Nigel Howard

HOWARD, NIGEL DAVID, died suddenly in the Isle of Man, where he had lived since his retirement from business three years earlier, on May 31, aged 54. He headed the Rossall batting averages in 1941 and 1942 and, making his first appearance for Lancashire in 1946 obtained a regular place in 1948 when he made the highest score of his career, 145 v Derbyshire at Old Trafford. In 1949 he took over the captaincy, which he retained until he retired from first-class cricket after the season of 1953 in order to devote himself to the family textile business.

He was the youngest player ever to captain Lancashire. However, greatly helped by Washbrook, his senior professional, he led the county to the top of the table in 1950, captaining the Gentlemen at Lord's in 1951 and taking the MCC side to India and Pakistan at the end of that year. Unluckily he missed the latter part of this tour through illness. An attractive bat with a good range of strokes, especially when runs were wanted quickly, he did much valuable work for his county.

His best seasons were 1948, when he scored 944 runs with an average of 36.30, and 1950, when his aggregate was 1,124 and his average 36.68. Later he served on the Lancashire committee and was for a time chairman of the cricket committee. He also represented Cheshire at hockey and golf. He came of cricketing stock; both his father, for some years secretary at Old Trafford, and his younger brother played for Lancashire.

© John Wisden & Co