John Newman

NEWMAN, JOHN ALFRED, who died in a Cape Town hospital on December 27, aged 89, rendered splendid all-round service to Hampshire for 25 years. He began with them in 1906 and continued till 1930. In that time he hit 15,333 runs, including nine centuries, for an average of 21.65, took 2,032 wickets at 24.20 runs apiece and held 296 catches. This lean but wiry player performed the cricketers" double five times between 1921 and 1928, being first to do so-on July 31-in 1921.

For a number of years he and A. S. Kennedy virtually comprised the Hampshire bowling. Against Sussex in 1921 and in opposition to Somerset two years later, both at Portsmouth, the pair bowled unchanged through both innings. Newman, like Kennedy, of medium pace, could make the ball swing when it was new and afterwards turned to off-breaks of equally excellent length. He took 100 wickets in a season on eight occasions, his best year being 1921, when his victims numbered 177 at 21.56 runs each. He did the hat-trick against M. A. Noble"s Australian side at Southampton in 1909; dismissed three Sussex batsmen in the course of four balls at Hove in 1923 and at Weston-super-Mare against Somerset in 1927 obtained 16 wickets for 88 runs in the match. His best all-round feat was in 1926 when he hit 66 and 42 not out and took 14 Gloucestershire wickets for 148 runs. Next summer he scored 102 and 102 not out from the Surrey bowling at the Oval when Jack Hobbs also hit two separate hundreds in the same match-a rare double performance in those days.

In 1922 Newman was the central figure in an unhappy incident at Trent Bridge, where he refused to bowl while the crowd engaged in barracking. The Hampshire captain, the Hon. L. H. (later Lord) Tennyson ordered him from the field-upon which Newman kicked down the stumps, a most unusual display of petulance from a likeable man. He continued later after an apology.

For nine seasons after retiring as a player, Newman stood as a first-class umpire and then went to live in Cape Town, where he coached for a number of years.

© John Wisden & Co