Gerald Crutchley

CRUTCHELEY, GERALD EDWARD VICTOR, who died on August 16, aged 78, was a capital right-handed batsman. In the Harrow XI in 1908, he did much to win the fixture with Eton by ten wickets, scoring 74 runs and, with outswingers of varying pace, disposing of eight batsmen in the two innings for 46 runs. Though he achieved little as a batsmen on the big occasion the next year, he took seven wickets for 33 runs and enabled Harrow to enjoy the best of a drawn game.

Going up to Oxford, he did not gain a Blue till 1912 and in that year against Cambridge he set up a curious record. Having scored 99 not out, he was found at the end of the day to be suffering from measles and had to withdraw from the match.

Business prevented Crutchley from appearing for Middlesex as often as he would have liked, but he turned out for the county whenever possible from 1910 to 1930. Among his chief feats for them was the scoring of 145 in an opening partnership of 231 with H. W. Lee (243 not out) in two and a quarter hours off the Nottinghamshire bowling at Lord's in 1921, in which season Middlesex carried off the county Championship. He held another distinction, for he was the last man to play cricket during the Canterbury Week and to act at night for the Old Stagers.

A batsman of delightfully free style, specially skilled in driving to the off, he hit 4,069 runs, including five centuries, average 22.23; took 60 wickets for 34.56 runs each and held 53 catches during his first-class career. For five years from 1957 he was President of Middlesex. As a Lieutenant in the Scots Guards during the First World War, he was wounded and held prisoner of war in Germany for almost four years.

© John Wisden & Co