Obituaries, 2007

Obituaries index: F-J

A-E | F-J | K-R | S-W |

This section records the lives of those who died during 2006 and were:

  • Test cricketers
  • first-class cricketers from Great Britain and Ireland
  • Other personalities of interest from around the world

    Some of those who appeared in fewer than ten first-class matches are included under Briefly Noted after the main listing. Wisden always welcomes information about those who might be included. Please send details to almanack@wisdengroup.com or to Matthew Engel at Fair Oak, Bacton, Herefordshire HR2 0AT.

    FANTHAM, WILLIAM ERNEST, died on April 16, 2006, aged 87. Bill Fantham took 64 wickets in 63 matches for Warwickshire either side of the war, mostly with off-breaks. He had started out as a leg-spinner, only to be told by Warwickshire's resident leggie, Eric Hollies, that there was only room for one of them at Edgbaston. Fantham started 1946 well, with four for ten and a career-best five for 55 against Somerset; Hollies had almost identical figures. But Fantham managed only 28 more wickets that season, and faded out of first-class cricket after a mediocre 1947 and three games in 1948, returning to club cricket with Mitchells & Butlers and as a professional in the Coventry Works League. His former county team-mate, Ken Taylor, once said Fantham "looked unstoppable in the nets, but went green in the middle".

    FARAGHER, HAROLD ALKER, died on February 24, 2006, aged 88. He was a schoolmaster who played six matches as an amateur for Essex in 1949 and 1950, scoring three half-centuries. Faragher, the long-time captain of Ilford CC, was best known as one of the co-founders (and, said Trevor Bailey, "the key figure") of the indoor school at Ilford, which produced a string of Essex cricketers, including Nasser Hussain, whose father Joe later managed the school.

    FASKEN, DAVID KENNETH, died on May 24, 2006, aged 74, ten days after falling downstairs at home - "I like to think on the way to the fridge for a latenight snack," said his son, Hugh. Born in Malaya, Fasken was a seam bowler who ensured himself an Oxford Blue in 1953 with five for 108 against the Australians, dismissing Morris, Hole, Benaud, Archer and Ring. These remained his best figures but, at a time when Oxford were short of quality bowling, he remained in the side in 1954 and 1955. Fasken continued to play the odd first-class match - including two for Douglas Jardine's XI in 1958. He became a director of the Earls Court and Olympia exhibition venues.

    FRANKLYN, WILLIAM LEO, who died on October 31, 2006, aged 81, was a suave character actor best known for a long series of "Schhhh... you know who!" advertisements for Schweppes; he was also a lifelong cricket fan. In his youth, he had a trial with Essex, and formed half of an energetic new-ball pair for The Stage with Brian Rix. Later, he slowed down to become a leg-spinner, by which time he had formed his own team, the Sargent Men, to raise funds for the Sir Malcolm Sargent cancer charity.

    GARNETT, THOMAS RONALD, OAM, died on September 22, 2006, aged 91. Tommy Garnett was headmaster of Marlborough College in England and Geelong Grammar in Australia, bringing a distinctive and innovative approach to both jobs. "We must have more madness," he said on arrival at Marlborough in 1952. As a cricketer, he was not selected for any first-class matches at Cambridge, but did play for Somerset, once in 1935, and then four times more in 1939, all in the fortnight before war broke out. He scored a "bright" 75 on August 31, the county's last day of first-class cricket for nearly seven years. Among Garnett's charges in Australia was Prince Charles, whom he agreed to accept on condition he could meet the boy and interview the parents first. On retirement, he stayed in Victoria and constructed one of the country's most beautiful gardens on the edge of the Wombat State Forest. He was awarded the OAM for services to horticulture.

    GIBBS, BARRY MONTGOMERY, who died on April 23, 2006, aged 73, was secretary of the Queensland Cricket Association - initially with just one other permanent employee - from 1961 to 1966. He then returned to commerce, mixed with some sports writing, but was lured back to cricket in 1988, as executive manager of the South Australian Cricket Association. He became a confidant of Sir Donald Bradman, and was instrumental in the planning of the Adelaide Oval's new Bradman Stand. After retirement in 1997, he wrote an affable autobiography, My Cricket Journey.

