It was late in the day and the grey clouds were threatening to close in on an enthralling afternoon’s cricket at Headingley when I heard the sound; the distinctive opening bars of the ‘Star Wars’ being played on a trumpet. Billy the trumpeter had arrived.
Now as anyone who follows cricket will know there is an honorary member of the Barmy Army and avid cricket fan who likes to take his trumpet to matches to serenade proceedings. I have often heard him at different grounds with his renditions of ‘The Great Escape’, ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ and ‘Coronation Street’ to name but a few but trying to pinpoint the source and spot him and his trumpet in the crowd is like seeking out Wally in those pictures ‘where’s Wally’.
Not this time. A quick snatch of Dvorak’s ‘New World’ followed by ‘Here comes the sun’ and suddenly there he was, on a by now sparsely populated White Rose Stand (the renamed Western Terrace), his silver trumpet glinting in a shaft of sunlight arrowing through the growing gloom, Billy the trumpeter or Billy Cooper to give him his correct name.
Shortly afterwards the final wicket went down, Sri Lanka all out for 91. Well played England (and Billy, and an honour to find you in the crowd and actually see you at last).
PS. And after play had finished for the day I saw him again, this time in front of me, walking up Headingley Mount with his trumpet in a case slung over his shoulder.
Words and photographs Copyright © 2016 by Antony J Waller