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Full name William Geoffrey Keighley
Born January 10, 1925, Nice, France
Died June 14, 2005, Sutton Forest, New South Wales, Australia (aged 80 years 155 days)
Major teams Free Foresters, Marylebone Cricket Club, Minor Counties, Oxford University, Yorkshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
KEIGHLEY, WILLIAM GEOFFREY, OAM, died in Australia on June 14, 2005, aged 80. Apart from Lord Hawke, Geoffrey Keighley was perhaps the most significant exception ever allowed to the "county-born only" rule at Yorkshire before it collapsed in 1991. Born in Nice, he played 35 matches as an amateur between 1947 and 1951, apparently without comment or complaint. His father was a well-known Bradford industrialist; and Keighley was an Eton and Oxford-educated opening bat with a classical style, seen as a potential captain. In only his second first-class appearance, he made a "faultless" 105 for the university against the 1947 South Africans, and scored 99 in the Varsity Match, being bowled by Trevor Bailey to end a stand with Tony Pawson of 226. Pawson thought Keighley had imbibed so much Yorkshire influence about playing correctly, it inhibited his talent and thirst for runs: "After getting out for seven or something, he'd say `Yorkshire would be pleased with that.'" But in the end he was too restless to be constrained by county cricket. He married, moved to Australia, took on a 1,000-acre sheep farm, and confined his cricket to captaining Stockinbingal and Cootamundra, but in other respects became the epitome, as one obituarist put it, of the professional amateur. He became an idiosyncratic Country Party member of the New South Wales Legislative Council (advocating the decriminalisation of both abortion and marijuana), represented Australia at international agricultural negotiations, learned to fly and paint, filled his house with art treasures, and ran a classical-music radio station.
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