Full name David John Halfyard
Born April 3, 1931, Winchmore Hill, Middlesex
Died August 23, 1996, Northam, Devon (aged 65 years 142 days)
Major teams Cornwall, Durham, Kent, Minor Counties, Nottinghamshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium, Right-arm medium
|First-class span||1956 - 1970|
|List A span||1968 - 1977|
HALFYARD, DAVID JOHN, who died suddenly on August 23, 1996, aged 65, had a remarkable, indeed eccentric, career which was supposed to have ended after a serious road accident in 1962. But he returned to the first-class game six years later and was still taking wickets for Tiverton Heathcoat in the Devon Premier League a few weeks before he died. Dave Halfyard came to prominence as a tireless seamer for Kent in the late 1950s, and took 135 wickets in 1958. After his accident he kept trying to make a comeback, but failed, and in 1967 went on to the first-class umpires' list. However, Nottinghamshire saw him bowling in the nets - in itself not normal practice for an umpire - and decided to sign him, although almost the entire committee had to watch him for two hours before they were convinced of his fitness. He thus became perhaps the only umpire to retire and return to playing. Bowling more sedately but even more craftily than he did for Kent, he spent three productive years at Nottinghamshire, bringing his total of first-class wickets to 963 before finally leaving the first-class game in 1970. Even while with Nottinghamshire he would slip away on his days off to bowl leg-breaks for club sides. Over the next 12 years he had spells as professional with Durham, Northumberland and Cornwall and had another period as an umpire. While with Cornwall, he took all 16 Devon wickets to fall in a match at Penzance. Halfyard's zest for displaying the tricks of his trade before audiences others might have thought unworthy made him in that sense comparable to Sydney Barnes. His pride and joy was a camper van with almost 400,000 miles on the clock; his cricket had the same improbable durability.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
What makes this innocuous-seeming bowler so difficult to handle?