Saturday, September 03, 2016

Fred Titmus played for Middlesex with Mike Brearley's father

One for the cricket lovers here, but as I have a Fred Titmus label on this blog I may as well use it.

I recently came across the Independent's obituary of Titmus, the Middlesex and England spin bowler, from 2011.

It told the story of his Middlesex debut at the age of 17:
He had been due to sell scorecards at the Lord's Test, where five of the county's regulars were in the England XI. Instead, he became the youngest Middlesex cricketer ever, joining a makeshift side which included the 46-year-old former England captain Gubby Allen and, in his second and last appearance for the county, the schoolmaster Horace Brearley, whose son would also captain England. 
Titmus showed his steady temperament by scoring 13 in an eighth-wicket partnership of 34 with Allen, vital runs in a narrow victory that would lead to Middlesex sharing that summer's championship title with Yorkshire.
That's right: Fred Titmus played for Middlesex with Mike Brearley's father. And thanks to the marvels of Cricket Archive you can read the scorecard.

I am reminded of what used to be one of my favourite Cricket trivia questions: Who played for England with both Colin and Chris Cowdrey? Answers in the comments, please.

The obituary had a second Titmus and Brearley story from 33 years later:
One morning in late August 1982, nearing his 50th birthday, he came down to Lord's, popping his head into the home dressing room before start of play. "Fred, just the man," Brearley exclaimed. "We could do with a third spinner." 
Boots had to be found for him, just as whites had been 33 years earlier when he had made his debut alongside Brearley's father, and on the last afternoon, with time running out, he took three vital wickets. It was Brearley's last match at Lord's, and the victory led once more to the championship title.
You can find that scorecard on Cricket Archive too.


Jim Hartley said...

Pat Pocock with Colin in the windies 1968 his debut and his final test in India in 1985 after the recall Chris was in team. What a strange time that was.

Jonathan Calder said...

Well done!

David Gower in his first tour as England captain fought the selectors to have the beat spinners in England: Edmonds ("too awkward") and Pocock "(too old").

He won and we won the series.

MartinRDB said...

A nice piece of nostalgia.

Really odd that Fred Titmus only got 2 overs to bowl in the entire match. but in a low scoring match, perhaps only seamers were needed.

Jonathan Calder said...

The obituary says:

"At this stage Titmus was a batsman who also bowled, mainly seamers, but in the following years he turned himself into a first-rank off-spinner."

Hywel said...

Why don't umpires crouch down like that any more.

Pocock's recall my have been strange. But nothing compared to Cowdrey becoming captain in '88!