Obituaries before 1978

ANSON, GEOFFREY FRANK, M.C., died on December 4, 1977, aged 55. A member of the Harrow XI in 1939, he made 76 at Lord's and helped E. Crutchley to add 117 in an hour for the fifth wicket. As a Freshman at Cambridge in 1946, he had made his blue secure by following a number of useful innings with 55 against Yorkshire and 106 in ninety minutes against Middlesex, but at this point the claims of the Colonial Service forced him to withdraw from the side and he was unable to play in the University match. However, he played a number of times that summer for Kent with fair success, his highest score being 51 v Middlesex.

BORTHWICK, CECIL HAMILTON, M.C., died at Burgate, Diss, Norfolk, on December 30, 1977, aged 90. He kept wicket at different times for Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Kent II, as well as for the Gentlemen of Suffolk. His name will also be found in some of the charity matches played in Yorkshire in 1918 which included so many well-known names that the scores were recorded in Wisden.

COOPER, ALBERT VINCENT, who had a trial as a batsman for Essex against the West Indians in 1923, died at Stoke Newington on May 3, 1977, aged 83.

EVANS, ROYSTON, who played for Western Australia from 1906 to 1924, died at Perth in March 1977, aged 93.

FRISBY, JOSEPH BRANKIN, Hon. Secretary of the Leicestershire County Cricket Club from 1937 to 1939, died at Leicester on November 2, 1977, aged 69. He was not in the XI at Harrow, but in 1938 kept wicket for the county against Oxford University. For many years he was Hon. Secretary of the Gentlemen of Leicestershire.

GIBB, PAUL ANTHONY, who died suddenly at Guildford on December 7 at the age of 64, was a cricketer who should be judged by the figures he achieved. It would have needed a shrewd critic to discern, when watching him play a long innings, that he was more than a determined and solid University and County batsman. Never did one catch a glimpse of that spark of genius which normally marks the Test player. The figures tell a very different story. In his first innings for Yorkshire he made 157 not out. For his four University matches he averaged 54, making a century in his last year and in the previous year being stupidly run out for 87. His average for his eight Tests was 44.69. In his first, against South Africa, he scored 93 and 106; in the final Test of that series 120. In the first Test after the War, against India, he made 60 and helped Hardstaff to add 182 badly needed runs for the fifth wicket. In his early days a tendency to overdo the hook was often fatal, but once he had conquered this it was indeed a problem to get him out. He was quite happy to rely on his immensely strong back play and to let the runs come at their own rate: his patience seemed inexhaustible. Two Gibbs on a side could have been difficult and three intolerable: one often invaluable.

With his wicket-keeping it was different: not even his best friends would have claimed that he was anywhere near the best of his day. Yet after playing purely as a batsman for Cambridge in his first year while S. C. Griffith, a far better performer, kept and keeping himself in his second year when Griffith was injured, in his third year he was given the preference completely and Griffith did not play at all. This aroused considerable criticism, but not as much as when in the next season, Ames being injured, Gibb was selected for the third and fourth Tests over the heads of a number of better keepers including Arthur Wood, who was almost always preferred to him by Yorkshire. In fact the third Test was completely washed out by rain and by the fourth Gibb was injured and so had to wait for the South African tour that winter before actually taking the field for England.

On that tour he was second-string to Ames, but in 1946 he kept in the first two Tests against India and the following winter in the First Test in Australia, before on each occasion making way for Evans.

To summarise his career, he was in the XI at St Edward's, Oxford, played for Cambridge from 1935 to 1938 and for Yorkshire from 1935 to 1946. After returning that winter from Australia, he was seen no more in first-class cricket until 1951 when he appeared for Essex as a professional, the first cricket blue ever to turn professional. Though now no longer a candidate for Tests, playing for Essex for six seasons he made a thousand runs in four of them, besides proving a serviceable keeper. He dropped out of the Essex side in 1956 and from 1957 to 1966 was a first-class umpire. At the time of his death he had for some years been a bus-driver in Guildford.



*Signifies not out



In England
In South Africa
In Australia
In Jamaica
In India




v South Africa 1938-395804731202259.1200
v India 194623084600128.0021
v Australia 1946-4712024130012.0010


*Signifies not out

157*For Yorkshire v Nottinghamshire at Sheffield, 1935.
113for Cambridge University v Hampshire at Basingstoke, 1937.
136*for Lord Tennyson's Team v WISCA and Gujarat at Ahmedabad, 1937-38.
204for Cambridge University v Free Foresters at Cambridge, 1938.
141for Cambridge University v Northamptonshire at Cambridge, 1938.
133for Cambridge University v Glamorgan at Swansea, 1938.
122for Cambridge University v Oxford University at Lord's, 1938.
120for England v South Africa at Durban, 1938-39.
106for England v South Africa at Johannesburg, 1938-39.
104for Yorkshire v Warwickshire at Edgbaston, 1946.
141for Essex v Kent at Blackheath, 1951.
118for Essex v Nottinghamshire at Clacton, 1951.
138for Essex v Northamptonshire at Northampton, 1951.
107for Essex v Yorkshire at Brentwood, 1951.
132for Essex v Northamptonshire at Northampton, 1952.
138for Essex v Middlesex at Westcliff, 1953.
154for Commonwealth Team in India v Assam Governor's XI at Jorhat, 1953-54.
131for Essex v Worcestershire at Brentwood, 1954.
106for Essex v Canadians at Clacton, 1954.

