Full name Richard Thompson Spooner
Born December 30, 1919, Thornaby-on-Tees, Stockton-on-Tees, Co Durham
Died December 20, 1997, Lawes Bridge, Torquay, Devon (aged 77 years 355 days)
Major teams England, Warwickshire
Batting style Left-hand bat
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
|Test debut||India v England at Delhi, Nov 2-7, 1951 scorecard|
|Last Test||England v South Africa at The Oval, Aug 13-17, 1955 scorecard|
|First-class span||1948 - 1959|
Dick Spooner did not play first-class cricket until he was 28, but then established himself as Warwickshire's wicket-keeper/batsman for more than a decade. He was a wicket-keeper in the modern style, agile rather than elegant, but he also had the enormous plus of his no-nonsense left-hand batting. Usually, he opened the innings, and in Warwickshire's title-winning season of 1951 he topped their averages as well, scoring 1,767 Championship runs, with four centuries. He was picked for the 1951-52 tour of India, when England sent a substandard team, and played in all five Tests, scoring 71 and 92 at Calcutta. He had no chance of being picked ahead of Godfrey Evans, and played only two further Tests, both times when Evans was injured: at Port-of-Spain in 1953-54, and The Oval in 1955, when England wanted left-handers to counter Trevor Goddard's defensive bowling. In that game he got a pair but did not concede a bye. Contemporaries, however, considered him the perfect deputy, and in Cricket Cauldron Alex Bannister called him a grand team man, who was more concerned than anyone for Evans's welfare on the West Indies tour. Spooner was one of several north-easterners to join Warwickshire after the war. He was loud on the field, with definite views on most cricketing subjects, and a distinctive broken nose. In retirement, he became a groundsman in Devon.
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