A LARGER-than-life cricketer who helped his club on to three Welsh Cups has been commemorated at the ground where he scored so many runs.

John Shone, who died suddenly last year aged 61, was a run-scoring batsman for Brymbo in its glory days 30 years ago when, along with local rivals Marchwiel, it dominated North Wales cricket.

Now Brymbo’s Tan y Fron ground has a set of spectators’ benches commemorating John and some of the quotes that regularly used to have his team-mates in stitches.

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Among the hilarious pearls of wisdom are "The only good thing to come out of Marchwiel is the A525" and "By the time I'd caught you up ... you'd gone!"

The benches have been made by chainsaw sculptor Paul Morris, who lives near the ground which is on the site of the old Brymbo Steelworks.

Paul was previously assistant groundsman at Brymbo and was the go-to guy when the club was looking for a memorial to their former player.

The benches were unveiled at a commemorative match, attended by John’s wife, Tracey, when over 400 friends, former team-mates and opponents turned out and helped raise over £1,000 for Nightingale Hospice.

The Leader:

PIC: One of the bench tributes dedicated to John Shone.

Former Wales Minor Counties star and Brymbo chairman Nigel Roberts, who shared many partnerships with John, said: “Shoney was a very good player and also a great character and he kept us in stitches with his comments.

“We have collected some of the funniest of those and put them on brass plaques on the benches and we hope they’re a fitting memorial to someone who was very special to so many people here and across local cricket.

“It was a great day here and brilliant to see so many familiar faces who played with and against John over the years.

“Paul has done a great job with the benches and it was lovely to have Tracey here for the commemoration match to see how much John meant to so many people.”

The club asked Tracey, who was married to John for 25 years, what would be a fitting memorial to John and she suggested benches for spectators.

The Leader:

PIC: Brymbo Cricket legend John Shone.

She said: “John used to love sitting and watching the cricket so it is lovely that the club has made this memorial to him and paid these tributes to him.

“In recent years he loved to sit on the bank and watch the cricket and I remember him and Nigel sitting and chatting there just the week before he died last July.

“John was such a genuine and honest person who would go out of his way, to help anyone . He could instantly light up a room with his bubbly personality.

“I am so proud that you have put these benches around the ground. John will be there in spirit whenever there is a match here, cracking a few jokes and having a good laugh.”

The Leader: Tracey Shone, Paul Morris, Jane and Nigel Roberts. Tracey Shone, Paul Morris, Jane and Nigel Roberts.