February 19, 1921, East Molesey, Surrey
May 14, 1997, Huntingdon, (aged 76y 84d)
Right hand Bat
Bernie Constable was one of the unsung heroes of the great Surrey side of the 1950s. He played 434 matches for the county, starting in 1939 and finishing in 1964, and indeed got better as he aged. His best season came in 1961, when he was 40 and had had a kneecap removed: he scored 1,799 runs that year. As a batsman, he was technically correct and outstanding against spin, a vital skill given the pitches Surrey prepared in that era. He was a brilliant cover point, and a first-rate student of cricket's intricacies. He knew the game inside out and every first-class player inside out. said Micky Stewart. I learned more about cricket from Bernie Constable than from anyone else. He will be remembered best as an Oval character. Though his family were boat builders, by the Thames at East Molesey, he was regarded as the epitome of the cock-sparrer Cockney, an image he played up to with his confident strut round the field and his willingness to argue with anyone, including his captain, Stuart Surridge. On your toes, Bernie, Surridge once shouted when Constable slipped on a sodden outfield at Leicester. On me toes? he roared back. I'm on me knees. He would complain just as loudly if he disagreed with Surridge's field placings. What do you need three of them over there for? Give'em a fourth and they can play cards. The highlight of his career might have been the unbeaten 205 - in under five hours - he made against Somerset at The Oval in 1952. But it was probably the moment he ran two against Glamorgan, while Wilf Wooller was debating with the umpire about whether a disputed catch was fair or not.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Batting & Fielding