He’s the Huddersfield Cricket League’s media and communications manager and for most of the last 30 years you’ll have found him in a scorebox.
Jamie Harrison is a behind-the-scenes administrator, one of the unsung heroes who make the Huddersfield Cricket League a success on and off the field.
Jamie loves his cricket and always dreamed of stepping out of the shadows and pulling on his whites.
There was one time – way back in 1992 – when he thought his moment of glory had come.
Jamie recalled the day when Delph & Dobcross seconds were a man short and he was ushered out of the scorebox and drafted into the team.
“When they asked me to play I thought ‘great, I’m going to have some fun here.’”
The reality of his Huddersfield League bow didn’t live up to the heroics of his imagination, however.
With Delph fielding first, Jamie stood at third man for 45 overs, and fielded just four balls. He wasn’t required to bat so his prowess with the willow went untested.
There was almost a disaster when he hurled back a throw.
“I threw the ball back to the bowler when he wasn’t looking and I nearly knocked him out! That wouldn’t have gone down well,” said Jamie.
“I think I knew then that I would never make it as a player, however I did really enjoy the scoring so I concentrated on that.”
Jamie may not have made it as a player but he always enjoyed the game from being a youngster.
“I have always been involved at Delph more in the scoring department Really,” said Jamie. “My dad played for the club in 1987 and so I used to go there as an 11-year-old and run round and play with my friends.
“I quickly got into scoring the games for the second team and was offered a bit of pocket money to do it.
“I scored the second team’s games for a couple of years and then the first team scorer left so I just naturally progressed into that role.
“I did play a bit of cricket in my junior days for a team and I joined the school team, however I wasn’t ever a great cricketer.
“I could catch, hit and bowl the ball but not to any great degree as such, I was ok playing when I was a junior,” said Jamie.
“When I was growing up I used to play with a lad called Scott Richardson who went on to play for Yorkshire and became a professional player.
“When we were 13 we used to bowl each other balls in the nets as the grown-ups were having a pint in the bar. I’d bowl at him and I remember my dad watching us and seeing Scott smack any ball I’d bowl at him. I’d then run after the ball and jog back and bowl again. Looking back I think my dad thought I was never going to make any great cricketer going forward.”
As he grew up Harrison found other interests and moved away from Delph for work. However, whenever he returned to the area he quickly rekindled his joy of being around the club.
He said: “I moved away for a time but then when I returned I went back drinking at the club and played pool and so on.
“My dad had retired from playing and had started to score for the team. My dad got a laptop and this cricket programme that you could use which meant he could also watch the game rather than having eyes down all the time scoring.
“I started to get back into scoring games and by the start of one season I took charge using this laptop programme which was used at county cricket level. I got back into it and started to enjoy it again so I fell back in love with it all.
“When I was doing the scoring I noticed I had some free time and this was about in 2009 when the smartphone first came out.
“I then got onto Twitter quite quickly and thought I would live tweet updates of the games and it became popular with people. I developed that idea for a few years which was a nice idea at the time.”
Harrison, who has a background in marketing, then used his connections to think about how he could publicise both the club and league more.
“My dad joined the league committee in around 2012 and one of the first things they asked him to do was try and get them a website. I was in a marketing role at the time and so my dad asked for my advice and I asked this person I worked with if he could build the league a website, which he did for a reasonable cost.
“It then became practice where my dad would pass me information that needed to go on the website and I would put it up.
“Two or three years passed and I got more involved and then the league needed a new website where scores could be shown.
“So I helped with that and the league committee just thought ‘well Jamie is doing all this work we might as well offer him this role.’
“The communication role isn’t my main job and it does take up a lot of time but I do have a passion for the game and I enjoy what I am doing at the moment for sure.
“We’ve got lots of ideas going forward like growing a YouTube channel and creating a podcast which I am sure is going to be very popular.”
He might be happy in the scorebox but would Jamie ever answer the emergency call again?
“A third team has started at Delph and if they ever wanted me to put the whites on again I’d be happy to do so – but I wouldn’t want to take a young cricketer’s place,” he said. “I’m happy in my seat in the scorebox.”