Joe Humphries

HUMPHRIES, J., one of the best of the famous wicket-keepers who have appeared for Derbyshire, died at Chesterfield on May 8, within ten days of reaching 70 years of age. First playing for the county in 1899 as understudy to William Storer--then still at his best-- Humphries gradually became the regular keeper, and from 1902 steadily improved until he went out to Australia in the winter of 1907. It proved an ill-fated tour; an attack of pneumonia kept A. O. Jones, the captain, out of the first three Tests, and in the first match R. A. Young of Cambridge and Sussex, who wore spectacles, was preferred as wicket-keeper--no doubt because of his batting. As a matter of fact Young scored only 27 runs in four Test innings, while Humphries, replacing him until the fifth Test, made 44 in six innings. Sir Home Gordon, in Form at a Glance, credited Humphries with 545 catches and 103 stumpings up to 1914, when the war finished his first-class career. His runs numbered 5,436, average 14.15.

IDDON, JOHN, the Lancashire all-rounder, was killed in a car accident at Crewe on April 17 when returning home from a business visit to the Rolls-Royce works. Born at Mawdesley, near Ormskirk, on January 8, 1903, he came of a cricketing family, his father being professional to the Lancaster club for fourteen years. After doing well for Leyland Motors, Jack Iddon made his first appearance for Lancashire against Oxford University in 1924, and played for the county for fifteen seasons prior to the war. He represented England in five Test matches, four against West Indies during the M.C.C. tour of 1934-35, and once against South Africa at Nottingham the following summer.

A right-handed, hard-driving batsman, Iddon reached a thousand runs in eleven successive seasons up to 1939, obtaining 2,261 in 1934, when Lancashire were Champion County for the fifth time during Iddon's career. Altogether he scored 22,679 runs in first-class cricket and took over 500 wickets. His first century came against Surrey at Old Trafford in 1927, and two years later he played his highest innings, 222 against Leicestershire at Liverpool.

Iddon bowled slow left-arm and was particularly effective when the wicket showed signs of wear. On such a pitch at Sheffield in 1937 he accomplished his best performance, taking nine wickets in the Yorkshire second innings for 42 runs and enabling Lancashire to beat their great local rivals after a lapse of five years. In 1936 his benefit realised £1,266.

Iddon did not rejoin Lancashire for the 1946 season, but hoped to play occasionally as an amateur. From 1929 to the time of his death he was technical representative to a firm of brake-lining experts in Manchester. He left a wife and two children. Damages totalling £9,801 were awarded at Stafford Assizes to Mrs. Iddon as compensation.

Iddon was the second Lancashire cricketer who met his death in a road accident in recent years. E. A. McDonald, the Australian and Lancashire fast bowler, was knocked down and killed by a motor-car on the Manchester-Chorley Road in 1937.

© John Wisden & Co