Frank Sibbles

SIBBLES, FRANK MARSHALL, who died after a long illness on July 20, aged 69, helped Lancashire win the County Championship in three successive years from 1926 to 1928 and also in 1930 and 1934. Born at Oldham, he became member of Werneth C.C. at the age of seven and after experience in the Central Lancashire League, became a member of the ground staff at Old Trafford in 1925. Originally a batsman, he developed into a natural off-break bowler able also to cut the ball. Altogether till a painful and persistent elbow trouble ended his playing career in 1937, he took 932 wickets at around 22 runs each and held 164 catches.

Among his best performances were eight wickets for 24 runs against Somerset at Weston-super-Mare against Somerset and five wickets for eight runs against Essex. At Buxton in 1932 he dismissed three Derbyshire batsmen in four balls.

After the Second World War, in which he rose from the ranks to Major, he did much able service as an administrator for Lancashire. Elected to the General Committee in 1950, he served on the committee responsible for team selection and the welfare of players and was its chairman for two years.

In 1937, Sir Neville Cardus wrote of Sibbles in The Guardian: There is nothing cheap or spectacular about Sibbles. I doubt if I have ever heard him appeal; he even asks the umpire, puts a question to him, instead of stating a fact. A nicer mannered cricketer never wore flannels. He has the gift of modesty and his upright way of carrying himself and his crinkled hair (they call him 'Top" in the Lancashire side) seem entirely in keeping with the style of his play.

© John Wisden & Co