Kerrigan capture is a sign of F&B’s intent

Simon Kerrigan in action for England
Simon Kerrigan in action for England

Fulwood and Broughton’s new professional Simon Kerrigan was enticed to the club by his best mate – captain Mark Smith.

The 28-year-old Lancashire star signed on the dotted for the Highfield Road club this weekend.

He is set to play a major role next summer as the club looks to make an impact in the Northern League Division One after winning promotion from the Palace Shield last season.

The left-arm spinner – who has played one Test match for England against Australia in the 2013 Ashes – will play for F&B when his commitments with Lancashire allow.

It is very much a homecoming for Kerrigan – he started as a junior at the club, first playing alongside Smith at the age of 10.

“It’s great news signing Simon,” said Smith. “He was a junior at Fulwood and it helps when you’re his best friend.

“I have grown up playing junior cricket with him. I think we first played together in the Under-11s team – we are the same age.

“He was always the better player but he switched to spin bowling in the Under-14s – that was when he really began to excel. He just went from strength to strength, signed for Lancashire and has played for England.”

Having won promotion to the Northern League, Smith knew there was an option of signing a professional and made his move for Kerrigan when he discovered his club contract with Ormskirk, of the Liverpool Competition, was not being renewed.

“I am very grateful to the club and the committee for making it happen,” Smith added.

Kerrigan signed for Lancashire in 2008 and made his debut for the first team in 2010, filling in for Gary Keedy. In August 2011, he was selected for the England Lions for the first time.

The following month he took the best first-class bowling figures for Lancashire since 1953. His 9-51 helped Lancashire win the County Championship for the first time since 1950.

The 2012 season saw Kerrigan replace Keedy as Lancashire’s main spinner in first-class cricket.

He made his Test debut against Australia in the fifth Ashes Test played at The Oval in 2013.

Last season he found his first-team opportunities at Old Trafford limited and he was loaned to Northants.

Smith believes the capture of Kerrigan is a sign of the club’s intent next season.

“We are not just going to make up the numbers in the Northern League,” he said.

“We don’t want to be just the also-rans – we want to see how we can do.”

F&B face familiar foes on the opening day of the season in the shape of Garstang, who won the Palace Shield last season, at the Riverside on April 21. Chorley host Preston at Windsor Park. Leyland are at home to Morecambe.