In the latest instalment of Full Circle, Adam Catterall catches up with one of English cricket’s all-time greatest bowlers, Darren Gough MBE, to discuss all things Ashes.
Fierce adversaries on the field, close friends off it – there really is nothing quite like the Ashes!
The five-Test series is one of sport’s oldest and greatest rivalries with English and Australian cricketers fighting, sledging and spilling blood in a bid to capture the iconic 4.1 inch terracotta urn.
Shine on the grandest stage and players can achieve legendary status, but falter under the spotlight and they could endure sleepless nights for the rest of their days.
Darren Gough is one of those who undoubtedly falls firmly into the ‘legendary’ category however.
The 52-year-old was England's pace spearhead from the mid-1990s through to the early 2000s, establishing himself as a household name as he fought tooth and nail in an attempt to help his nation end the Aussies’ decade of cricketing dominance.
He shone on his 1994 Ashes bow, playing a solo hand in taking 20 wickets across the series Down Under, including 6-49 in Sydney as he claimed the third Test player-of-the-match award.
But whilst injuries hampered his numbers in 1997, he went on to secure himself sporting immortality during the 1998-99 Series - this despite England once again falling short of victory.
He firstly played a starring role as England claimed a dramatic fourth Test victory after dispatching Stuart MacGill and Glenn McGrath in quick succession, with the Australian’s just 12 runs from victory, before becoming the first Englishman to claim an Ashes hat-trick in over 100 years in the fifth Test, bamboozling Ian Healey, MacGill and Colin Miller in the blink of an eye!
Regardless of the fact that Shane Warne and co. went on to retain the coveted urn, Darren Gough had captured the hearts of not only his own nation, but many of those of the Australian contingent too.
His unpredictability and ‘skiddy’ fast-bowling was universally appreciated, and like his on-field foe and off-field friend, Shane Warne, ‘Dazzler’ had managed to cross the Ashes divide and enter universally-approved cricketing folklore.
Watch the video at the top of the page to hear his full Ashes story.