My Yorkshire: Andrew Gale

Yorkshire Cricket captain Andrew Gale.
Yorkshire Cricket captain Andrew Gale.
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Andrew Gale is captain of Yorkshire, who won the County Championship in 2014 and again in 2015. The 32-year-old lives near Huddersfield and has scored more than 11,000 runs in first class and one day cricket.

What is your first Yorkshire memory? My first memories are of going to the East Coast with my family, their friends and kids and going to the beach at Scarborough, Whitby and Bridlington. I’ve fond memories of playing football on the beach and having ice cream and then fish and chips on the way home. I have happy memories of being at Gomersal Cricket Club every day during the school holidays. I’d play every single night and remember playing my first game for them aged eight. My first bat was bought in Heckmondwike and I was so proud of it that I took it to bed and slept with it for a few nights.

Andrew Gale would take a stranger to Whitby for fish and chips. 'W

Andrew Gale would take a stranger to Whitby for fish and chips. 'W

What is your favourite part of Yorkshire and why? In and around where I live, just outside Huddersfield. Liversedge and Hartshead are special because there’s a real village feel. I also love Scarborough. I’ve played there every year since I was 13.

What is your idea of a perfect day out or weekend out in Yorkshire? Going on a nice long walk and then having a few pints in front of a fire. Walking somewhere like Bolton Abbey and calling in at the Devonshire Arms, having a drink and then enjoying some homemade Yorkshire grub.

Do you have a favourite walk or view? There are some fantastic views around Huddersfield. The view from our house is great because I can see Huddersfield Town’s ground and my wife says that’s the reason I bought it!

Which Yorkshire sportsman, past or present, would you like to take out for lunch? Lord Hawke, the Yorkshire captain who led the side from 1883 until 1910. He was also president for 40 years. Among other achievements, he developed the White Rose on our caps. I’d like to think Lord Hawke would be pleased with our achievements.

Andrew Gale would like to take actor Sean Bean to lunch.

Andrew Gale would like to take actor Sean Bean to lunch.

Which Yorkshire screen or stage star, past or present, would you like to take out to dinner? I’d probably say Sean Bean. He’s a Sheffield lad and when I was growing up I watched When Saturday Comes, a film about a footballer who fell off the rails a bit. He got himself back on track by scoring the winning goal at Sheffield United. My dad used to say to me if you go out drinking, that’s what will happen to you.

If you had to name your hidden Yorkshire gem, what would it be? It’s not as hidden as people think, but I like the walks around Grassington and Kettlewell. It’s such a beautiful area. I like walking which we did a lot of before we had the kids. It’s great getting a map and then going up the crags. I probably wouldn’t walk any more than six miles a day and after walking I like to bike it.

What do you think it is that gives Yorkshire its unique identity? I think first and foremost the people who are so warm and welcoming. When you go to London, everyone is barging past each other and no-one says hello, but in Yorkshire if you get in a lift people will say hello. I think also Yorkshire has this great countryside and you can leave Leeds city centre and within minutes, you are in the country and there aren’t many places where you can say that. Since we won the County Championship twice in succession, the passion from Yorkshire people has been unbelievable. Everywhere you go, people say well done. Yorkshire has the best supporters in the country.

Do you follow other sports in the county, and if so, what? I’m a season ticket holder at Huddersfield Town. My dad used to take me to the old Leeds Road ground and I remember running up and down the terraces as a lad. I had ambitions to be a footballer but at 14 it struck me I wouldn’t be good enough and my cricket was then taking off. There’ve been lots of ups and down at Huddersfield, but in the mid-90s under Neil Warnock we went to Wembley which was unbelievable for a small club. We are never going to be a Leeds United with big crowds but our owner, Dean Hoyle, is passionate about the club and he’s doing things the right way.

Do you have a favourite pub or restaurant? My local pub is the Gray Ox, in Liversedge. We go there quite a bit for some food and a couple of pints. I’m pushing to get my own beer in there in 2016 because it’s my benefit year.

Who is the Yorkshire person you admire the most? I would say my granddad, Terry Evans, who was a big influence on me when I was growing up. He played cricket in the Bradford League and was a good bat. He helped me a lot, and obviously my father who was a musician and played the keyboard and piano in a band for 18 years.

How do you think Yorkshire has changed, for the better or worse, in the time you’ve known it? I think Yorkshire is on the map much more. Regarding Yorkshire CCC, we have changed a lot in the last 10 years. We’re far more professional, play a different brand of cricket and that’s backed up by winning trophies.

If a stranger came to Yorkshire and had time to visit one place only, where would it be? I’d take them to the East Coast and show them Whitby and Scarborough and then we’d have fish and chips.