Full name John Montague Brocklebank
Born September 3, 1915, Meols, Hoylake, Cheshire
Died September 13, 1974, Palazz Zetjun, Malta (aged 59 years 10 days)
Major teams Bengal, Cambridge University, Lancashire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Education Eton College; Cambridge University
|First-class span||1936 - 1949|
Sir John Montague Brocklebank, Bt, died in Malta on September 13, aged 59. His cricket career was cut short by the war, but for which he was to have toured India in 193940 with MCC. On his day his quick legbreaks and topspinners were a match for the best. He learned the art at Eton, and showed his promise at Lord's in 1934; likewise his fallibility in the field which caused George Lyttelton, whose annual pleasure it was to describe the Eton and Harrow in The Times, to write that he had taken a catch in a wholly justified attitude of prayer. Hugh Bartlett saw his possibilities on the first Arab tour of Jersey in 1935, and surprised everyone by suddenly inviting him to tour with the Cambridge side the following summer, three weeks before the University match. His 33 first-class wickets included 10 for 139 against Oxford, his bowling being chiefly responsible for a conclusive win by eight wickets. He was apprenticed in a shipyard on coming down and had few opportunities to play for Lancashire, but in 1939 was yet chosen for the Gentlemen at Lord's. On a hard pitch, especially one a little inclined to dust, he was formidable indeed. He joined the Royal Artillery as a Territorial at the time of Munich, reached the rank of major, and in 1943 was taken prisoner by the Germans on the island of Cos in the Dodecanese. After the war he pursued his family shipping interests, rising in the Cunard Company to become chairman at the early age of 43. He held this highly onerous post for six years but at great cost to his health-which was the reason for his exiling himself, on his resignation, to the sun and warmth of the Mediterranean. Liverpool Cricket Club, which he led for some years with his own blend of intense competitiveness on the field and high hilarity off it, will always remember him with affection. In the words of Brian Watson Hughes, who knew him as well as anyone, at school, in the army, in business and on the field, he was `a gay and gallant friend'. Laughter was never far from the surface with John-provided perhaps catches were not being missed off his bowling-and this epitaph indeed fits him well.
The Cricketer, November 1974
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