Full name George Joseph Thompson
Born October 27, 1877, Northampton
Died March 3, 1943, Clifton, Bristol (aged 65 years 127 days)
Major teams England, Auckland, Northamptonshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
Other Umpire, Coach
|Test debut||England v Australia at Birmingham, May 27-29, 1909 scorecard|
|Last Test||South Africa v England at Cape Town, Mar 11-14, 1910 scorecard|
|First-class span||1905 - 1922|
|Test debut||South Africa v England at Cape Town, Jan 1-4, 1923 scorecard|
|Last Test||South Africa v England at Durban, Jan 18-22, 1923 scorecard|
George Joseph Thompson, died on March 3 at Bristol in his 67th year. To him largely belonged the credit of raising Northamptonshire to the first class in 1905, and he was recoginsed as the greatest player the county ever produced. After playing in the Wellingborough Grammar School XI, Thompson, when 17 years of age, appeared first for the county in 1895, before Northamptonshire ranked in the second-class competition. When that advance was made Thompson in 1901 and again in 1902 took over a hundred wickets and in batting averaged 36: In 1903, with 92 wickets for ten runs apiece and 33 as batting average, he played a big part in bringing Northamptonshire to the head of the competition. He attained to greater heights in the following summer with 99 wickets for eleven runs each and a batting average of 42. Having won ten matches out of twelve and drawing the others, Northamptonshire in the ensuing winter were received into the first-class circle and in 1905 entered the senior county competition. Prior to that memorable occurrence Thompson, in 1900, put together 125 for Players against Gentlemen at Scarborough, and in the winter of 1902-03 was a member of the team captained by Lord Hawke but led on the field by P. F. Warner. In New Zealand the side won all 18 matches, Thompson playing a notable part in the success with 177 wickets for 6 runs apiece. At Adelaide in South Australia's first innings he took nine wickets for 85. Two years later, when one of Lord Brackley's side in the West Indies, Thompson batted consistently and took 126 wickets at ten runs each. So good was his form that he played for England against Australia at Birmingham in 1909, but he bowled only four overs in a low-scoring match, George Hirst and Blythe sharing the twenty Australian wickets. Next winter he went to South Africa with the team captained by H. D. G. Leveson Gower, and with 33.37 was second to Hobbs in the batting averages, besides taking 23 wickets in the five Test matches, of which three were lost, the rubber going to South Africa. Throughout the tour Thompson showed consistent form without doing anything exceptional.
In the course of a great career which really ended with the war, during which he was wounded, Thompson, in about ten full seasons of first-class cricket, took 1,437 wickets for less than 20 runs apiece and scored 11,398 runs, average 22. Eight times between 1905 and 1913 over a hundred wickets fell to him, 126 in 1905, 136 in 1906, 127 in 1907, and 163 at 14 runs each in 1909 being his best achievements. He continued to play occasionally until 1922, and his full record in first-class cricket showed 1,595 wickets at 18.80 and 12,015 runs, average 22.0 while he held 226 catches. In 1906 and 1910 he did the double. Right hand both with bat and ball, he bowled well above medium pace, commanded an accurate length, brought the ball off the ground with plenty of life and spin, and when helped at all by the pitch got up very awkwardly, as the Gentlemen realised at the Oval in 1905, six wickets in the second innings falling to him for 59 runs. As a batsman he possessed strong defence and considerable hitting power. After retiring from first-class cricket Thompson became coach in turn at Rugby School, Clifton College and Stowe School.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1906
Also: the fastest Indian to 50 wickets, and Yasir Shah's unwanted "double-hundred"