Saturday, 9 February 2013

Adam Shantry Swim

Adam Shantry is showing some 'Dunkirk Spirit'. He is swimming across the English Channel dodging jellyfish, driftwood, basking sharks and the odd ferry all in the name of the Tom Maynard Trust and the PCA Benevolent Fund, later this year. Adam played in the same Glamorgan team as Tom before a knee injury finished his career in 2011, and the all rounder whose journey in the professional game also took him via Northamptonshire and Warwickshire is now doing this madcap swim, with the help of a couple of his mates. If you read this hilarious chat regarding Tino Best, dodging the Bristol Rovers Gas Hit Squad or the Graham Wagg masterclass in how to distract a well set batsmen, and it gives you the odd chuckle please, please support Adam in his cause. Even if it just a quid or two, and you'd like to see him swim in just a posing pouch in the shape of a horse, give here;

Adam Shantry

TMS: Adam, firstly it must be a huge privilege to be asked to do a Q and A with the Middle Stump?

AS: Absolutely. 
This ranks somewhere in the top 4 in the list of my lifetime achievements - amongst scoring a goal in the half-time entertainment during a Shrewsbury v Bristol City night match in 1995 (smashed one straight through the shivering 8 year old goalie from 5 yards), somehow being invited onto the judging panel for the final of Miss Wales 2010, and acting as a makeshift surfboard for Graeme Swann when "Surfin' USA" came on at 3am in one of Northamptonshire's finest/least prostitute-ridden nightspots.

TMS: Tell us about the swim? Are you mad?

AS: Who knows? Myself, Tom Mees (ex-Warwickshire seamer), and Emma Lawson are swimming The Channel from England to France in our speedos (Emma will hopefully be in a bikini, although speedos would be an interesting option), to raise money for the Tom Maynard Trust and The PCA Benevolent Fund. We are swimming it in relay format, and the distance is 21 miles as the crow flies, but with tides and currents will probably end up being more like 26 or 27. The water will be pretty nippy so we can grease ourselves up, and we will be dodging jellyfish, ferries, planks of wood, and the odd basking shark.

A basking shark...
I am certainly not as mad as Tom Mees, one of the finest characters ever to have graced the game. He was once in the showers at Warwickshire with a young and impressionable Moeen Ali, and proceeded to cover his entire face in shaving foam, before carefuly shaving not only his excess stubble, but his entire face, including his forehead and nose. A dumbfounded Moeen asked "Meesy, what are you doing?" Meesy replied indignantly - "What? Don't you ever shave your nose?!"  Poor Moeen was baffled, and shuffled off, no doubt reassessing his future grooming schedule.

TMS: Where can I give to this great cause?

AS: There are a few opportunities to donate being planned for the Summer, but for now there is a website :

It takes less than 5 minutes to donate, and if everyone who reads this only donates a couple of pounds, it would make a real difference. Thank you in advance!! 

TMS: What are the chances of being hit by a ferry or hitting jellyfish?

AS: My brother and I are fans of the odd punt on the football, so he is running a book on the potential outcomes of the swim. I think he has got a special accumulator at the moment - Tom getting cleaned up by a Catamaran, me developing hypothermia of the testicles, plus Man Utd winning the league, paying about 25/1. I've got a tenner on.

Adam's brother, Jack

TMS: What is the Tom Maynard Trust about?

AS: It has been set up to ensure that Tom's name will live on, and will initially be helping disadvantaged young sports people participate in, enjoy, and achieve success in sport. The Trust is already evolving however, and will go on to help many people in all manner of situations.

TMS: He was a great lad and one of the first to do a Q and A with us, as did his dad Matt which was one of the funniest. Why swim and not cycle like the others have done to raise money for the cause?

AS: He was, as anyone who knew him will tell you, one of the most incredible people you could wish to meet. I retired from professional cricket due to injury, after countless injections and two operations failed to remedy the dodgy tendons in my knees, which now have all the tensile strength of a couple of poppadoms. 
As a result, any long runs or cycling expeditions are out of the question, but I still wanted to do something for Tom's Trust, so as swimming involves no great amount of stress on the knees, it seemed the logical choice! Even in my playing days when I was moderately fit, I'd rather have licked Robert Croft's jockstrap clean than gone on a 30 minute run.

TMS: I believe from our interview with your brother Jack at Worcestershire that you have previous experience of swimming from when your dad chucked you in a river, didn’t he?

AS: He did. I wouldn't say he's tight, but when you'd rather chuck your kids into a Weil's disease ridden waterway than pay £2.50 to go to the nearest pool, you've got to ask questions. 
Almost as bad as the time when he started abusing passing Bristol Rovers fans from the comfort of my car passenger seat on the home from a Bristol City - Rovers derby, before squirting them with his bottle of water. It was only when, mid-tirade, with 4 skinhead hooligans in hot pursuit 10 feet from the car, he asked why I was stopping. He then realised the traffic in front of us was solid for three miles ahead. The Warwickshire CCC sponsored car ended up wheelspinning into oncoming traffic, before mounting the kerb and diving down a side street. 
Thanks Dad. 

TMS: We’ve heard a few things about the Shantry family that they are gifted genetically in certain departments. Are you sure the Speedos are going to fit you?

