Lancashire Cricketer's record-breaking wicket haul for England catches biggest fans by surprise

  • ITV Granada Reports correspondent Elaine Willcox follows Tom's journey

All eyes are on Lancashire’s left arm spinner in the nets.

Tom Hartley is now looking to build on his Test debut, taking 7 wickets to steer England’s historic victory over India.

At his family’s horticultural business in Ormskirk, even his biggest fans were caught by surprise.

Tom Holiday practising on a beach holiday in 2007 Credit: ITV Granada

Tom's mum, Ann-Louise, said she was surprised by her son's Test debut: “I knew he did something good but the fact he did something quite as special was beyond me, until I opened the papers, and realised he’d done something rather good.    

"I knew he was good but not that good."

Tom believes it's funny how his mum has reacted: "My mum doesn’t get to watch me that much, concentrating on the business, myself and my dad try to down play how I’m progressing as a player, I think now she’s starting to realise a little bit.” 

Despite playing for his country - Tom still helps out in the family business, working alongside his dad, a gold medal winner who’s guided him.

Tom's sister, Annabelle, is ever so proud of his performance: "We had a trampoline in the garden when we were younger, we’d spend hours on it with dad throwing the ball to us, we’d be catching it and I would like to think that contributes to his fielding skills now."

Lancashire legend Freddie Flintoff foretelling the future, presented him with his first England cap for the one day international last October.

He honed his skills at Ormskirk Cricket club, picked for the first team at just 13.

Staff there are making plans to open at 4am on Saturday to watch Tom with former coaches and friends at the club.

Lancashire legend Freddie Flintoff presents Tom with his first England cap for the one day international last October

Chairman Bill Rankine said he is inspiring, "It’s just been an amazing sense of pride.

"To see the story of someone coming through the ranks from junior to test cricket, you’ve got to hope it encourages people into the sport."

Tom now has his own signature song.

I want to Dance with Tom Hartley - a rewording on Whitney Houston’s classic, is now being sung by the barmy army, who have started making Dance with Tom Hartley T- shifts too.

"Playing at my club Ormskirk - they have really brought me up, playing with a lot older players, they tend to keep you level headed, something my dad has really helped with as well."

His best mate - Matty Aggrey says he’s enjoying the win, playing with some of his idols.

He still has four more games and he’ll want to win the series.

He can’t wait for the next Test on Friday

His mum wants him hanging baskets and delivering flowers again as soon as he’s back from the test, which helps to keep him grounded.

The family say they may be a little distracted working during the next test - but their customers are backing him all the way. 

His sister says they will be have test match on their phones and try to watch while working, so hoping their customers will understand.