    GIRDHARI, S. K.,, died on April 15, 2006, aged about 90. An off-spinning all-rounder, Girdhari (whose first names are unrecorded) came close to Indian selection during nearly two decades of domestic cricket. His best chance probably came in 1948-49 when he took five for 31, including Clyde Walcott and Gerry Gomez, as East Zone trounced the touring West Indians by ten wickets. In the 1952-53 Ranji Trophy final for Bengal, he had match figures of 88-34-119-5 and scores of 45 and 58 not out - in vain, as Bengal narrowly lost on first innings to Holkar. He tried life as a professional in the Lancashire leagues, and enjoyed it so much that he eventually moved there permanently. He started with Millom and Accrington, but is best remembered as an immaculately dressed and polite presence at Netherfield, where he played when they joined the Northern League in 1959.

    GOODWIN, THOMAS JEFFREY, died on February 15, 2006, aged 77. A leftarm swing bowler from Staffordshire, Jeff Goodwin took 335 wickets for Leicestershire in the 1950s, and would have had more but for frequent injuries. His best season was 1953, when Leicestershire briefly topped the table and finished third: Goodwin took 86 wickets, after 67 the year before, and received his county cap. But two injury-ravaged seasons followed: although he returned with 63 wickets in 1956, including a career-best eight for 81 to set up victory over Sussex at Hove, there were younger and fitter bowlers coming through. Goodwin was, as he cheerfully admitted, "one of the worst No. 11s playing cricket", but in 1953 he did survive for more than two hours, for a career-best 23 not out, to stave off what had seemed certain defeat by Hampshire.

    GUY, General Sir ROLAND, GCB, CBE, DSO, died on December 13, 2005, aged 77. Roly Guy was a batsman who captained Wellington College in 1946. He was awarded a DSO after commanding a battalion of the Royal Green Jackets in West Belfast at the height of the troubles in 1971. He went on to become adjutantgeneral, effectively second-in-command of the Army.

    HANUMANT SINGH died on November 29, 2006, aged 67, after suffering from hepatitis and dengue fever. Of princely blood (his father was the Maharaja of Banswara), he was regarded as a batsman of appropriate style to stand comparison to his uncle Duleepsinhji and Duleep's uncle Ranjitsinhi. Hanumant made a silky century on his Test debut, against England at Delhi in February 1964. It was "delightful and delicately composed", The Times correspondent reported. "For someone so quiet and fresh of face, the maturity was remarkable." Hanumant was the fifth Indian to score a hundred in his first Test and, like the previous four, never made another, winning only 13 more caps, although he did manage a fine attacking 94 against Australia, with Graham McKenzie at the peak of his form, at Madras in 1964-65. He went down with the ship on India's grim tour of England in 1967, despite a fighting, unavailing, 73 at Headingley. But he was left out of the tour of Australia that followed on grounds of fitness - although this was a puzzle, and the captain, the Nawab of Pataudi, wanted him in the side: "He should have made the trip. I asked for him. But they did not want him. It was very unfair." A rather disillusioned Hanumant played only one more Test after that, before devoting himself to making runs for Rajasthan, for whom he averaged over 50 in 96 matches, many of them alongside his older brother Suryaveer Singh. He became one of Indian cricket's father figures, as a tour manager, selector, ICC referee (England's scores-level draw at Bulawayo in 1996- 97 was one of his nine Tests) and coach. In 2000, he became the first director of India's national academy, and then coached players from India and abroad at the World Cricket Academy in Mumbai. At his funeral, he was cremated with a bat on his chest; two of his pupils joined the luminaries of the game there. "Without sir, we cannot think of cricket," said Mohammed Moin Sheikh.

    HARRIS, Chief Rabbi CYRIL, OBE, died on September 13, 2005, aged 68. After being rabbi of the St John's Wood synagogue, opposite Lord's, Harris was appointed Chief Rabbi of South Africa in 1987, where he became a strong campaigner against apartheid. While in South Africa, Harris started his own MCC - the Ministers Cricket Club - for players of all faiths. After his release, Nelson Mandela referred to him as "my rabbi".

