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Full name Arthur Wood
Born August 25, 1898, Fagley, Bradford, Yorkshire
Died April 1, 1973, Middleton, Ilkley, Yorkshire (aged 74 years 219 days)
Major teams England, Yorkshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
|Test debut||England v Australia at The Oval, Aug 20-24, 1938 scorecard|
|Last Test||England v West Indies at The Oval, Aug 19-22, 1939 scorecard|
The Cricketer obituary
Bill Bowes, a former fellow Yorkshire and England player and now cricket correspondent to the Yorkshire Evening Post, writes: Arthur Wood, born August 25, 1898, died April 2, 1973, was the regular Yorkshire wicketkeeper from the time Arthur Dolphin retired at the end of the 1927 season until war was declared in 1939. His benefit in the season realised £2563. For Yorkshire he scored 8461 runs average 21-3 and he claimed 848 victims, 603 caught and 245 stumped. Ten of the catches and one stumping came in Test cricket.
Remarkably free from injury, he kept wicket in 222 consecutive county games until, at Brighton in 1935, captain Brian Sellers heard him boast of his record (since beaten by Jimmy Binks) and said, `If that's the case, Arthur, you deserve a rest.' He gave the job to Paul Gibb. It was the only thing that marred Arthur's most successful season, when he scored 1000 runs and scored his only century, against Worcestershire at Sheffield.
But it was Arthur's invariable good humour and wit that commended him to everybody, and it is well expressed in the series of little stories when he was chosen, just before his 40th birthday, to play in his first Test match, at The Oval against Australia in 1938. Chosen as a last-minute replacement, Arthur had to make the journey from Nottingham to London by taxi to be certain of getting to the ground on time. When the taxi driver asked him for his fare, £7 15s, Arthur told him he was only paying for the ride, not buying the taxi. The taxi-man described him as 'a very amusing gentleman'. He was. Arthur went to the crease when more than 500 runs had been put on the board and he made another 53. When congratulated on his first Test half-century, he replied, 'I was always good in a crisis.' Returning to the pavilion, he looked out the groundsman, 'Bosser' Martin, and with a serious face said, `Bosser, there's some holes in your pitch.' `Holes?' queried Bosser. `Aye. Six - where t'stumps go in,' said Arthur. In the next year he was the first choice for England in the series with West Indies.
He could do most things far above average, played to a single-figure handicap at golf, got his 50s at billiards and snooker, and at the card table could play anything from bridge to snap.
At rhyming slang, so popular in the 'thirties, he was an expert. He never asked a groundsman if there had been any rain. `Had any France and Spain?' he asked. He raised his `titfa' (tit-for-tat) to acknowledge the applause of the crowd. Sometimes he called it `talk and chat'.
There was never a dull moment when he was about. To see him dive to the leg side and do a couple of somersaults before surfacing with the ball and a terrific 'Howzat!' lifted the flagging spirits of bowlers whether the batsman was out
or not. But, as so often happens, in later years his fun hid tragedy. He kept house for himself. For 20 years he visited his wife in hospital, never missed a
visiting day, and did not once grumble. In life as in cricket he had a heart as big as a mountain.
The Cricketer, June 1973
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1939