November 03, 1902, Featherstone, Yorkshire
August 17, 1974, Rochdale, Lancashire, (aged 71y 287d)
Also Known As
Right hand bat
Slow left arm orthodox
Arthur Booth, born Featherstone, November 3, 1902, died in hospital at Roch- dale, August 17, 1974. He had lived for many years at Littleborough on the Yorkshire-Lancashire border beyond Halifax and had shared a cricket interest between the two counties as a professional in the leagues and later as a coach at the Yorkshire nets and a committee man with Lancashire. A left-arm slow bowler of considerable ability, he vied with Hedley Verity and Horace Fisher for a place in the Yorkshire side when the great Wilfred Rhodes finished in 1930. He missed out and not until 1946, at 43, when first-class cricket started again after the war, did he realise his life-time ambition to be Yorkshire's unchallenged No. 1 spinner.
Skipper Brian Sellers, much to the bowler's annoyance, christened him `Grandad', but Grandad with a bag of 111 wickets for an average of 11.61 each bowled Yorkshire to their 22nd Championship. His best returns were 6 for 21 against Warwickshire and 6 for 33 against India, and he finished top of the first- class averages, proving that experience meant as much as youth to a spin bowler.
He was no sort of batsman, but against Middlesex at Sheffield he made 29 runs in a ninth-wicket partnership with his captain (85 not out) which put on 61 runs and transformed the game. The next day, Sunday, the Middlesex captain, R. W. V. Robins, was being entertained at the Lindrick Golf Club and was asked to have a drink.
`Thanks,' said RWV, `gin and tonic, please.'
`Booth's?' said the barman.
`That name again,' said Robins. `I had so much of that yesterday, give me a straight tonic-I need that.'
Unfortunately, when Yorkshire went to Glamorgan for the first game of the 1947
season Booth went down with rheumatic fever and did not play for Yorkshire again.
Bill Bowes, The Cricketer, October 1974
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