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Page last updated at 16:44 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 17:44 UK

Former footballer signs for Lancs

Gary Montgomery, cricketer and footballer
Montgomery, professional footballer, now turned professional cricketer

Lancashire have taken a chance on ex-footballer Gary Montgomery to try and put their injury-hit fast bowling department in safer hands next season.

Former Coventry City, Rotherham United and Grimsby Town goalkeeper Montgomery has impressed playing for Lancashire's Second XI this summer.

And, along with young batsman Luke Proctor, he has signed a professional one-year contract for the 2010 season.

Left-arm seamer Montgomery, 26, took 26 wickets in eight Second XI matches.

Warwickshire-born Montgomery's cricket over much of the past decade has been limited to a few Birmingham League games for his club side Leamington.

But, following his release by Grimsby Town in March, he has now opted to pack in football and try to make his way as a professional cricketer - an interesting modern-day comparison with another goalkeeper/fast bowler, now Lancashire chief executive Jim Cumbes.

Between 1963 and 1982, Cumbes managed to squeeze in goalkeeping duties with West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa, while also playing county cricket as a fast bowler for Lancashire, Surrey, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

GARY MONTGOMERY football career
1999/2003 Coventry City, 8 appearances
2002 Crewe Alexandra (loan)
2002 Kidder Harriers (loan)
2003/07 Rotherham United, 35 appearances
2007/09 Grimsby Town, 5 appearances

Montgomery, who started with Coventry City, has hopes of following in Cumbes' footsteps in performing in both his two main sporting fields.

After impressing against Lancashire in a trial game for Warwickshire seconds at Rugby School, Montgomery was asked if he wanted to play a couple of matches, which turned into an extended trial in August.

And it proved a fruitful move, particularly when he took match figures of 10-92 against Nottinghamshire at Old Trafford.

As for Proctor, the 21-year-old, who hails from Oldham and played his club cricket for Royton, is a product of the Lancashire youth system.

He made his first team debut in Sunday's final game of the season, opening the batting in the Pro40 Division Two clash with Warwickshire at Old Trafford.



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