July 06, 1917, Worcester
August 13, 1974, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, (aged 57y 38d)
Right hand bat
Hugo Yarnold, who died on August 13 aged 57, served Worcestershire with great loyalty as a wicket-keeper from 1938 to 1955 and then helped the game as a whole from 1959 as an umpire. He was returning home from officiating in the Northamptonshire v. Essex match at Wellingborough when his car was in collision with an eight-wheel lorry in Leamington.
This little man with a big heart took his chance when an accident brought the premature retirement of Syd Buller, with whom in later years he was to stand in the white coat. Once in the Worcestershire side he became a permanent fixture, helping in the dismissal of 695 batsmen, 462 of them caught, 233 stumped. He also scored 3,741 runs, average 10.45.
In his best seasons, 1949, 1950 and 1951, Yarnold had a hand in 110, 94 and 95 wickets respectively, and during the last of those three years he entered the record books with six stumpings in an innings, as well as one catch, playing against Scotland at Broughty Ferry. His high percentage of stumpings--as big as 47 against 63 catches in 1949--was attributable to his uncanny understanding with Roly Jenkins, whose leg breaks delivered from a crab-like action were not easy to take.
Yarnold's character shone through in his last four years as a player when he overcame the handicap of the removal of both knee caps. His steadfastness helped again as an umpire, winning him recognition in three Tests, one against Pakistan in 1967 and two against Australia the following year.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
The Cricketer obituary
A tribute by Reg Perks to his former colleague, who died in a motor accident at Leamington on August 13. Hugo Yarnold kept wicket for Worcestershire between 1938 and 1955, dismissing 695 batsmen and scoring 3741 runs. In 1949 he made 110 dismissals, with the high proportion of 47 stumpings. He set a world record in 1951 by stumping six (also catching one) in Scotland's second innings. He was 57 and had umpired in three Test matches.
"I first met Hugo in 1938 when he joined the staff at New Road, Worcester. My first impression: Is this a wicketkeeper . . . or a jockey? It wasn't long before I found out. The little man with the rosy face and wide smile could - with his build-easily have been hewing coal in the pits of Wales or South Yorkshire. He could perhaps, given the love of equestrian sports, have ridden a Derby or Grand National winner.
"His determination to succeed could doubtless have led him in a number of directions, and it was this determination that first struck me when I saw him in the nets. The pads, not to mention the gloves, looked larger than normal on this diminutive teenager. At that stage Hugo was understudy to the first-team wicketkeeper, Syd Buller. After the war an accident forced Syd's early retirement, and Hugo stepped in to make a long and distinguished contribution to the Worcestershire effort. A wealth of England wicketkeepers during his career - foremost of them Godfrey Evans - gave Hugo no chance of international honours, but this in no way detracted from a thorough and able job well done.
"Off the field, Hugo's well-developed sense of humour was a constant pleasure to the rest of the team, and when he finally put those big gloves away, Hugo had yet another contribution to make to the game. As a seasoned professional, his knowledge of the game and its personalities made him one of the most
respected and sought-after umpires of the day. The loss to Worcestershire and to cricket of both Syd Buller and the man who followed in his footsteps, both behind the wicket and `in the white coat', is doubly and deeply regretted.
The Cricketer, October 1974
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