Tom Spencer      

Full name Thomas William Spencer

Born March 22, 1914, Deptford, London

Died November 1, 1995, Seaton Delaval, Northumberland (aged 81 years 224 days)

Major teams Kent

Batting style Right-hand bat

Bowling style Right-arm medium

Other Umpire, Coach

Thomas William Spencer
Batting and fielding averages
Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 Ct St
First-class 76 120 13 2152 96 20.11 0 12 36 0
Bowling averages
Mat Balls Runs Wkts BBI Ave Econ SR 5w 10
First-class 76 30 19 1 1/19 19.00 3.80 30.0 0 0
Career statistics
First-class span 1935 - 1946
Umpiring statistics
Test debut England v Pakistan at Nottingham, Jul 1-5, 1954 scorecard
Last Test England v New Zealand at Nottingham, Aug 10-14, 1978 scorecard
Test matches 17
Test statistics
ODI debut England v Australia at Lord's, Aug 26, 1972 scorecard
Last ODI Australia v West Indies at Lord's, Jun 21, 1975 scorecard
ODI matches 6
ODI statistics

Wisden Obituary
Spencer, Thomas William, OBE, died in Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, on November 2, 1995, aged 81. His death was not widely noticed in cricket circles at the time, although his first-class career as player and umpire had covered 36 seasons and he stood in 17 Tests. Tommy Spencer made his debut for Kent at 21 but the potential shown in his Second Eleven run-making was never quite fulfilled. In 75 first-class games between 1935 and 1946, interrupted by war service in the RAF, he made 2,152 runs at 20.11, with a highest score of 96 against Sussex at Tunbridge Wells in his last season before going off to coach at Wrekin College. Strong to leg and a fine cutter, Spencer was an attractive attacking batsman, while his fielding in the deep marked him as a natural sportsman. In winter he played football for Fulham, Lincoln City and Walsall; he claimed to have played four sports professionally - the others being table tennis and boxing. He held 36 catches and in 1937 had Joe Hardstaff caught for 146 off a full-toss, his only first-class wicket. At Frank Chester's suggestion Spencer went on the umpires' list in 1950. Four years later he was standing in the Second Test against Pakistan at Trent Bridge when Denis Compton made his highest Test score and Bob Appleyard took his first four wickets for England at a cost of six runs. But 15 years would pass before his second Test. "I was a bit disgusted," he told the Northern Echo many years later, "but determined to plod on and become a bloody good county umpire." Spencer had a gummy smile and although literally toothless, he stood no nonsense in the middle. "He was an umpire one would always trust," said the Warwickshire and England opener John Jameson. "His decisions were spot on." By 1975 this had been recognised and he stood in the first World Cup final at Lord's. It was his no-ball call that gave Australia a momentary reprieve as hordes of jubilant West Indian supporters poured on to the field, believing that Jeff Thomson had been caught by Roy Fredericks in the covers. With the ball lost in the mêlée after Fredericks's shy at the stumps went for overthrows, Spencer and Dickie Bird signalled dead ball once Lillee and Thomson had run three; otherwise they might have run all 21 needed for victory. He was at the business end again that summer when Lord's had its first streaker, during the Test against Australia. Patrick Eagar gave him his photograph of the event and in retirement, after 30 years on the first-class list, Spencer would show it at the Seaton Delaval working men's club from time to time to "give them a bit of a laugh". He attributed his longevity to not driving a car for his last 20 years as an umpire: he travelled to matches by train instead. It was much easier on the eyes, he claimed, and his unwavering concentration stood him in good stead. So did his honesty and integrity. David Constant, with whom Spencer stood in his last Test at Trent Bridge in 1978, recalled him frequently saying that umpires should "keep the game straight".
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack

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Jul 30, 1982

Mike Procter bowling as umpire Tom Spencer looks on, Gloucestershire v Northamptonshire, County Ground, Northampton, 21 June 1971

Mike Procter bowls

© The Cricketer International

Apr 17, 1977

Tom Spencer

Tom Spencer

© Getty Images

Sep 4, 1975

England umpire Tom Spencer

England umpire Tom Spencer

© PA Photos