"When I went out there I was only deviating the ball into the bat," he said. "So I worked on developing an outswinger in the nets, and when I came back Brian Statham told me he could not believe the away movement I was getting."
Higgs, an England Youth football international, took 71 wickets in 15 Tests during his 11 years with Lancashire. He also played football in his native Staffordshire for Port Vale.
In 1969, he became the professional at Rishton and began a new life as a boarding-house proprietor in Blackpool. But he was persuaded to play for Ray Illingworth at Leicestershire, where he later became captain and coach. Asked to don his whites during an injury crisis in 1986, Higgs, then 49, was still good enough to take 5 for 22 against Yorkshire. Squeezed out two years ago after Leicestershire installed a cricket manager, Higgs is returning to Blackpool next summer to coach at Stanley Park. "I'm hoping to do some other private coaching work, maybe for schools in the area," he said.
Married for 37 years to Mary, Higgs is a grandfather three times over. He has two sons. Paul, 34, who played 2nd XI cricket for Leicestershire, is a designer with Jaguar cars. Terry, 31, works for Everards, the Leicester brewers.Reuse content