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Full name Peter Carlton Oldfield
Born February 27, 1911, Headingley, Leeds, Yorkshire
Died July 16, 2002 (aged 91 years 139 days)
Major teams Oxford University
Batting style Right-hand bat
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
Oldfield, Peter Carlton, OBE, died on July 16, 2002, aged 91, having been the oldest surviving Oxford Blue. That distinction passed to Vivian Jenkins, who was unable to oust Oldfield as wicket-keeper in 1933 but was included for his batting and saved Oxford from defeat by Cambridge. Tall for a keeper at 6ft 2in, Peter Oldfield would have had three Varsity matches but for breaking a finger in his third game in 1931. Two smart stumpings off Tuppy Owen-Smith's demanding leg-breaks in the previous match, against the New Zealanders, had confirmed the brilliant reputation Oldfield acquired over three years in the Repton XI, the last as captain. His career batting average was only 9.87 from 237 runs in 24 games, with a best of 36 against Lancashire in 1932; he also made an unflustered, match-saving two not out which helped Bob Wyatt reach his century for MCC against the 1934 Australians. Behind the stumps it was a different story, one of genuine class and quicksilver hands to match his mind, and in first-class cricket he took 26 catches and made 33 stumpings. After Oxford he did his articles as a surveyor and became an estate agent. His war was the stuff of storybooks. Severely wounded and captured while serving with the SAS in the Western Desert in 1942, Major Oldfield was interrogated by Rommel himself. When he refused to talk, the Germans threatened to shoot him as a spy. A sympathetic doctor smuggled him to Tripoli, from where he was transferred to Italy. In Milan he helped pull 15 fellow prisoners of war from the rubble when the Allies bombed their hospital; after being moved to another hospital in Bergamo, he walked out of a back door and, in spite of his unhealed wounds, escaped to neutral Switzerland.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
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