Oswald William Herman
September 18, 1907, Horsepath, Oxfordshire
June 24, 1987, Southampton, Hampshire, (aged 79y 279d)
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
Oswald William Herman (known as "Lofty"), who died in hospital in Southampton after a long illness on June 24, 1987, aged 79, was for years the mainstay of the Hampshire bowling. One of the many good cricketers whom Hampshire recruited from Oxfordshire (he was born at Horsepath), he played for them from 1929 to 1948, though that in fact meant for thirteen seasons: six he lost because of the war, and in 1939 he had succumbed to the lure of the Lancashire leagues and did not appear for the county. Luckily he returned in 1946 and was a great help when they were trying to rebuild the side. Very tall, with a high easy action which enabled him to bowl, as he often had to, for long periods, he was primarily a fast-medium in-swinger and, if sometimes he tended to bowl slightly short of a good length, it was because he could not, with so little support, afford to give runs away.
In all he took 1,045 wickets at 27 runs each and scored 4,336 runs with an average of 11.08. Five times he took more than 100 wickets in a season, his best year being 1937 when he took 142 wickets at 22.07. In that year he also met with considerable success as a bat, scoring 801 runs with an average of 19.53, and might almost have been classed as an all-rounder. Against Leicestershire at Basingstoke he made 91 not out and against the New Zealanders 55 out of 77. In 1936 he had made 41 in eighteen minutes against Glamorgan at Bournemouth. Oddly enough, his highest score for the county he made only a few weeks before retirement, 92 against Leicestershire at Leicester: the score was 65 for six when he came in and he and Bailey put on 99. He batted after the old-fashioned tradition of fast bowlers, now alas abandoned. He put his foot out to the ball and hit it as hard as he could. In his last three seasons he took to bowling off-spinners when the shine was off or the wicket taking spin, often with considerable success. After leaving Hampshire he did valuable work for a season or two for Wiltshire, and from 1963 to 1971 he was on the list of first-class umpires. C. J. Knott writes: 'He was a grand fellow, whom I enjoyed playing with."
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Batting & Fielding
Umpire & Referee
Debut/Last Matches - Player