There are several historic buildings in and around Atherton, some, but not all, in the area referred to as Chowbent. They include the 17th-century Alder House,[74] Chowbent Chapel,[75] St John the Baptist's Church (1879),[76] and Chanters Farmhouse,[77] all of which are listed buildings. The name "Chanters" derives from a chantry granted by the Bishop of Lichfield in 1360 to Sir William de Atherton. The name is also given to a bridge over the Hindsford Brook and a former colliery.[78]

Atherton Cricket Club was formed in 1872 and has played in the Bolton and District Cricket Association since 1921.[100]

In 2002 he produced his autobiography: Opening Up. He has also written Gambling: A Story of Triumph and Disaster, published in 2006.

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The northern part of Atherton is within the Bolton Travel to Work Area, whilst the southern part is within the Manchester TTWA.[66] The town is within the Manchester Larger Urban Zone.[67]

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After winning against South Africa, Atherton faced the supreme test of his leadership: an Ashes tour to Australia. His form stood well with 407 runs at 40.7, but he was unable to convert any of his five half-centuries into a hundred. Although England had a thrilling win at Adelaide, the team stumbled to a 1–3 loss.

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Public transport in Atherton is co-ordinated by the Transport for Greater Manchester. There are public transport links by rail from Atherton and Hag Fold stations to Wigan and Manchester operated by Northern Rail, and by bus to Bolton, Leigh, Wigan, Manchester, the Trafford Centre and Middlebrook Retail and Leisure Complex operated by Diamond Bus North West of Atherton, Stagecoach Manchester and First Greater Manchester.

Waste management is co-ordinated by the Wigan Authority, which is a statutory waste disposal authority in its own right.[105] Atherton's Distribution Network Operator for electricity is Electricity North West Ltd.[106] United Utilities manages Atherton's drinking and waste water.[107]

Atherton was born in Failsworth, Lancashire, England.[3] His family includes several lesser known sportspersons, such as his father Alan,[6] a former Manchester United goalkeeper in the 1960s. During 1st test of India tour of England 2014, he also added that his dad played only in the reserves, never for the main team.[7]

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After this incident Atherton and England headed to Headingley, Leeds for the second Test. Atherton played one of his best innings, grinding out 99 before being caught and bowled by Brian McMillan. Atherton stated that this innings was the best answer he could have given to the 'gutter press'. He led England to a win in the third Test at the Oval, thus tying the series but failed to score a century.

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A pseudo-Egyptian obelisk near the south-east corner of the parish church, similar to one in Leigh, was probably built for Robert Vernon Atherton in 1781. It was restored in 1867 twelve years before the church was finished. It is a Grade II listed structure.[79]

Atherton has three amateur football teams, the oldest of which is Atherton Collieries A.F.C., formed in 1916, who play in the North West Counties League.[97] Others are Atherton Laburnum Rovers F.C., also members of the North West Counties Football League[98] and Atherton Town FC.[99]

Atherton's war memorial is a cenotaph at the intersection of Leigh Road and Hamilton Street was designed by architect Arthur John Hope and constructed of Darley Dale stone. It was unveiled in January 1922 by Private J. Roylance, a soldier blinded in action during the First World War.[84]

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Since his retirement from the game, Atherton has carved out a successful career in the media. He was a journalist for The Sunday Telegraph and succeeded Christopher Martin-Jenkins as The Times cricket correspondent on 1 May 2008.[27]

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The Bolton to Leigh road was turnpiked in about 1770 and a toll gate was installed on the Atherton boundary on Bolton Road.[85] Shakerley Lane toll road emerged near Green Hall on Bolton Road, and was built to get coal from the Shakerley pits to the turnpike road.

Swimming baths opened in Mayfield Street in 1902 and a swimming club was formed, the baths closed in 2005 and the Atherton & Leigh Amateur Swimming Club moved to the new Leigh Sports Village facility in 2008.[96]

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Atherton is policed by the Greater Manchester Police force from Atherton Police Station, which covers Atherton, Tyldesley, Astley and Mosley Common, it is one of 5 subdivisions within the Wigan division.[101] It is part of the L division, which covers the entirety of Wigan borough. The statutory emergency fire and rescue service is provided by the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, from Atherton fire station.[102]

Between 1873 and 1875, mineowners Fletcher Burrows built a small model village at Howe Bridge, comprising cottages, shops, a village club, and a bath house for their employees. This Victorian village on either side of Leigh Road,[80][81] together with St Michael and All Angel's Church,[82] is a conservation area.[83] The Ena Mill, one of Atherton's large spinning mills, complete with chimney, survives as a reminder of the textile industry.

In March 2010 he won Sports Journalist of the Year, at the British Press Awards. The judges announced this was "a unanimous choice", praised the former England cricket captain for "tackling subjects way beyond cricket" and said "the brilliance of his writing shines."

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During the winter of 1990–91, Atherton faced a sterner test on the Ashes tour of Australia. Although he made a century in the third Test at Sydney, he averaged just 31 for his 279 runs, and England lost 3–0.

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At 53°31′23″N 2°29′44″W / 53.52306°N 2.49556°W / 53.52306; -2.49556 (53.5231°, −2.4955°), and 171 miles (275 km) northwest of central London, Atherton is situated 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Wigan and 10.7 miles (17.2 km) west-northwest of the city of Manchester, at the eastern end of the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan.

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His playing career included some controversy, including an accusation of ball tampering, and several brushes with the media with whom, by Atherton's own admission, he did not have a good understanding when he was a player.[3] Often hampered by a chronic back complaint which was to contribute to the end of his career, Atherton was considered a leading England batsman during the 1990s. Following retirement he became a journalist and is currently a cricket commentator with Sky Sports.

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