Guy Longfield Willatt
May 07, 1918, The Park, Nottingham, England
June 11, 2003, Derby, England, (aged 85y 35d)
Left hand Bat
Guy Longfield Willatt was Derbyshire's `inspiring' captain between 1951-54. Willatt led the county to third place in his final year as captain - a feat they repeated when he was chairman of the cricket committee 37 years later and Kim Barnett was in charge of the side.
Born in Nottingham in 1918, Willatt was schooled at Repton and studied at Cambridge University either side of serving in the Royal Artillery during the Second World War. He earned a blue in 1946 and captained Cambridge the following summer, also playing for the Gentleman against the Players at Lord's.
Willatt taught in Edinburgh before returning to Repton in 1950, the year he joined Derbyshire. His finger was broken on his debut at Edgbaston by Charlie Grove, delaying his promotion to the captaincy until the following summer.
One of his first acts as Derbyshire captain was to scrap separate dressing rooms for the players and amateurs, and quickly earned the respect of his team mates as he turned the club into a cohesive side finishing in the top six three out of four years. Derbyshire's fourth place in 1952 was their best finish since the war and Willatt bettered that a year later despite a string of poor luck with the weather.
Wisden Cricket Monthly, 2003
Batting & Fielding