Obituary

Claude Woolley

WOOLLEY, CLAUDE N., who died at Northampton on November 3, aged 76, played as opening batsman for Northamptonshire from 1911 to 1931, scoring 15,353 runs for them, average 24.76, taking with slow-medium bowling 352 wickets, average 32.98, and holding 134 catches. Of his thirteen centuries, the highest was 204 not out against Worcestershire at Northampton in 1921. He spent two years with Gloucestershire before joining Northamptonshire. Remarkably similar in appearance to his younger brother, Frank, the Kent and England left-handed all-rounder, "Dick", as he was generally known, twice carried his bat through an innings, for 59 against Sussex at Hastings in 1925 and for 38 against Yorkshire at Bradford four years later. Oddly enough, he was in each case dismissed for 0 in the second innings.

He played once for Players against Gentlemen, in the rain-ruined game at The Oval in 1922. His best bowling performance was at Bristol in 1926, when he followed an innings of 90 by taking five Gloucestershire wickets for 11 runs. He did the hat-trick against Essex at Northampton in 1920. After retiring from county cricket, he became a first-class umpire till 1949, standing in the England v Australia Test match at Lord's in 1948. Once in 1946, when umpiring in a match between Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire, he had the unusual experience of officiating from the bowler's end for each over till a substitute arrived to replace his colleague, G. Beet, who had been taken ill en route from Manchester. He was a groundsman at the County Ground at Northampton from 1949 till last summer.

© John Wisden & Co
 
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