Full name John William Hearne
Born February 11, 1891, York Villas, Waterloo Road, Uxbridge, Middlesex
Died September 14, 1965, West Drayton, Middlesex (aged 74 years 215 days)
Major teams England, Middlesex
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak googly
|Test debut||Australia v England at Sydney, Dec 15-21, 1911 scorecard|
|Last Test||England v Australia at Nottingham, Jun 12-15, 1926 scorecard|
|First-class span||1909 - 1936|
Although he had been, as all his friends knew, in poor health for a number of years, the death of J. W. Hearne on September 14 in his 75th year will have came as a great
shock to all who had known him as a man, a cricketer and a personal friend,
and above all to those who played both with and against him during his distinguished career for England and Middlesex. Born on the 11th February 1891, he made his first appearance in eight matches for Middlesex in 1909-in which year he showed promise for the future with an innings of 71 against Somerset. In the following season he
scored 725 runs and took 49 wickets, foreshowing his great future as an allrounder.
Incidentally in the match against Surrey at the Oval in that year, when I was first invited to play for the County, J. W. and I each missed "Razor" Smith while he made six runs, with the result that we lost the match by two wickets ! 1 may say that both catches were " sitters ". In the seasons of 1913, 1914 and 1920 J. W. scored over 2,000 runs and took over 100 wickets and it is worthy of mention that in 1923 he was one of the first four batsmen against Hampshire at Southampton to score a century each, which is extremely rare in the annals of the game. Alas, he never enjoyed robust health, and his bones being very brittle, he was very prone to injury: otherwise his record would have been infinitely greater.There has rarely been a more charming and modest man and cricketer, always helpful and encouraging to others. As a batsman he was never sensational, but his artistry was supreme and will never be forgotten by those who were fortunate enough to see it. He was a lovable character, a true friend and all who knew J. W. will feel his death deeply and cherish his memory.
G E V Crutchley, The Cricketer
"Young Jack" Hearne (so-called to distinguish him from his Middlesex team-mate and distant cousin JW Hearne) was a fine all-rounder who, part from the interruption to his career caused by World War One, would certainly have reached a hundred hundreds. He was also an excellent leg break and googly bowler who took over 1,800 first-class wickets at an average of under 25. He batted very correctly, invariably straight, and was a master at placing the ball into gaps. A strong driver and hard hitter in his youth despite a comparatively frail physique, he moderated his approach as he grew older, but scored runs consistently, often in partnership with his friend Patsy Hendren. Altham said of Hearne "he very clearly displayed the hallmark of class - the ability to play every stroke with perfect balance and in slow time". He cut well, could force the ball through the covers off the back-foot, and was superb on the on-side. At times he relied more on his defensive prowess, and was quite happy to wait for his runs when the conditions demanded it. He bowled his well-controlled leg-breaks and googlies from no more than a couple of paces with a quick action that allowed him to bowl at close to medium pace. He was less effective after the War, when on occasion control would desert him, but when in form he was a very fine bowler indeed. An excellent fielder who never flinched from the hard-hit ball - in 1928 he caught and bowled Constantine, injuring his hand so severely in the process he missed the rest of the season.
He joined the Lord's ground staff at 15, and at the age of 18 made his
first-class debut, scoring 71. In 1910 he made two centuries, and against
Essex at Lord's took seven wickets for 2 runs in five overs. In 1911 he did
the "double", and was picked to tour Australia. He did little with the ball
on Australian wickets - although with Barnes and Foster, England had more
than enough bowling - but made an immediate impact with the bat. Hearne made
76 and 43 in his first Test, and a match-winning 114 in his second.
Unfortunately this was the peak of his Test career - he played 19 more times
for England but only passed fifty once more. He failed in the 1912 series,
but toured South Africa in 1913-14. After the war, he regained his place in
the England team and toured Australia in 1920-21 (where he was struck by
illness during the Second Test). He toured again in 1923-24, but did not
distinguish himself with either bat or ball. His Test average was fourteen
runs below his first-class average. As a Middlesex player though, he went
from strength to strength, with 11 scores over 200, completing the double in
1920 and 1923 (he had performed the feat three times before the War), and
played until 1936 - a quarter-century of cricket, for a man who had always
struggled with his health. Always immaculately attired, Jack was popular
with fellow players and the crowd alike, and was known for his quiet manner
and subtle sense of humour. After retirement he coached at
Lord's for many years, and in 1949 he was awarded life-membership of the
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1912
Also: the fastest Indian to 50 wickets, and Yasir Shah's unwanted "double-hundred"