John Errol Manners
September 25, 1914, Exeter, Devon
March 07, 2020 (aged 105y 164d)
Right hand Bat
Manners, a skilled batsman and competent seam bowler who is the only man alive to have played first-class cricket before the war, became the oldest living first-class cricketer in history when he overtook Derbyshire's Jim Hutchinson, who died in 2000 at the age of 103 years and 344 days.
The right-hander was an amateur after following a family tradition of education at Dartmouth and a career in the Royal Navy, but joined the Hampshire side in August 1936, approaching his 22nd birthday.
In May 1935 at Portsmouth, he scored 20 and took 4-43 for the United Services in a victory over a strong Hampshire Club & Ground side, but the game that clinched John's place in the Hampshire side was captaining the Royal Navy in a two-day match v the Army at Lord's in July 1936. He scored 23 & 47* and took the last wicket in a drawn game, his performance was watched by Colonel Heseltine, then Hampshire's President, and former player, who recommended John to his county.
Manners then made 81 on debut, just 19 runs away from being the only Hampshire player to score a century in their opening first-class appearance, and he continued to total 212 first-class runs in his first fortnight at the Club. However, there would be no more county cricket in the next three seasons as Naval duty called, after which the war intervened.
He remained in the Royal navy after the war ended and played regularly for their side and the Combined Services, including in May 1947, a two-day match at Portsmouth alongside his brother, against a Hampshire side, much changed from that of 11 years previously.
Despite the end of his county career, John would play a further 12 matches designated as first-class between August 1948 and June 1953. He continued to play in non-first-class matches for the Free Foresters, the Forty Club and MCC and in the mid-1960s, and even in 1979 at the age of 63, appeared for Wiltshire Queries in a series of matches v Dorset Rangers.
John Manners Career Stats
Batting & Fielding
Debut/Last Matches of John Manners