Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Master - Sir Jack Hobbs (1882 - 1963)

On Saturday 21st December 2013, it will be the shortest day here in the Northern Hemisphere, 100 years since the first crossword puzzle was published in the New York World newspaper, the 50th anniversary of the first appearance of the Daleks on Doctor Who and also 50 years since the death of one of the greatest batsmen in world cricket - Sir Jack Hobbs.

John Berry “Jack” Hobbs was born in Cambridge on 16th December 1882 and became the leading run scorer and century maker in first class cricket, amassing 61,760 runs and reaching 3 figures on no less than 199 occasions (Wisden, the cricketer’s bible, dispute these figures however, claiming he achieved 61,237 runs with 197 hundreds) . Known to cricket players and fans alike as “the Master,” he played for Surrey between 1905 – 1934, with his England career stretching for 22 years between 1908 and 1930.

Hobbs (left) and Herbert Sutcliffe
A right-handed batsman and occasional right arm medium pace bowler, Hobbs excelled in the field, being a specialist fielder in the covers. In the 1920s he was the UK’s biggest cricketing star and, similarly to sporting stars of today, lent his name to commercial products. He had greater financial security than many of his contemporaries but continued to be concerned that his family kept the stability and security lacking from his own childhood.

He became the first professional cricketer ever to be knighted (in 1953), yet was very reluctant to accept the honour. He was eventually persuaded to take the honour when it was explained that he was taking it not only for himself, but for all professional cricketers.

Sir Jack passed away in 1963 only 9 months after his wife, who had been unwell for a number of years, died. His health began to fail soon after her death and they are buried in Hove cemetery where they both spent many of their later years.

So it's half a century since "the Master" left us. The great man should be turning in his grave after the gutless way the current England team recently relinquished the Ashes in Australia. If only there was anyone out there with half of his batting talent, we would at least have put up something of a fight!

RIP Sir Jack.

If you have enjoyed this posting, may I request that you click on one of the adverts featured on the page (they earn me the odd penny or two allegedly!).

No comments:

Post a Comment