At the end of the 2014 season in addition to Oaks top bowler Matt House leaving the club for a last season with his old club Olicanians, where his dad is President,Oakworth also seemingly said 'thanks for the memories' to another great local player in Paul Spragg.

It was a shock for Oakworth and their fans as Paul had been a major contributor to the batting over the period 2011-2014, a period in which 2 Championships, a Wynn Cup and a 20-20 Cup were garnered by the club. Paul 'retires' at the young age of 44 to spend more time with his family and also allow some of his injuries to heal. After an illustrious almost unparalleled career in the Bradford League with Hanging Heaton and Keighley, Paul joined Oaks in 2011 after 3 years in retirement. At the time it was a major coup and sure enough in his first season, Oakworth took the Championship. Paul opened his Oakworth career with a 50 against Bradley at Wide Lane. In his 10th league appearance he rattled up his first century on the home track with 116no against then Championship challengers Haworth Road. There were 5 more half-centuries to savour during that tremendous Championship-winning year. Paul's contribution was a marvellous 18 innings, 4 not outs and 701 runs including 88 fours and 19 sixes. His average nothing less than 50 !!!

In 2012 his contribution was down somewhat but so were everyone's as the weather took a turn for the worst. There was another century to drool over, this time 112 no against Bingley Congs and again at Wide Lane. His return was still a highly valuable 421 runs from 14 innings [4 no] at 42.10 average. In 2013 his appearances were severely curtailed by a shoulder injury and he turned out just 4 times, tallying 48 runs. But thankfully he returned to Oakworth as did the Championship pennant in 2013. The side was so dominant and most of the year batted second which prevented Paul and many other batsmen from having opportunity to contribute as our top order proved exceptionally strong. Nevertheless Paul batted 11 times in his 18 appearances scoring 208 [2 not outs] at 23 average, a best of 60 against Riddlesden. Not up to his previous form but still highly effective and useful contributions were made.  Paul's overall record for Oakworth ranks with the very highest as shown below

  appearances first last innings not out Runs 100s 50s Highest 4s 6s Average
Home 25 2011 2014 23 9 962 2 7 116 100 41 68.71
Away 30 2011 2014 23 2 414   3 91 57 6 19.71
CDCL 55 2011 2014 46 11 1,376 2 10 116 157 47 39.31
Wynn Cup 7 2011 2014 4 1 110   1 67 21 1 36.67
20-20 0                      
Overall 62 2011 2014 50 12 1,486 2 11 116 178 48 39.10


You can see also his love for the Oakworth batting track, widely regarded as the best in the Craven & District League. A batting average of almost 69 is ahead of all other Oakworth players with 20 or more innings under their belt. His Home dominance can best be understood when considering Paul played for many years on the hard Bradford League wickets and has arguably found the generally softer wickets of the Craven & District League much more to adjust to.

But as stated its 'thanks for the memories' but not au-revoir as Paul remains active in the club helping our coaching effort with the under-9s team, in which his son Matthew plays.

Oakworth will miss his reliable run-scoring and our opponents will no doubt be glad to see the back of him. However many will also regret the loss of his classic high quality batting style and approach to the game. Also his occasional [very] off-spin was a very valuable weapon on which to call when pace needed to come off the ball. Paul bowled 130 balls in total taking 5 for 107.