Posted by: tootingtrumpet | July 20, 2015

Wisden – The Lost Obituaries

Ivor Gordons arrives at Lord's to cover the 1967 Test vs India

Ivor Gordons arrives at Lord’s to cover the 1967 Test vs India

CANE, Brian Derek Simon Michael. Played in three successive Eton vs Harrow matches in which he neither batted nor bowled but did drop MJK Smyth at slip during his celebrated 1937 innings of 276 in three hours. A long time stalwart of club cricket in Rutland and staunch Conservative, he was awarded the OBE for services to tea-rotaing in 1982. He spent 30 years as the Headmaster of a minor public school in which his introduction of a more humanitarian approach to corporal punishment, limiting lashes to single figures once bleeding became apparent, was resisted by parents for many years.

GORDONS, Ivor. Cricket correspondent of the Daily Worker from 1967 until 1986, he became a legend of the Press Box at home and overseas without ever filing a match report, since his newspaper believed the sport bourgeois but had agreed a “no redundancies” policy with the NUJ. Gordons’ exploits were notorious and all meant in good fun, though Raymond Illingworth and Graham Gooch may disagree. (It should be noted that Gordons paid for the dry-cleaning and made a small donation to the Hotel Workers Benevolent Fund in both cases).

NOTCHER, Norman. His service as scorer for Much Belching IIs is believed to be a record, after he kept the book every weekend from 1947 until 2013, a unbroken sequence of 1674 matches. Though some claim that he missed a no ball in 1976 when distracted by a microlight aircraft crash landing in the next field, nothing was ever proved, as the Court of Appeal eventually ruled. His wish to be buried under the scorebox was granted after a two year delay due to a faulty planning application.

NTIFADA, Riseup. Played for the “Blacks” in South Africa’s Annual Non Whites Quadrangular Tournament in matches homeland and away against the “Very Blacks”, the “Probably Subcontinentals” and the “Hard To Know, But Definitely Not Us” in matches subsequently awarded first class status. His fast bowling was feared throughout Soweto and his politics was feared throughout Johannesburg. Once dismissed Barry Richards, Clive Rice and Mike Procter in a devastating opening spell, before being arrested at lunch by the South African police and charged with breathing in a restricted area.

SASSOONER-ORLATER, Reginald MC. A useful schoolboy cricketer at Winchester, he was controversially sent home from the front having displayed all the signs of shell-shock after a particularly aggressive sledging in the notorious 1915 “Tommies vs ANZACs” match played at Gallipoli during a break in the action. Sir Winston Churchill recommended him for the Military Cross which many believe diminished the medal. Sasooner-Orlater published a short volume of war poetry in 1920 which was reputed to have sold no copies at all.

SPEKSAVA, Deepak Ravi Singh. Umpired the first two Tests of England’s 1957 tour to India after impressing in the only other first class match in which he stood, Mysore Is vs Mugabata. Has a claim to instituting the referral to the third umpire when he left to field to clarify his understanding of the laws having initially ruled a catch fair when taken one-handed on the bounce at first slip. He later forged a successful career in being the son of a man who forged a successful career.




  1. Truly outstanding, Gary. Especially ‘Ntifada’.

    • Cheers – that one is very close to quite a few actual obits of course!

  2. Poe’s law

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