MIKE BURTON has certainly seen the great and the good during his time at Cheshire Phoenix.

The club’s legendary founder Burton was part of the coaching team, alongside Robbie Peers and Paul Smith, that guided the then named Cheshire Jets to the famous ‘Jetwash’ in 2001/02, pictured right.

Burton, speaking to the club’s YouTube channel, recalled: “In 2002 we won everything and they called it the ‘Jetwash’.

“We won league, national trophy, cup and the play-offs, that was an amazing year for the club.”

And Burton, who has been both head coach and assistant during the club’s 36 years, has been privileged to work with some fantastic talent.

The 72-year-old was asked to pick out his All Star Five from his time with the Cheshire outfit, and it’s hard to disagree with a man who has been there and done it.


LET me say first of all that I think we’ve got an outstanding guard here already in Parker Jackson-Cartwright and it’s a close thing between him and John Thomas.

Thomas was in the ‘Jetwash’ team and an outstanding guard, so I’d probably pick him.


Was an amazing two man. He was six foot, four, if he’d have been six foot six or seven then he’d have been in the NBA.

He was an unbelievable player.


He was captain of the team in the ‘Jetwash’ year.

He went to the World Championships with New Zealand and in the semi-finals they beat America. He got in the All Star Five for the World Championships in Indianapolis and the other four players were all NBA players.

He actually got drafted after that by Chicago Bulls, but didn’t actually make the NBA.


Was an amazing four man. He could do it all, he could mark anybody. He could mark a guard, he could mark a big man, he could get to the basket, he could shoot.


Six foot 10 and an incredible player, who played NBA for five years.

He’d had a serious family bereavement and stopped playing for 18 months, put on a lot of weight and lost interest.

He wanted to get back into the game and our coach managed to persuade him to come and play for us for £200 a week and he’d been on £2 million 18 months earlier.

He did things on a basketball court I’ve never seen before.

Burton is now director of Phoenix, responsible for the junior programme and the matchday clinics where thet invite primary school children to come to games.

And the club legend is hoping to see plenty more talent arrive at Phoenix in the next few years.

Asked his hopes for the future, Burton, who up until this year was still working as assistant coach, said: “I want to see them filling this place, so much so that at times, if there’s a really, really big game they have to hire the Echo Arena in Liverpool.

“I’d like to see them competing for every major honour in the country and Ben Thomas as head coach.”