By Steve Anderton
Back in about 1980 – 1981 I played cricket for a local team in Essex. On this particular day we were due to play Hutton CC at King George Playing Fields in Brentwood. I kept wicket at the time and was surprised to see Psycho (David Cross) walk out to bat. As he scored 100 plus runs against us I had plenty of time to chat to him during his innings. When it was my turn to bat I had another opportunity to talk with him as he also was the wicket keeper.
At the end of the game he asked me if my wife and I would like to join him and his wife for a drink back at Hutton’s Club House. I thought this was just him being polite as it is courtesy after games to have a drink with the opposition, but in fact when we arrived at the club he immediately came over to me and insisted we join him and his wife as he had suggested earlier.
We stayed for at least 2 hours in his company and found him to be very different to his on pitch persona. He was as interested in my meagre footballing achievements (Essex Senior and Isthmian League) as I was in his. I will always remember him as a really nice guy.
Also my wife worked with the wife of Johnny Ayris and as such we became friendly for a while as we lived close by them in South Woodham Ferrers. Over dinner one night in our house John explained to me how his career got cut short by Ron “Chopper” Harris of Chelsea.
One last one is that after I stopped playing Saturday football I played for a Sunday morning team in Southend – on – Sea called Trinity. For a season where we got a good way in the National Sunday Cup we were managed by Anton Otulakowski. He was very unassuming and did not open up with many stories from his playing days.