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Full name David Charles Humphery Townsend
Born April 20, 1912, Norton-on-Tees, Co Durham
Died January 27, 1997, Norton-on-Tees, Co Durham (aged 84 years 282 days)
Major teams England, Oxford University
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Education Winchester College; Oxford University
|Test debut||West Indies v England at Port of Spain, Jan 24-28, 1935 scorecard|
|Last Test||West Indies v England at Kingston, Mar 14-18, 1935 scorecard|
David Townsend, who died on January 27, 1997, aged 84, was the last man to play cricket for England without ever playing for a first-class county. Townsend was picked for the 1934-35 tour of West Indies on the strength of his form for Oxford University. He played, opening each time with Bob Wyatt, in the last three Tests of the series, and top-scored with 36 in the second innings of his debut when England were all out for 107. But his highest score otherwise was 16. The Townsends were a cricketing dynasty: six members of the family have played first-class cricket, including David's grandfather Frank, his father Charles, and his son Jonathan; Charles Townsend also played two Tests, in 1899. No other family is known to have produced four generations of first-class cricketers. David Townsend was steady rather than outstanding amongst a gifted generation at Winchester, and was ill during his first summer at Oxford. But, in 1933, he blossomed with 734 runs, including 195 against the Free Foresters, and Wisden approvingly noted his fine physique, his patience, his power and his attractive range of strokes. The following year he hit peak form when it then mattered, at Lord's: his 193 remains the sixth-highest score in the 152 official University matches. In style and impact, it was overshadowed by a blistering hundred from F. G. H. Chalk, but it was enough to gain him an invitation from MCC for the winter. Thereafter, he went back to Norton-on-Tees, County Durham, where he was born and died, and took over the family law firm in Stockton. He practised as a solicitor for more than 50 years and played for the Norton club and Durham, whom he captained from 1937 to 1947.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
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