Posted by: tootingtrumpet | September 24, 2012

Harry Pilling 23 February 1943 – 22 September 2012

Harry Pilling (invariably Little Harry Pilling) was a constant presence in Lancashire’s triple Gillette Cup winning side of the 70s – what might be called the golden era of one day county cricket. 

In the first of that glorious hat-trick of victories (1970), Pilling was an unlikely Man of the Match for his 70 not out, batting through from 33-1 to 185-4 with the clear head and calmness under pressure that was his finest attribute. A year later, he was in the middle again, as Jackie Bond effected his iconic catch to dismiss Asif Iqbal, who had been winning the game for Kent off his own bat. In 1972, it was the man with whom he always appears in the mind’s eye, Clive Lloyd, who guided Lancashire to victory with a century at Lord’s, the genius of which he was to repeat in the World Cup Final that still lay three years in the future. The magic was fading from “The One Day Kings” by 1974, as Lancashire went down to Kent in a match in which 240 runs were scored in 107 overs – things were different then. Harry played in one more Gillette Cup Final, losing in 1976 and, of course, played lots of first class cricket racking up over 15000 runs at 32 at a time when a record like that was perfectly acceptable for a county pro in at Three.   

But the figures don’t capture the man. Little Harry Pilling was a Lancastrian in a cosmopolitan team that still managed to be Lancastrian from top to bottom. Just 5ft 3in and slight, he, like Barry Wood, Jack Simmons, David Hughes and skipper Jackie Bond himself, would never set a game alight individually, but squeezed the absolute maximum from their ability, played for each other from first ball to last and wallowed in the love of a crowd who recognised their own, out in the middle, doing it for the Red Rose.

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Responses

  1. RIP Harry. Top man.

  2. he was a sound technician and appreciated as such by Jim Laker and Richie Benaud…Many less gifted players were picked for England during his career. the average looks low but this was an age where they played on uncovered wicketrs, when a sudden rain shower would leave Derek Underwood with an analysis of 9-23

  3. Vote for your Favourite PLayer

    http://5ratings.com/favourite-player/

  4. love the way you write I am just getting into the blogosphere and would love it you could read a post of mine too.. http://imeabhi.blogspot.com/#!/2012/10/cricket-scoop-cover-drive-observations.html


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