AS: That's very kind of you to say, although my brother is so confident of his superiority in that department that he just waggles his little finger at me with a dismissive shake of the head.  
Of the many nicknames I've been given, Cyril Sneer is my all time favourite - just Google it. Braggy even composed a song for me, neatly referencing both my reproductive organs and my lack of pace when bowling. Football fans will be familiar with the tune, from - "got no song, name's too long". 
 "Adam John. Adam John. Adam Adam John. Not very quick, got a big dick, Adam Adam John." 
 We have set the fundraising target at £10,000 initially. If we hit £20,000 then I'll do the swim in a posing pouch in the shape of a horse. 
You can't say fairer than that? 

TMS: Name three cricketers who wouldn’t need to rub goosefat on and have enough blubber to get by naturally?

AS: Gareth Rees and Mark Cosgrove have gone down in the record books as the heaviest opening partnership of all time. When he trains, and goes to the gym instead of getting side-tracked in McDonalds, then Will Bragg has got a hell of a rig. When he doesn't , he looks like Justin Lee-Collins.

Mark Cosgrove

TMS: Funniest story at Glamorgan?

AS: Ryan Watkins doing a running bomb from a boat into the sea in Cape Town, not knowing that he was heading arse-first into shark infested waters was quite humorous. 
An unnamed seamer on twelfth man duty, telling the fitness coach that the reason for him depositing the contents of his stomach onto the outfield of a test match ground during the warm up was - "A dodgy pizza", not the bottle of vodka or 10 pints of lager that said pizza was swimming in also tickled a few of us. 
There was also another altercation on the Cape Town tour. In heavy traffic during a rain-lashed rush hour, I ran out of our bus to disable the windscreen wipers of the bus containing the other members of the Glamorgan squad. At the next set of traffic lights, David Harrison fancied a spot of revenge, and leapt out of the wiperless bus, opened the back doors of our bus, and threw our kit bags all over the carriageway. 
Once we had recovered them, dodging the angry Afrikaners in their 4x4's, we caught up at the next set of lights. I ran out again, and just as Des (Harrison) emerged from the side door, instinct took over, and I landed one of the greatest rugby tackles of all time. We ended up in a hedge on the hard shoulder, rubbing sand into each others heads, and sticking brambles into any available orifice - ears, eyes, nose - everywhere, to a chorus of horns from the rest of the drivers. 
Team bonding at its best. 

TMS: So who peed in the ice bath up at Leicester that time?

|AS: I'm afraid I wasn't playing in that game! Urinating on each other in the showers is a popular pastime in many of the teams I've played for. True aficionados can do it while shampooing their hair with both hands.

TMS: Fastest you ever faced?

AS: Tino Best. After I got him out and gave him a send-off, prompting the reply "Let's see how much chat you've got when you bat. Cocksucker"


TMS: Who can drink the most? The least?

AS; Good swillers at Glam - Matt Maynard can't be overlooked. Years of experience. Ex-Chief exec Mike Fatkin is also pretty thirsty. Least  - Teetotal Huw Waters. Compensates with his big piece though.

TMS: Best tea on the circuit?

AS: Boring answer - Lords.

TMS: Ugliest player?

AS: That is a horrible question. I'm changing it to "Player with the best bum". Jim Allenby. Great bloke too. 

TMS: Who do you need to watch out for in the dressing room when they are out for a duck?

AS: Paul Coverdale (ex-Northants) once punched a wall in a fit of rage after missing a straight one. Broke his hand - out for 5 weeks. I also gave David Sales an over-zealous send off when I was playing for Warwickshire, and he was so happy with it that he was waiting for me at fine leg when I finished the over. I think we're friends again now.

TMS: Best sledge received/heard?

AS: It was started by Graham Wagg, but I have more than happily continued it whenever I possibly can. When standing close to the batsman, remove your penis from your trousers while he isn't looking, and dangle it in front of you. As the bowler is reaching the end of his mark, and with your penis entering the batsman's field of vision, ask him if he wants to see his mum's lipstick.

Wagg the wag!

TMS: What were you taught about sunscreen and being exposed to the sun?

AS: I only really heard about the importance of it towards the end of my career, but it is vital that cricketers protect themselves from the sun, given the amount of time you spend in it. I always use factor 30 and wear a big floppy hat. As every girl will tell you, there is nothing wrong with a big floppy.

TMS: Ever heard of the charity Factor 50 and the work they do educating young players?

AS: I have, and it is really important. Hopefully they can reach out to all of the youngsters coming into the game now.

TMS: Best youngsters coming through?

AS: Does James Harris still count as a youngster? Him. Unless he gets distracted by his golf. Or gets a girlfriend. James Taylor is quite good for a 5 year old.

TMS: Finally, who broke more windows when they were young playing in the back garden? You or Jack?

AS: Probably Jack, as I didn't get much of a chance to bat during our regular Test Matches on the drive. Jack hardly ever bowled, as he developed a mysterious niggle as soon as he had declared on 350-5 after 6 hours batting. 2 overs into my innings he would get bored, feign injury, and go inside to watch TV. Fortunately he has been punished for his laziness with a ridiculous bowling action.

TMS: Adam, thank you so much for this and best of luck with your swim. Let us know if you survive, ok?

AS: I'll struggle to let you know if I don't survive. 

TMS: Very true!


  1. Top, Middle or Bottom?10 February 2013 at 19:22

    That swim sounds almost as dangerous as your dip in Barrymores Roydon Lido Dan.


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