Nightmare for family as umpire comes to stay

Young Toby Harrison's unusual hobby brought a nightmare for his unsuspecting family as a friendless umpire took advantage.
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On this day in cricket, 19 December 1998

Groundsman accused of murder was “set up”

Hoggshire's Chief Coroner is examining bones discovered last week during a midnight pitch inspection at Nettle Park Cricket Ground.

Police released Head Groundsman Andy Thorne without charge on Tuesday after questioning him in relation to the gruesome find.

An angry Thorne has since told the Hoggshire Gazette that he was "set up" by Hoggshire's Chief Pitch Inspector Boris Himmelbraun.

"His henchmen dragged me out of bed, threw me in the back of an armour plated Mercedes-Benz, and took me to Nettles Park where Himmelbraun was waiting," claimed Thorne.

"He greeted me with the words ‘we have a problem Mr Thorne', before explaining that moisture had seeped underneath the tarpaulins covering the wicket area."

Thorne was then shown the cause of the problematic gap that was letting in water: a human skull protruding out from edge of the covers.

"Human remains are commonplace at clubs like Plague Moor and West Crematorium but they are practically unheard of at Nettle Park," said Thorne. "It was a worrying development but Himmelbraun offered me a cigarette and reassurance. He said there was little evidence of foul play and mentioned that a lot of people commit suicide under cricket-pitch covers during winter."

After earning the groundsman's trust, Thorne claims that Himmelbraun then tricked him into signing what he later learned was a murder confession.

"I was led to believe I was signing a petition to exempt groundsmen from Hoggshire's human trafficking tax," said Thorne. "I guess I should have paid more attention but it was dark and I was tired. I certainly had no reason to suspect I was admitting to the murder of cabaret performer Lena Schmid."

Thorne has yet to clear his name but his chances of doing so have vastly improved thanks to a fortuitous chance encounter

"Being at the centre of a murder investigation can be quite draining so I decided to partake in a spot of retail therapy to take my mind off things," said Thorne. "I was running low on exploding cigars and needed a new finger chopper so my first port of call was West Crematorium Joke Shop".

"I had been inside for little more than an hour when I spotted Boris Himmelbraun and Lena Schmid. I kept out of view and watched as they purchased a replica skull and some fake blood. I suspect they are already plotting the downfall of another innocent groundsman."

There were no witnesses to confirm the sighting and Thorne is desperately hoping that the Hoggshire Follies dancer hasn't gone to ground.

Although he is convinced that the skull discovered at Nettles Park is identical to those on sale at West Crematorium Joke Shop, he does not want his future to hinge on the outcome of forensic tests.

"Hoggshire's Chief Coroner is a Joke Shop regular," claimed Thorne. "I saw him in there just last week buying a black-eye microscope, disappearing ink, and a glow in the dark skeleton costume."


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Hoggshire League
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Green Fountain under 14s
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East Midden
Egg Thieves Rock

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National Socialists
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West Crematorium
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Tipside Tigers
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Summerisle Strollers
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