Fakenham’s Harrison Futter has become the second West Norfolk teenager in three months to earn a coveted Player of the Month title in the county’s premier cricket league, the Dipple & Conway Opticians Norfolk Alliance.
The 18-year-old A-team batsman, who was on the shortlist for the June award, went one step better in July to win the prestigious accolade.
He was rewarded with a £170 pair of Ray Ban polarised sunglasses presented by Swaffham-based opticians Dipple & Conway. May’s winner was another of Norfolk’s outstanding teen players, Jasper Payne of Swaffham.
Over three weekends in July, Harrison scored 70 away against Hethersett and Tas Valley, 84 away against Saham Toney and 100 at home against Norwich Wanderers – a game in which he was joined at the crease by his father, former golf professional Dean.
The presentation of top-class sunglasses and commemorative pennant was made by Damian Conway, joint owner of Dipple & Conway, Damian’s son Ben Conway, and deputy group manager Maciek Dudkiewicz.
“In a week when we’ve read headlines about a national decline in interest in sport commitment, Dipple & Conway is delighted to acknowledge the achievements of another young player setting fantastic standards,” said Ben Conway.
Harrison has been making waves on the wicket since he started playing for Fakenham at U10 level. His off-spin bowling talent quickly brought him to the attention of Norfolk’s youth selectors. For a number of seasons he played in one of the most successful youth teams ever to represent Norfolk. His career as a bowler came to an abrupt end when he was 16.
“I shot up four or five inches during one close season and after that I lost my rhythm!” said the youngster, now 6ft 3in tall.
Unfazed Harrison has continued to blaze a trail on wickets all over Norfolk…but now as an outstanding batsman.
Harrison, who has just completed his AS level studies at Fakenham College, is undecided about his future career path – but would love to follow in the footsteps of his father Dean, a school sports coach.
Dean also played cricket as a teenager for Fakenham before becoming a golf professional, based at the Royal Norwich club. After retiring from the pro golfing circuit he began playing cricket for Fakenham again – and is delighted at playing alongside Harrison.
l More Alliance cricket: page 104.