A brief history of the Walter Lawrence Trophy

Walter Lawrence Trophy

Cricinfo staff

Winners of the Walter Lawrence Trophy

The Walter Lawrence Trophy

The Walter Lawrence Trophy was first introduced in 1934 by Sir Walter Lawrence, builder so passionate about the game that he even had his own ground at Hyde Hall, near Sawbridgeworth in Hertfordshire, where many county and touring sides played. His trophy was for the fastest hundred scored in an English season in a first-class innings.

Sir Walter died in 1939 and his son, Guy, was not keen on cricket and so the award fell by the wayside. But in 1965 Brian Thornton inherited the trophy on the death of his father-in-law, Guy Lawrence, and the following year reinstated the award for the fastest Test century by an England batsman, with the help of MCC and many others, including Brian Johnston.

In 1970 the award reverted to its original form for the fastest first-class century during the English season. Also in that year the award was presented for 'the most meritorious innings of the England v The Rest of the World series' to Geoff Boycott, for his 222-ball century at The Oval.

In 1985 the basis for the award was changed from minutes to the number of balls faced after more hundreds began to be scored against less than challenging bowling in contrived circumstances. Matters came to a head in 1983 when Lancashire's Steve O'Shaughnessy made a hundred in 35 minutes against Leicestershire against joke bowling. Such innings are now barred from inclusion at the discretion of the judges.

The trophy, together with a cheque for £5,000 to the winning batsman and another for £5,000 to charity, is presented during an awards ceremony and dinner held in the Long Room at Lord's, which is attended by current and former cricketers, correspondents and many celebrity guests.


1934 Frank Woolley
1935 Harold Gimblett
1936 Les Ames
1937 Joe Hardstaff
1938 Hugh Bartlett
1939 Les Ames
1966 Ken Barrington
1967 Basil D'Oliveira
1968 Tom Graveney
1969 Colin Milburn
1970 Geoff Boycott
1971 Brian Davison
1972 Majid Khan
1973 Asif Iqbal
1974 Garry Sobers
1975 Robin Hobbs
1976 Alan Knott
1977 Chris Old
1978 Gordon Greenidge
1979 Mike Procter
1980 Viv Richards
1981 Sylvester Clarke
1982 Ian Botham
1983 Steve O'Shaughnessy
1984 Mike Gatting
1985 Ian Botham
1986 Viv Richards
1987 Roland Butcher
1988 Graeme Hick
1989 Darren Bicknell
1990 Tom Moody
1991 Ian Austin
1992 Martin Speight
1993 Paul Johnson / Matthew Maynard
1994 Ken Rutherford
1995 Chris Cairns
1996 Graham Lloyd
1997 Graham Lloyd
1998 Ali Brown / Carl Hooper
1999 A Flintoff
2000 Darren Lehmann
2001 Ian Harvey
2002 Matthew Fleming
2003 Damien Martyn
2004 Richard Johnson
2005 Ian Blackwell
2006 Mark Ealham
2007 Marcus North
2008 Graham Napier
2009 Vikram Solanki
2010 Adam Gilchrist
2011 Kevin O'Brien
2012 Scott Styris
2013 Darren Stevens
2014 Sam Billings / Dan Christian
2015 David Willey
2016 Tom Kohler-Cadmore