    HARRISON, BERNARD REGINALD STANHOPE, died on March 18, 2006, aged 71. Bernie Harrison played 14 matches for Hampshire between 1957 and 1962, including three in 1961, the first year they won the County Championship. He hit his only first-class century that year, 110 against Oxford University at Portsmouth, but, as an opener, found it impossible to compete with the established pair, Roy Marshall and Jimmy Gray. A teacher (and cricket coach), he played for the Basingstoke & North Hampshire club over five decades. He also played soccer for Southampton, Crystal Palace and Exeter City.

    HARVEY, PETER FAIRFIELD, who died on July 19, 2006, aged 83, caused a minor sensation in 1947 when he scored a century in his second match for Nottinghamshire - against Derbyshire at Trent Bridge - having not batted in his first. He shared a sixth-wicket stand of 303 with Harry Winrow, a county record that stood for 54 years. But there was only one more hundred, 150 at Leicester in 1951, and it was as a handy leg-spinner that he secured his position - until 1953, when the Australian Bruce Dooland arrived and took over. Harvey played on until 1958, finishing with 332 wickets for the county, but never again commanded a regular place. Before Dooland, Harvey had enjoyed some purple patches, notably his eight for 122 against Somerset at Nottingham in 1949, and was occasionally mentioned as an England prospect. After leaving county cricket he joined the big Nottingham sports outfitters, Redmayne & Todd, and remained there until his retirement.

    HASSETT, RICHARD JOSEPH, who died on November 15, 2006, aged 97, was one of five brothers who played for Victoria's Geelong College, the most famous of them being Lindsay, Australia's captain in the early 1950s. Dick Hassett was an aggressive batsman who also bowled subtly varied leg-spinners at a brisk pace. He played eight times for Victoria in his early twenties, scoring two centuries against Tasmania in 1930-31. A chemical engineer by training, Hassett left cricket early in order to concentrate on his career with the clothing manufacturer Holeproof, where he worked for 43 years.

    HENLEY-WELCH, DAVID FRANCIS, died on February 20, 2006, aged 82. A fastish bowler and a useful batsman, the Old Harrovian David Henley played most of his first-class cricket for Oxford University. He won a last-gasp Blue in 1947, taking the final place in the side after the Australian "Jika" Travers lost form, and hit a rapid 52 in the Varsity Match. He missed out on a second Blue in 1948 (even though by then he had acquired a second barrel to his surname), being supplanted by the future South African captain Clive van Ryneveld. He later scored more than 2,000 runs for Suffolk.

    HENRY, TREVOR, who died of cancer on February 6, 2006, aged 51, was Ireland's leading umpire, and had just been appointed to ICC's new ten-strong associates and affiliates panel. He was due to officiate in the Under-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka early in 2006 before illness forced his withdrawal. Ehsan Mani, then president of the ICC, praised his commitment, skill and easy-going likeability. Though Henry's nickname in Irish cricket circles was "Trigger", it was applied with respect and affection.

    HILL, GERALD, died on January 31, 2006, aged 92. Gerry Hill's 22-year county career was helped on its way by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who played golf with Hill's father and recommended the boy to Hampshire. It also survived a bizarre accident in the nets when he was shot in the leg by his team-mate Len Creese, who was messing around with a shotgun. A doctor decided the pellet was too close to the bone to remove, and left it there: Hill still played the first match of the new season a couple of months later. "I went through the whole of the war and never got shot at," he observed afterwards. Hill played 371 matches for Hampshire, although his figures were unspectacular - he averaged a shade over 18 with the bat, despite a career-best 161 against Sussex at Portsmouth in 1937 (his fifth-wicket stand of 235 that day with Donald "Hooky" Walker is still a county record), while his three other centuries included one at Guildford, containing a six off Alec Bedser of which Hill was particularly proud. He also took 617 wickets, mainly with off-spin, 93 of them in 1935, including eight for 62 against Kent at Tonbridge, after which he was presented with his Hampshire cap - by the Kent captain, Percy Chapman, a family friend. John Arlott's county history says that Hill, in his later years as a senior pro, "was kindly and humorously pessimistic", qualities he may have acquired in 1935 when Cyril Smart of Glamorgan hit him for 32 in an over (664664), a first-class record for a six-ball over that stood for 33 years.

