There was an unfamiliar face on the Lancashire players’ balcony during the first day of the Roses Match at Headingley, although it might have rung a few bells with supporters of Aberdeen and various lower division football clubs.
Lee Richardson, a 42-year-old Yorkshireman who played for Halifax Town, Oldham Athletic, Blackburn Rovers and several others before a stint as manager of Chesterfield, has been working with the players as a psychologist throughout the season, and the coach Peter Moores believes he has made a significant contribution behind the scenes to Lancashire’s success.
“He impressed both me and Glen Chapple when we met him during the winter, and the same goes for the rest of the lads,” said Moores. “The fact that he’s been there and done it in professional sport is a big help when it comes to relating to players and what they’re going through. He’s our sort of bloke, and he’s fitted in with what we’re trying to do really well.”
Richardson’s services are in demand from other sports, as he has also been working with Warrington Wolves in rugby league, and Sam Allardyce, who previously employed him at Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn, will be taking him south following his appointment by West Ham.
Moores is happy to be flexible with his support staff for the rest of the season following the departure of Jason Swift to Bangladesh. Swift is succeeded as analyst by Emma Allsop, who has been working with him all season.
John Stanworth, the former wicketkeeper who now runs the county’s Academy, helped out in the preparations for the Roses Match, and Lancashire also took Oliver Newby and Luke Procter across to Headingley before they were released to play in the second team game against Nottinghamshire at Todmorden.