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Full name Thomas Donald Topley
Born February 25, 1964, Canterbury, Kent
Current age 49 years 87 days
Major teams Essex, Griqualand West, Norfolk, Surrey
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium-fast
Height 6 ft 3 in
Education Royal Hospital School, Suffolk
|List A span||1984-1994|
Don Topley was an Essex journeyman whose ten-year career will be remembered outside the county for two things. In 1984, while on the Lord's groundstaff, he came on as a substitute and took a brilliant one-handed catch on the boundary off a Malcolm Marshall hook shot but put one foot over the rope in the process. And then in 1994 he claimed that two matches in 1991 were, in effect, fixed, with Lancashire allowed to win a Sunday League match and Essex the accompanying Championship game. He had been released at the end of the season a few months earlier and it was claimed he was bitter, but the claim did not go away and six years later the ECB were forced to investigate further, although nothing was proved. "As anonymity's chilly hand prepared to lead him quietly away, he has made the headlines again," former team-mate Derek Pringle wrote. It is a sorry way to be remembered." He started his career with Norfolk before playing once for Surrey in 1985, finishing the season with Essex, where he stayed for the rest of his career. A seam bowler and lower-order batsman, he passed fifty wickets in a season three times. He played one season in South Africa and went on to be Zimbabwe coach between 1990 and 1992. He is now coach at the Royal Hospital School, where he himself was educated.
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