    Baron HUSSEY OF NORTH BRADLEY (Marmaduke James Hussey) died on December 27, 2006, aged 83. "Duke" Hussey had been a promising cricketer before losing a leg at the Battle of Anzio in 1944. Two years previously, he had played for Oxford in the one-day Varsity Match at Lord's, and was stranded scoreless when Oxford lost four wickets in the last ten minutes to give Cambridge victory. Earlier, he had come on as first change and taken two wickets with his slow left-armers. He later became chief executive of Times Newspapers and chairman of the BBC, in both cases for a decade, turbulent ones at that.

    INGLEBY-MACKENZIE, ALEXANDER COLIN DAVID, OBE, died of cancer on March 9, 2006, aged 72. Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie was one of the most extraordinary, and best-loved, men ever to play cricket. He gave the impression that his life was a party that lasted 72 years, which was not that far from the truth. Nonetheless, he was a successful captain - leading Hampshire to their first County Championship - and a radical president of MCC.

    Colin's father was Surgeon Vice-Admiral Sir Alexander Ingleby-Mackenzie, who had been with the Hampshire president, Harry Altham, at Repton. Altham saw Colin, aged 12, execute a perfect on-drive in the nets, and marked him down as a future Hampshire captain - which says something about both the attitudes of the era, and Altham's prescience. Colin went to Eton which, characteristically, he adored, achieving all the honours the school could offer except academic ones.

    At 17, in 1951, he made a brief, damp, scoreless debut for Hampshire - and decided he loved the idea of county cricket too. During National Service and a stint in Yorkshire working for Slazenger, he played occasionally and without obvious success. But in 1956 he began to score runs, finally impressing the old pros with an unbeaten 130 against Worcestershire at Cowes. It was an appropriate place for him to make his name, since he was to bring to Hampshire the air of a regatta: complete with a breezy freshness, a sense of style and pretty girls.

    In 1957, the long-standing captain Desmond Eagar occasionally stood aside to let Ingleby take charge, which he did full-time in 1958. Still only 24, he led Hampshire to second place in the Championship, their highest-ever position. In early August, they had looked like being champions before falling away. But the template for his captaincy had been set: a spirit of enterprise sometimes bordering on what sterner minds called recklessness. It was exemplified by his own batting - Ingleby scored two centuries in 1958: one took 98 minutes, the other 61. His batting style no longer came from Altham's nets. He would score 1,000 each year from 1957 to 1962 (except 1960, when he missed by two), and averaged 26, but that really was an average, not a benchmark. He had not grown tall: he was a stocky left-hander with delicate feet and slashing power. When he came off - which was usually when he had to - he was sensational; Hampshire's batting was strong enough to cope with the other days. "Surely no one among his contemporaries with such a statistical record has played so many crooked strokes," wrote John Arlott. Not for nothing was he nicknamed "McCrackers".

    But the next two seasons Hampshire drifted. They finished eighth and 12th: a lot of catches were dropped; the captain's concentration wavered under the pressure of six-day-a-week cricket; and it was noted that his injuries appeared to coincide with the fashionable race meetings. In January 1961, however, the admiral died, and the effect on his son was profound: Prince Hal turned into Henry V. In the 1960s there was usually some strange experiment going on designed to produce the sort of cricket Ingleby-Mackenzie played by instinct. In 1961, the follow-on was abolished in county cricket. Ingleby applied his racing man's mind to the dynamics of that change, and how it affected declarations. With fearsome batting - led by the brilliant Roy Marshall - and an attack spearheaded by Butch White and Derek Shackleton, he had the side to back him up. Hampshire won a succession of breathless and improbable victories to stay in contention, including one over Essex at Cowes when Ingleby (who was keeping wicket in that match) marched in at 35 for four and hit a sensational century - "the innings of his life", said Arlott. That win came after Trevor Bailey declared twice, not Ingleby. That was part of the magic: "He could charm even the enemy," said the regular wicketkeeper Leo Harrison. In July he broke his thumb (for Goodwood, this time) and the team again got nervy. But he came back, with renewed vigour, and Hampshire won five successive matches. They sealed their first title on a glorious afternoon at Bournemouth against Derbyshire after another exquisitely timed declaration. From the balcony, Ingleby praised his players and said he was "the luckiest captain of all time". In The Times John Woodcock thought differently: "His has been a triumph, not of tactics, nor of theory, nor even of leadership, but of personality. Ingleby-Mackenzie has a zest for cricket which he can communicate to others."

