A cricket record that can never be beaten, only equalled, was claimed among the grass roots of the Langbaurgh League second division last Saturday. Ten of Yarm’s third team against Nunthorpe II were father and son.

Generation game? “At our annual meeting last year we had a long discussion about how to attract more juniors,” says Yarm stalwart Tom Stafford. “The idea seems to be working.”

The club also decided that the third team would play in the Langbaurgh League, not the North Yorkshire and South Durham. “The NYSD can be very competitive, very in your face. Some of the youngsters weren’t too comfortable with that,” says Tom.

“Cricket at the age and that level should be about having fun and that’s what’s happening. If you’re having fun you carry on playing.”

Only Chris Gibbons, the skipper – third left in the front row – couldn’t claim a family connection. The others in the photograph – dads at the back, lads to the fore – are:

Shankar Ganesh and Shritan Shankarganesh, Graham and Harry Wilson, Neil and Danny Edwards, Steve and Thomas Payne and Adam and Harry Wilkinson.

Yarm lost by eight wickets. “It doesn’t much matter, they were having fun,” says Tom. “It’s what cricket should be about.”

Tom Stafford’s name will be familiar to Backtrack regulars. Now 72, he’s in his 57th season behind the stumps for Yarm, the replacement knees – the WD40 knees, he calls them – still genuflecting energetically.

The dear old chap has also been celebrating his golden wedding to Sue, who first he admired while helping on his dad’s milk round. She was still at school.

To mark the lustrous occasion, Sue gave him a specially made Lord’s-a-leaping weather vane that now squats proudly atop their garage in Eaglescliffe.

“Now I really know which way the wind’s blowing,” says Tom. The presence of Old Father Time is, of course, coincidental.

Before the NYSD season began, he’d also toured Spain with Yorkshire Wanderers, batting in his familiar No 11 slot against Devon Over 60s and Oxford University Ladies. “The university had some really good players. A young lady from Whitburn bowled extremely well,” he recalls.

On two occasions his unsung batting – “a solid one not out” – helped the Wanderers to victory.

There are no plans to hang up his gloves. “There’s still a thrill in every catch, every stumping. I live for it. So long as I can keep wicket, either getting them out or talking them out, I’ll carry on playing.

“They’ll either have to drop me or shoot me. It’ll probably be the latter.”

Darlington Referees’ Society approaches its centenary – “we still have the piece you wrote about our 75th,” says Harry Oliver, the chairman – with a fascinating discovery.

Signor Rino Pepi, usually described as “quick change artist and impersonator” and the man behind the opening of Darlington Hippodrome and Palace of Varieties in 1907, was also a football referee – and not even the near-omniscient Chris Lloyd knew that.

“We’ve found his papers or I wouldn’t have believed it myself,” says Harry.

Much else is planned to mark the centenary. Signor Pepi may finally be upstaged.

The column a few weeks back told of the rebirth of cricket at Ingleton, in south-west Durham. There are stirrings on the North Yorkshire moors, too – our friends in the Feversham League have no fewer than five teams this season.

Two years ago there were three, the end apparently imminent, before Rosedale Abbey’s arrival. Now they’re joined by Lockton, east of Pickering.

Better yet, the Countess of Feversham Cup will have eight entrants, the quintet joined by Burythorpe, Habton and Glaisdale (which when last heard of was half way to Whitby.)

Cricket’s already played in the Habtons, the two teams identified as Great Habton and Little Habton. Since Littler Habton is approximately two farmhouses and a haystack, the latter must be presumed the youth side.

Probably headlined The Lockton Flyer, more from the fabulous Feversham before the summer’s much older.

Last week’s enthusiastic piece on Sir Ian Botham’s appearance with David “Ticer” Thomas at Barnard Castle Cricket Club, supposed that the upcoming Ashes series might be Sir Ian’s last for Sky.

The Times had the same thought on the same day, though with the addition that “the broadcaster is looking to keep refreshing its line-up with a younger generation.”

The Squire of Ravensworth, 63, will definitely be there for the Ashes, though – “given the opportunity,” says The Times, “to go out on a high.”

Following the mighty Somerset’s Royal London One Day Cup final win against Hampshire, the blog – bless it – has been digging around the roots of Sam Northeast, Hampshire’s captain and the county championship’s leading run scorer this season.

Sadly, the Surname Database says that the name has “almost certainly” no connection to Northumberland and Durham and that Northeast, perversely, is from the south. Sam was born in Ashford, Kent.

The most probable explanation, is that the original Northeasts hailed from Northease, part of medieval Newhaven. The name’s 7,828th in “popularity ranking.” Amos comes in at 810.

John Briggs in Darlington has been on an electoral roll scroll. Britain has around 200 Northeasts, he reckons, though none between Tweed and Tees. Most remain in the far south, a few around Inverness – north-east Scotland – and even a few in Wales.

The nearest to Northumbria may be Karl in Wetherby and James in Pontefract.

So if the region doesn’t have a Mr (or Mrs) Northeast, who should we nominate for the title?

….and finally, Scottish League newcomers Cove Rangers – last week’s column – play at the regally named Balmoral Stadium. Eric Smallwood was first with the answer.

One today to mark the end of the football season: in the past five years in Europe’s top-tier leagues, which player is recorded as creating most chances, including assists?

Chances are the column will return next week.