Frank Shipston 1906-2005 July 28, 2005

World's oldest living first-class cricketer dies

Cricinfo staff

Frank Shipston, the world's oldest first-class cricketer and former batsman for Nottinghamshire, has died on the eve of his 99th birthday. He passed away earlier this month at his son's home on July 6.

Shipston, who was born in 1906, joined Nottinghamshire's groundstaff at the start of 1925 and made his debut the same season. He went on to play 49 matches for Nottinghamshire, scoring 1183 runs at 18.48. His best season was in 1932 when he made 461 runs at 35.46, primarily as an opener, although his two first-class hundreds - both made that season and both unbeaten - came from the middle order.

At the end of that summer he decided to join the Nottinghamshire police, with the support of his Chief Constable, Captain Popkess, a fanatical cricket fan. Popkess was keen to employ former county professionals, such as Shipston, to strengthen the police squads and he gave his name to the amateur police league: the Popkess Cup is still contested to this day.

Shipston returned to professional cricket in 1956, this time as a first-class umpire. He completed one full season before becoming Nottinghamshire's coach, a position which he held from 1957 to 1966.

Shipston became the oldest cricketer on the death of Western Australia's Ted Martin in 2002.