    The aura round this triumph still glows, and the legend grows. What exactly was Hampshire's famous training regime? There have been various versions of the story but, at the memorial service (venue: St Paul's; attendance: 1,600), Mark Nicholas traced it back to an interview with a po-faced reporter from BBC Sportsview, with Ingleby in full mickey-taking mode. "To what do you attribute your success?" "Oh, wine, women and song, I should say, though in truth there wasn't so much singing." "But don't you have certain rules, discipline, helpful hints for younger viewers?" "Well, everyone in bed by breakfast, I suppose." "Yes, thank you, now might we take a look in the dressing-room?" "Certainly, as long as you don't mind me wandering around in the nude."

    It was on one of E. W. Swanton's tours to the Caribbean that Jim is supposed to have suggested the players all went to bed by 11 and drawn the reply from Ingleby: "Well, that's pretty silly. The game starts at half past." It certainly wasn't all legend. The 61-minute hundred evidently came after a day at Ascot and a mad all-nighter. Contemporaries swear the captain really did turn up at games in his dinner jacket. And he did tell his players, as one of them, Mike Barnard, remembers: "Try to win in two days. If you can't, lose in two days so we can have a day off." But opponents did well not to underestimate the underlying seriousness. "On the field he had a grasp of everything," said Butch White. "Yes, we used to enjoy our social life. And we may have had the odd late night. But he was a tremendous man, and none of us ever let him down."

    Hampshire faded after 1961: the fielding declined, and the next four seasons comprised a long anticlimax. Ingleby gave up cricket, aged 31, and went into insurance (rather a waste - having sold dodgy declarations to Trevor Bailey, he could surely have sold the Saudis some sand). When he retired from business, he enlivened the Country Gentlemen's Association by becoming its chairman, and MCC, by taking on the presidency from 1996 to 1998. He set out to achieve the long-resisted admission of women, failing narrowly to get the required two-thirds majority the first time; the walls finally tumbled two days before he handed over to his successor, Tony Lewis. But Ingleby couldn't help being Ingleby: when Lewis presented the membership cards to the first ten women, who had all been waiting a long time, his predecessor whispered: "Perhaps we should have inspected the merchandise first."

    Really, there was not a shred of malice in him. He would walk into a room carrying both his champagne glass and, so it seemed, a tub of stardust, which he would sprinkle on everyone present, making them feel a foot taller. "Have you met so-and-so, you know, the maestro?" he would say, bringing two strangers together. "Marvellous job he's doing, isn't he? What magic! Fantastic man!" Not a patch on McCrackers, though, any of us. "One in a million," said Mike Barnard. "No. Probably one in five million."

    JAYASINHA, DOUGLAS DIAS, died on April 28, 2006, aged 90. A left-hand batsman from Galle - and a handy bowler and slip fielder - he was one of the first from the south of the island to represent All-Ceylon, against New Zealand in 1937 and India in 1945. He was a national selector from 1961 to 1973, the last ten years as chairman.

    JONES, ARCHIBALD TREVOR MAXWELL, died in May 2005, aged 85. Trevor Jones was the youngest player to score a century for Somerset, making 106 to stave off defeat at Leicester in 1938. He was just 104 days past his 18th birthday, and shared a ninth-wicket partnership of 146 with Wally Luckes to force the draw: at the start of the day Somerset were 130 for seven, still 38 behind, and most of Jones's team-mates had packed their bags for the journey home. "He never made a mistake," said The Times, "scoring freely all round the wicket." Jones played sporadically afterwards, and his overall record was very poor - even with the century he averaged just 11.40. He was a superb bridge player.

    © John Wisden & Co
  •