May 30, 1909
Panama's only Test cricketer
Headley is born in an unusual country for a future Test captain, Panama, where his father is working on the construction of the Panama Canal.
Spiritual home, real home
At the age of 10, he moves to Jamaica, to learn English. Spanish has been his first tongue so far, but he is now preparing to study dentistry in America.
Dentistry's loss, cricket's gain
Falls in love with cricket during his time in Jamaica. In 1928, is about to leave for America to study dentistry, but some confusion over his papers delays the departure. While waiting, he plays a few matches against the visiting LH Tennyson's XI, scoring 16 and 71 on first-class debut
. A stunning double-century in the second match
convinces him to give up dentistry and concentrate on cricket.
January 11, 1930
Worth the wait
Is not part of West Indies' first-ever Test, on the 1928 tour to England, but duly comes in during England's return tour to the Caribbean. Scores 21 and 176 on debut
, followed by his first double-century, in the fourth and final Test
, ending up with 703 runs at 87.8.
February 27, 1931
Thousand runs in no time
During his century in Sydney
, he becomes the third-quickest man, at the time, to 1000 Test runs, reaching the milestone in 17 innings.
Tennyson's side suffers again
the Caribbean again, and Headley records scores of 344 not out, 84, 155 not out and 140. Tennyson says: "I cannot recollect such perfection of timing nor variety of shots..." That triple-century is then the highest first-class score by a West Indian.
Shows his wares in the mother country
In the England season, Headley scores 2320 runs, more than twice as many as the next best batsman. Wisden names him the Cricketer of the Year next year.
June 24-27, 1939
Becomes the first man to score two centuries in a Lord's Test
, and only the second man then to manage the feat on two occasions. Also during the Test, he becomes the second-quickest man to 2000 runs, beating Wally Hammond but falling behind Don Bradman. The world calls him the Black Bradman; in the West Indies they call Bradman the white Headley.
The war deprives the cricketing world of what should have been the best years of Headley. Does not play in a Test match again until he is 39.
January 21, 1948
Black is in
Becomes the first black man to captain West Indies when he leads them in the Barbados Test
. Scores 29 and 7 not out in a draw, but an injury cuts his captaincy career to one Test.
January 15-21, 1954
Dimly fades George
Plays only one Test in the next six years before he is recalled on public demand for a farewell Test
. He is welcomed with an ecstasy of applause by the Jamaica crowd. England spread the field and gave him a single, a fact he acknowledges by doffing his cap. Ends a glorious career with 16 and 1, and bows out quietly.
Life after cricket
Stays away from the limelight after his retirement, and dies aged 74 in 1983. His son Ron and grandson Dean go on to represent England in Tests.