Barrow Gurney’s Captain, Phil Milton, pays tribute to Mick Hardy as he retires from 1st team cricket:
In many walks of life adjectives and superlatives are thrown around with careless abandon, in our much loved game for example I hear team mates proclaim ‘great spell’ being used when someone has just completed an ‘ok’ spell of bowling. Therefore when a superlative such as ‘legend’ is bestowed upon Mick Hardy I hope it is not confused with one of these throw away lines because he is truly deserving of the moniker.
Mick joined Barrow in the mid-eighties after Gordon Ladd poached him & Pete Davies from a side struggling to put out eleven each week. I think Mick started with a series of ducks but skipper Geoff Warren clearly saw his talent and persisted with Mick up the order and he soon flourished. There followed a period of 30 + years of 1st team cricket batting in the top 4, with such consistency that for a time the player of the year award was known as the Mick Hardy trophy as he racked up the runs year after year . Latterly he has added unconventional but canny slow bowling to his repertoire meaning we are actually losing not one but two players!
As Mick moved into his 6th decade & the players he had played with throughout his career retired he carried on and remained pretty much the 1st name on every captain’s team sheet right up until his final game which fittingly ended with a guard of honour.
While we would all be delighted if Mick had carried on for a few more years no one can begrudge his decision to retire while still competing at a good level after his 60th birthday. Thankfully Mick is remaining as club secretary and intends to continue playing some friendly games and touring, so we lose a fine 1st team player but not the fine man.