VETERAN cricketer Mike Dunkerley is proof that there is no limit to what you can do regardless of advancing years.

For at the age of 75 Mike padded up and went in to bat for the penultimate match of the season at village club Greenfield.

It was the realisation of the the former Oldham town hall officer's ambition to play at least one match a season for the club.

Mike is also one of a team of volunteers who make sure the pitch and outfield at the Greater Manchester Cricket League Club is in tip top condition.

He began his local cricket career as a teenager way back in 1962 at Royton, where he was captain of the junior side.

But in 1984 he switched to Greenfield and has been a regular at the picturesque ground ever since.

The father of two daughters and grandfather of three, who lives in Grasscroft, told The Oldham Times: "I started off at Royton in the second team as a batsman and ended up opening the batting in the first team.

"I had to wait my turn to move up the order at Royton, so at first I was batting low down the order."

In 1962 they played timed cricket matches with eight-ball overs, as in Australia, as Royton was in the Central Lancashire League.

After moving to the Greenfield club, he captained the the third team for a number of years.

He became a full time umpire in 2004, a role he continues to this day.

"Thankfully, my eyesight is pretty good, which is fortunate bearing in mind I'm an umpire," he said.

The highlight of Mike's long and illustrious careers as a cricketer is playing against a Littleborough team including West Indies great Sir Garfield Sobers in 1975.

"He was a great all rounder and at the time was professional for Littleborough," said Mike. "But he didn't get me out."

Sunday's match was a friendly for the Greenfield fourth team also including four female players against Whalley Range. The local side edged it by three runs, scoring 160 in 40 overs batting first. The Manchester visitors were all out for 157 with two balls to spare.

And Mike's contribution? "Batting at number 11, a scored a majestic 0 not out," he said. "I batted for two overs and played some classic defensive shots, but ran out of partners before I could score any runs.

"But it was a wonderful game of cricket with all our players making a contribution and there were about 200 spectators watching on a glorious afternoon.

"Playing cricket has been the highlight of my life and I wouldn't change it for anything."

Mike's career highest score has been 117 not out. His cricketing idols for yesteryear include Tom Graveney, who he described as "elegant", Ken Barrington and more recently Alastair Cook, someone he admired because of how he "built an innings".

But he's also hugely impressed with modern cricketers.

"You've got admire the improvement in the athleticism of fielders these days," he added. "What they do is wonderful."