a little bit of a black eye,” he says with typical candour!

Family matters

Milly also coaches Bourne CC’s under 9 team after taking his first Welsh coaching qualification as far back as 1983 and following up with the Level Two qualification after Poppy wanted to start playing girls’ cricket and Rocky was also keen. She is now a good netball player who has also dabbled in cricket and tennis – and is about to go off to Teeside University to study Crime Scene Science.
Rocky plays football as a midfielder with Bourne Town Juniors and both Andrew and Wendy spend time watching him play.

Still involved in cup finals

Milly has shown his all-round cricketing skills in Lincolnshire because his team competed in the Wilcox Cup Final and he was top scorer with 37 runs in a total of 180, took a good catch and stumping and still had time to bowl a few overs towards the end – but they lost!
He also played in the final of the Stamford Shield, played at Burghley Park, the home of the world-famous horse trials. In a nerve-jangling finish Milly and Co tied – but still lost because they had lost more wickets!

Early start but no Bowl success for him

Back in Neyland he had started out playing at 15 (no junior side in those days!) and had previously been picked as 12th man for the 1983 Harrison-Allen Bowl Final when they beat Cresselly.
After that he played in an amazing NINE semi-finals and Neyland lost the lot – but in 1986 he did help them win the league title after 25 years without having the coveted trophy and was able to celebrate two wins in the Duggie Morris Cup Final.

Good players recalled and re-met

He usually batted 7th or 8th and had a few half centuries as he joined the likes of Jack Capon, the best cricketer he ever played alongside, plus fast bowlers Tommy Jones and Russell James.
Then there was a youthful Phil Sutton (now with Burton) and Gary Lloyd, still a regular in the current Neyland team, whilst Andrew and Gregg Miller were also beginning to make a name for themselves.
So it was that Milly was delighted to pop up to The Racecourse on his short visit home, chat to Gary and other old pals like Ian Charles (a very under-rated bowler!) and Martin Rees, plus a couple of old adversaries from Haverfordwest that included Clive Tucker.

Rugby with the All Blacks and the county

On the rugby front, Milly isn’t involved in his adopted county but can look back on a long playing career with Neyland where he captained the Pembrokeshire Junior Union team so well organised by the late Jeff Harry and Dai Miller, and had a Welsh trial at Aberavon Quins.
He had started out at the Athletic Ground as a 16 year old in the youth team, which won the county final by 9-8 in 1983 against a very strong Whitland side at Fishguard. He played for the county schools as well as playing three matches for the Pembrokeshire senior side, alongside  one centenary celebration match at the old Haverfordwest RFC ground at Withybush against the President’s XV when Neyland colleague Mike Griffiths was injured and he was called in to play.

Well looked after at Neyland – and great fun at Pill Parks

When he was drafted in to the All Blacks first XV he was well looked after by the likes of Gerald Charles, Mark Sutton, Paul ‘Sledge’ Harries, Richard Incledon and Peter Davies, who says he looked after Milly on and off the field since they both enjoyed the rough and tumble of the front row.
Andrew George, Paul and Phil Sutton and Tracy Smith were others he remembers as good pals in the team alongside Martin Davies, so long the club’s second team captain.
When he stopped playing for the All Blacks he enjoyed a spell at Pill Parks with Llangwm and had a great time.
“I helped out with the coaching alongside Johnny Griffiths and Alan McClelland and we beat Haverfordwest in the Bishop Cup – it was brilliant!”
But then it was time for Milly to set off back to Lincolnshire having really enjoyed his short stay – and we were delighted to bump into him for a chat about the old days, when he was a real character of Pembrokeshire cricket and rugby!