Frederick Gale

MR. FREDERICK GALE-well known to thousands of cricketers under his nom de plume of The Old Buffer-died on April 24th in the Charterhouse. Born in 1823, he had lived to a ripe old age. He was in the Winchester eleven in 1841, and appeared at Lord"s that year against both Harrow and Eton. Winchester suffered a single-innings" defeat at the hands of Harrow, but beat Eton by 109 runs. The victory was one to be proud of, as the Eton team included Emilius Bayley, Walter Marcon, George Yonge, and Harvey Fellows. Mr.Gale did not win fame as a player, but no one loved cricket more than he did, or supported it more keenly. He kept up his enthusiasm to the end, and even so recently as the season of 1903 he was to be seen at the Oval-bent in figure, but still full of vivacity. As a writer on the game he was prolific, several books and numberless magazine and newspaper articles coming from his pen. He lived for a good many years at Mitcham, and in those days took the liveliest interest in young Surrey players, delighting in the triumphs of Jupp, Tom Humphrey, and, a little later, Richard Humphrey. A special protegé of his was George Jones, who bowled for Surrey more than twenty years ago, when the county"s fortunes were at a low ebb. Mr. Gale had a high ideal of the way in which cricket should be played, and in his various writings always insisted on the necessity of good fielding. His particular aversion was the batsman who played for his average rather than for his side. Like many old men, he had an abiding regard for the heroes of his youth, and nothing pleased him better, when he found a congenial listener, than to talk about Filler Pilch, Hillyer, and Felix. Still, he could be just as enthusiastic when discussing the batting of W. G. Grace and the bowling of Alfred Shaw. He enjoyed the friendship of John Ruskin, and took the famous writer to the Oval in 1882 to see the Australians.

HIS BEST KNOWN BOOKS WERE:-

  • Echoes form Old Cricket Fields, 1871

    (Re-issued by David Nutt in 1896 at 1/-).
  • The Game of Cricket, 1887.
  • Memoir of Hon. R. Grimston, 1885.
  • Public School Matches and those we meet there, 1853 & 1867

    (Re-issued by David Nutt in 1896 at 1/-).
  • Ups and Downs of a Public School, 1859.
  • Modern English Sports, 1885.
  • Sports and Recreations, 1885.

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