Yorkshire's supply line to the other counties, 1983

The Yorkshire connection

Yorkshire's failure to win any of the four major competitions since their Gillette Cup victory in 1969 has led to more and more pressure being applied on the county's authorities to abandon the age-old and rigid policy of employing only players born within its borders. The irony of it is that Yorkshire, wanted by many of their members to import outsiders, continue to supply players to other counties in much the same profusion as they have done since the beginning of cricket time. Such has been the succession of these exiles that Yorkshire have long been viewed as the universal providers of players for literally all their competitors.

The subject induced in me an urge to dig into the past, with the idea of presenting a complete picture of the position since the 1914-18 war. What emerges is that there has been such a persistent and widespread exodus, mostly of players not considered competent enough to command a regular place in the Yorkshire team, the Yorkshire-born cricketers who have turned out, during that period, with other counties far exceed the century! I do not guarantee to have included all of them, though the following must be just about a complete list. The notation (1) indicates those who played before the 1939-45 war and (2) those who have played since.

Derbyshire: George R. Langdale (1), Arnold Hamer (2), Charlie Lee (2), William Oates (2), Alan Revill (2), David Smith (2), Brian Bolus (2), Phil Sharpe (2), John Walters (2), Steve Oldham (2), Barry Wood (2), John Hampshire (2). (In 1972 Fred Trueman played in a number of one-day, but not first-class, matches.)

Essex: H. P. Crabtree (1), F. W. Appleyard (2), Bill Greensmith (2), Dick Horsfall (2), Paul Gibb (2), Gordon Barker (2), Ian King (2), Jim Laker (2), Rodney Cass (2), Roger Wrightson (2), Neil Smith (2).

Glamorgan: Eddie Bates (1), Thompson Bell (1), Arnold Dyson (1), Dick Horsfall (2).

Gloucestershire: Frank McHugh (2), Peter Rochford (2), Julian Shackleton (2), Richard Doughty (2).

Hampshire: Walter Livsey (1), Gilbert Dawson (2), Derek Shackleton (2), Clifford Walker (2).

Kent: James Allan (2), Geoffrey Smith (2), Peter Shenton (2), David Baker (2).

Lancashire: Harry Makepeace (1), Phil King (2), Peter Greenwood (2), J. M. Cownley (2), Gordon Hodgson (2), Peter Lever (2), Barry Wood (2), Graham Atkinson (2), Kevin Hayes (2).

Leicestershire: Frank Prentice (1), Jack Firth (2), Gerald Smithson (2), Jack van Geloven (2), Peter Broughton (2), Willie Watson (2), Harold Bird (2), Bernard Cromack (2), Jackie Birkenshaw (2), Ray Illingworth (2), Peter Stringer (2), Chris Balderstone (2), Peter Booth (2), Tim Boon (2).

Middlesex: Don Bennett (2).

Northamptonshire: E. J. H. Dixon (1), Dennis Brookes (1), Norman Grimshaw (1), Ken Fiddling (2), Fred Jakeman (2), Jack Webster (2), Desmond Barrick (2), Douglas Greasley (2), Peter Pickering (2), Peter Shenton (2), Arthur Wells (2), Ronald Jakeman (2), Bob Platt (2), John Swinburne (2), Geoff Cook (2), Norman Maltby (2), Neil Mallender (2).

Nottinghamshire: Freddie Stocks (2), Ken Smales (2), Jack Kelly (2), David Baker (2), Barry Whittingham (2), Keith Gillhouley (2), David Pullan (2), William Rhodes (2), Brian Bolus (2), Mike Smedley (2), Barry Stead (2), Mike Bore (2).

Somerset: Ernest Robson (1), Johnny Lawrence (2), George R. Langdale (2), Miles Coope (2), Ellis Robinson (2), J. D. Stenton (2), David Kitson (2), Gerald Tordoff (2), Colin Atkinson (2), Graham Atkinson (2), Lewis Pickles (2), Michael Walker (2), Tony Clarkson (2), Brian Close (2).

Surrey: Fred Berry (1), Jim Laker (2).

Sussex: Terry Gunn (2), Peter Ledden (2), Chris Fletcher (2).

