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Full name Edward Humphreys
Born August 24, 1881, Ditton, Kent
Died November 6, 1949, Maidstone, Kent (aged 68 years 74 days)
Major teams Canterbury, Kent
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox
Edward Humphreys, one of the best-known figures in Kent cricket, died at his Maidstone home on November 6, aged 68. Thus ended an association which began fifty-three years before when Punter, as he became known, joined the Kent staff. Two years later, when 17, he made his first appearance, as a left-arm slow bowler, for the county, but he soon gained greater prominence as a right-hand opening batsman. An especially strong back player, he showed particular skill when the ball was turning. No little testimony to his skill was contained in the fact that he retained his place in the Kent side in their halcyon years when they won the Championship four times, from 1906 to 1913, the only occasions when they carried off the honours. One of his best feats occurred in 1908 when he shared with A. P. Day in a seventh wicket stand of 248 for Kent against Somerset at Taunton. In 1912-13 he went to West Indies as a member of the M.C.C. team captained by A. F. Somerset and enjoyed a successful tour with 461 runs, average 40.07, and 40 wickets for 16.75 runs each.
In his playing career, which extended from 1899 to 1920, Humphreys played under five Kent captains, J. R. Mason, C. J. Burnup, C. H. B. Marsham, E. W. Dillon and L. H. W. Troughton. Altogether he scored 16,603 runs, average 27.95, hit twenty centuries, and took 342 wickets, average 24.49. He also earned distinction for his magnificent fielding at mid-on and short-leg.
Punter Humphreys was a good coach as well as a fine player. During his playing days he went to Jamacia five times to impart his knowledge to the young players out there, and before that he coached in New Zealand. After finishing first-class cricket Humphreys became coach at Uppingham School where he played a large part in the development of two Kent captains, A. P. F. Chapman and F. G. H. Chalk. His engagement at Uppingham had four years to run when at the request of Lord Harris he returned to Kent. Humphreys was appointed chief Kent coach at Canterbury and saw the rise of such present-day players as A. E. Fagg, D. V. P. Wright, and T. G. Evans. On all Kent grounds he was a familiar and a respected figure.
In the first World War Humphreys served in the Royal Navy and took part in the raid on Zeebrugge.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
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