HARDING, KENNETH, died on November 30, 1977, aged 85. A member of the XI at St Edward's, Oxford, he lost part of his right hand in World War I, but even with this handicap made so many runs for Eastbourne that in 1928 he played three matches for Sussex and against Essex at Leyton scored 55 not out.

HASAN, SYED FIDA, who died in New Delhi in December, 1977, aged 70, was Manager of the first Pakistan side to England in 1954 and President of the Pakistan Board from 1963 to 1969.

HEWETSON, EDWARD PEARSON, died in hospital on December 26, 1977, aged 75. In the early nineteen-twenties there was a desperate shortage of fast bowlers in this country and Hewetson was one of the few who could be called genuinely fast. A tall and hugely strong man and a fine natural athlete, he had the physical attributes of a great fast bowler, but unfortunately not the technique. There was too much arm in his action and too little body, with the result that he was inaccurate and was also prone to bowl no-balls, nor did he, though fast, generate the speed that he might have done. Indeed in his last year at Oxford, E. R. T. Holmes, who shared the new ball with him, was with his much smoother action on the testimony of the wicket-keeper for a few overs the faster of the two.

Hewetson's best bowling performance was in 1924 against a strong Kent batting side in the Parks, when he followed five for 16 with five for 26. Four years in the Shrewsbury XI, in 1919, his second year, he appeared for Warwickshire and in the next two played for the Public Schools at Lord's, taking in 1920 nine for 33 for the Rest against the Lord's Schools. In the Freshman's match at Oxford in 1922 he scored 106 in eighty minutes and later headed the University bowling averages, but failed to get his blue. He played against Cambridge however for the next three years. In these matches his most notable performance was to make 57 in twenty-five minutes in 1923 going in ninth, a fine bit of hitting but one that reflected little credit on the Cambridge bowling tactics. Hitting firm footed and usually with a cross bat, he thrust his left foot out as far as he could to anything reasonably well up and swung with all his might. A few days before in an innings of 34 he had hit three sixes into the pavilion at the Oval.

He continued to play for Warwickshire off and on until 1927, but with only moderate success. Apart from his cricket he represented Oxford in the three miles in 1922 and in the mile for the next three years and in 1924 was in their hockey side. After coming down he was for some years a Master at St Edward's, Oxford, and later for many years a Preparatory school master in the Lake District.

JESSOPP, NEVILLE AUGUSTUS, who died on July 13, 1977, aged 78, was one of the great schoolboy bowlers. For Harrow at Lord's in 1914, when under 16, he created a sensation by taking three wickets in four balls, and in his last year, 1916, headed the bowling averages with 32 wickets at 8.28, including nine for 12 in the one-day match v Winchester. Not tall, but strongly built, he bowled fast-medium left-hand in-swingers, came fast off the pitch and had a good yorker. In 1919 he played two first-class matches for the MCC and at Oxford took six wickets. In 1920 he appeared a few times for Norfolk; then going to farm in British East Africa was lost to English cricket.

KEMPSTER, JAMES FRANCIS, died at Kilteman, County Dublin on April 21, 1975, in his 83rd year. A noted authority on the game in Ireland, he made two first-class appearances for his country v Scotland 1920-22 scoring 55 runs average 13.75 and taking none for 18. He played for the Leinster club, as did his father F. G. Kempster, also an octogenarian, a noted Irish batsman of the 1870s.

LEDWIDGE, REGINALD ROSS, one of Australia's most proficient umpires, died in a Sydney hospital on December 10, 1977, less than a week before he was due to stand in the Second Australia v India Test in Perth. A Sheffield Shield umpire from 1972, Ledwidge officiated in two Tests, against the West Indies in 1975-76 and Pakistan in 1976-77. A firm and imperturbable umpire, Ledwidge earlier excelled as a most successful all round Grade Cricketer for the Randwick Club, scoring 8,084 runs and capturing 507 wickets between 1946 and 1961.

NEVILLE, PATRICK, died on October 16, 1977, aged 57. A strongly built right-handed batsman, he played seven times for Ireland, 1956-60, averaging 20.00. His best score was 50 v New Zealand on a bad wicket in Dublin in 1958. In competitive cricket in Dublin, mostly for the Malahide club, he scored 5,655 runs average 35.44 with a highest score of 142.

ROBERTSON, ARTHUR, died on April 6, 1977. A well-known figure in Dublin cricketing circles, he was a member of the Irish Selection Committee for a number of years, before serving as President of the Irish Cricket Union in 1973.

SHARP, NORMAN, died on July 14, 1977, aged 76. Born at Derby, he played one match for Warwickshire as an amateur in 1923.

TILLEY, ERIC WARRINGTON, died at Leicester on December 1, 1977, aged 63. Born in Derbyshire, he had a few trials for Leicestershire as a fast-medium bowler in 1946 but, after dismissing Alderman with his first ball in first-class cricket, accomplished little.

WILLS, SIDNEY GEORGE, who died at Bristol on October 7, 1977, aged 76, was picked as a batsman for Gloucestershire against Kent at Bristol in 1927, but the match was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

WRIGHT, ERNEST V., a fair batsman in the Wellingborough XI in 1910 and 1911, who played twice for Northamptonshire in 1919, died at Kettering on December 16, 1977, aged 84. His two younger brothers, Stephen and Richard, both played for the county, as did three cousins, B., N.E. and P.A.

© John Wisden & Co