Warwickshire: Norman Kilner (1), Albert Hayhurst (1), J. Buckingham (1), Norman Horner (2), Eddie Leadbeater (2), Ian King (2), Mike Hellawell (2), Edwin Legard (2), Jack Warning (2), James Allan (2), Chris Clifford (2), John Claughton (2), Chris Lethbridge (2), Simon Sutcliffe (2), Peter Hartley (2).

Worcestershire: Dick Burrows (1), A. W. Robinson (1), George Brook (1), Syd Buller (1), Victor Fox (1), Vernon Grimshaw (1), Phil King (1), George Dews (2), Joe Lister (2), John Ashman (2), John Whitehead (2), Roy Booth (2), J. C. Scholey (2), Duncan Fearnley (2), Rodney Cass (2), Nigel Boyns (2), Jackie Birkenshaw (2), Richard Illingworth (2).

It will be seen that Ian King (Essex and Warwickshire), Phil King (Worcestershire and Lancashire), Langdale (Derbyshire and Somerset), Shenton (Kent and Northamptonshire), Horsfall (Essex and Glamorgan), Baker (Kent and Nottinghamshire), Laker (Surrey and Essex), Bolus (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire), Wood (Lancashire and Derbyshire) and Birkenshaw (Leicestershire and Worcestershire) have turned out for two counties other than Yorkshire. Derbyshire, Essex, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Somerset, Warwickshire and Worcestershire have all built up such a formidable colony of Yorkshire emigrants as to assume, in each case, the equivalent of at least a complete eleven. According to my researches, the county which has gone longest without aid from the broad acres is Glamorgan, their last Yorkshireman having been Dick Horsfall in 1956.

In a match at Trent Bridge in July, 1964, Yorkshiremen in action numbered sixteen - the Yorkshire eleven plus Bolus, Smedley, Rhodes, Gillhouley and Baker of Nottinghamshire, whose staff at the time included two other Yorkshiremen, Stead and Whittingham.

Bringing the whole of the past within the scope of this survey, Yorkshiremen who have appeared in Test cricket after having left home for service elsewhere also form more than a complete team. All these 16 have turned out for England when with other counties: Albert Ward, Willis Cuttell, Harry Makepeace, Peter Lever and Barry Wood (all Lancashire), Walter Lees and Jim Laker (both Surrey), Willie Watson, Ray Illingworth, Jackie Birkenshaw and Chris Balderstone (all Leicestershire), Dennis Brookes and Geoff Cook (both Northamptonshire), Derek Shackleton (Hampshire), Brian Bolus (Nottinghamshire), and Brian Close (Somerset). And, lest we forget - Yorkshiremen Frank Mitchell (South Africa) and Hanson Carter (Australia) played against England in Tests in the days of long ago.

Imagine it - more than 100 Yorkshiremen with other counties within a 60-year spell. And nothing could be more certain than that there will be many to be added to that company as the seasons come and go.

If and when Yorkshire do open their doors to foreigners, we are bound to be reminded of the very few who, born outside their boundaries, have appeared in their team. The last to do so, in 1951, was Geoffrey Keighley, who, born in the South of France, was a special case, his forebears for many generations having hailed from Yorkshire's West Riding. Between the wars the club compromised their principles in the case of three amateurs - W. E. Blackburn, W. E. Harbord and R. T. Stanyforth. They were under the impression, though, until the mid-fifties, that Blackburn, who had been an Army officer in the 1914-18 war, was a native of Sawley, which is in Yorkshire, when in fact he was born at Clitheroe in Lancashire. Lord Hawke, as is well known, was born in Lincolnshire of Yorkshire parents. A matter of less general knowledge in that E. J. Radcliffe, who succeeded Lord Hawke in the team captaincy, first saw daylight at Tiverton in Devon.

Nothing, perhaps, could emphasise Yorkshire's opposition to outsiders more strikingly than the fact that there has not been a single professional throughout this century who was permitted to find and retain a place in their ranks. Cecil Parkin came nearest to it, being introduced for the match against Gloucestershire at Headingley in July, 1906, but he was promptly shown the door when it transpired that he had been born on the wrong side of the Tees in Durham.

© John Wisden & Co