Edward Ibson Lester
February 18, 1923, Scarborough, Yorkshire
March 23, 2015, Scarborough, Yorkshire, (aged 92y 33d)
Right hand Bat
Right arm Offbreak
A forceful and entertaining right-hand batsman, Ted Lester's career with Yorkshire lasted for a decade immediately after the war. He made his debut as an amateur at his home ground of North Marine Road - Herbert Sutcliffe's last match - and in 1947 he finished third in the national averages with 657 runs in 11 innings, including three hundreds. He turned professional in 1948 and was a model of consistency, passing 1000 runs in seven of the next eight seasons. In the golden summer of 1947, he finished third in the national averages to the great Middlesex and England pair, Denis Compton and Bill Edrich, who each scored over 3,000 first class runs: he turned out in only 11 first team matches that season but still averaged 73 which was exactly the same as he did in the second team.
His best year came in 1949 (when Yorkshire were joint champions) when he made 1801 runs. He often joked that he never received the attention he deserved in Yorkshire because JM Kilburn, the erudite correspondent of the Yorkshire Post, often enjoyed a post-prandial nap at the time he was at the crease. His form fell away sharply in 1955 when he mustered only 410 runs in 16 matches before being dropped, and he made only one outing in1956, against Scotland. He continued to play regularly for the 2nd XI. In 1964 he made one last appearance when illness meant he was drafted into Yorkshire's side for a Gillette Cup tie at Lord's. Lester made 0 and Yorkshire lost.
Lester went on to become the county's scorer, during which time he also became a much respected companion of what was then a large Yorkshire media contingent. His role also extended to that of a trusted and straightforward advisor for Yorkshire captains during the difficult years of the 1970s and 1980s, David Bairstow chief among those who prized him. Overshadowed by many Yorkshire greats as a player, it was a task he quietly valued. He continued as scorer until 1992 before after nearly half-a-century's loyal service to the cause, he began a long and vibrant retirement striding the coastline around his beloved Scarborough where he lived for all his 92 years.
Batting & Fielding