15 Jun 17
A promising county cricketer who had his career cut short by a serious car crash will partner his brother at the Lombard Trophy regional qualifying event at Sandiway Golf Club.
Chris Tipper is a former Lancashire and England youth player who was involved in a life-threatening road accident seven years ago while travelling on the M42 from Northumberland just as he was pushing for a first team place with his county.
The smash left him in a coma and lost his spleen and a kidney. But now he has recovered and used golf as part of his rehabilitation.
Chris, aged 27, will team up with brother and PGA professional Jamie Tipper who plays at Hyde’s Werneth Low Golf Club
They will tee off on June 27 at Northwich’s Sandiway course as they bid for a place in the Lombard Trophy National Pro-Am Final which will be held in Portugal between September 21-22.
And both players know it will be a special day after what happened.
Stalybridge-based Chris - who rubbed shoulders with the now-England captain Joe Root - was travelling to join up with the Lancashire second XI team at the time.
“Playing with my brother is something I didn’t expect, I started playing golf about three years ago and I struggled pretty badly,” said Chris who works as an online digital marketer.
“But I had a few lessons from my brother who’s helped me massively, he’s always been on hand. He’s been a great coach and brother.
“And with my sporting background I picked it up quite quickly. I had played as a junior but dropped it because of cricket.
“But slowly but surely, I’ve got my handicap down to seven, the hard work’s paid off. I got the golfing bug.
“I have enjoyed golf as it’s been good for my recovery, it also eased the blow of being released by Lancashire. It’s definitely helped.
“It’s quite a relaxed sport, compared to cricket which is more intense.
“But I’m still playing cricket at a decent standard in the Greater Manchester Cricket League with Glossop.
“It’s fingers crossed for the Lombard Trophy event. But when I won the competition to play in it I didn’t even realise I’d be playing with my brother until he text me to say I needed to book a day off work! But I’m looking forward to it as I hardly ever get to play with him.”
Chris and Jamie will be trying to seal a place in the £41,450 grand final in Portugal which is being held at the Vila Sol resort in the Algarve.
Jamie, 31, who is sponsored by former world champion boxer Ricky Hatton, admitted he is just happy his brother is alive.
“They were scary times when it happened, the accident was life-threatening and he was in a coma for a couple of days. He cracked every rib in his body and the first thing he said when he woke up was: ‘Have I still got my legs?’,” explained Jamie.
“It probably took him a year to get back playing sport again.
“I think he sees the bigger picture in life, but he's obviously gutted and upset. He was room mates with Joe Root as an England schoolboy and he knows all the lads, he probably thinks he should be there but he’s got a good life now.
“Our dad is also president of Werneth Low so that makes the Lombard Trophy event even more special.”