Full name William Henry Copson
Born April 27, 1908, Stonebroom, Derbyshire
Died September 13, 1971, Clay Cross, Derbyshire (aged 63 years 139 days)
Major teams England, Derbyshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
|Test debut||England v West Indies at Lord's, Jun 24-27, 1939 scorecard|
|Last Test||England v South Africa at The Oval, Aug 16-20, 1947 scorecard|
|First-class span||1932 - 1950|
Red-headed seamer Bill Copson was a coal-miner before he turned his hand to cricket. As a boy he showed no interest in the game, but during the General Strike of 1926 he was persuaded to play for his local side to fill in time while the pits were shut. He was an immediate success, with his nagging line and length, and in 1931 he was given a trial with Derbyshire, and by 1932 he was a virtual regular in the side. With the first ball he bowled in first-class cricket, he dismissed Andrew Sandham, and from then on he made steady progress, thanks to his pace and late swing. He missed much of the 1935 season because of a back injury, but was a key part of Derbyshire's Championship triumph in 1936 when he took 160 wickets at 13.34, including 13 five-fors. In the three seasons leading up to the war he continued to bowl well, passing 100 wickets each time. In 1936-37 he went to Australia with Gubby Allen's side, and while he didn't play in the Tests he ended the tour with 27 wickets at 19.81. he made his Test debut against West Indies in 1939, taking 5 for 85 and 4 for 67 at Lord's and then three wickets in the next game at Old Trafford. His third and final appearance came at The Oval in 1947 where he took three wickets against South Africa. He played until 1949, but injuries gradually took their toll. From 1958 to 1967 he was on the first-class umpires panel.
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1937
What makes this innocuous-seeming bowler so difficult to handle?