Essex County Cricket Club was founded in 1876, and soon after was first tiered in 1894, four years after the official county tournament began.
The first book of any material on the history of the Essex Club was Charles Bray’s contribution to Convoy’s Histories of the County series published in the early 1950s, but the first substantial volume appeared in 1987, Essex County Cricket Club: The Official History. More than 30 years since the second edition will not fail, although unfortunately none of the participants in the beginning remain with us. The main writers were prolific David Lemon, retired shipping company manager and lifelong Essex fan Mike Marshall. They were aided by Leslie Newnham who privately published a less ambitious but meticulously researched pamphlet a decade ago.
Perhaps surprisingly enough, as many as three of the men who appeared with Essex in their first-class match are the subject of biographies. The first was the legendary batsman, Charles Courtwright, not to be forgotten. He was a true amateur whose finances were so great that he never needed to work for Cortright was his subject. Courts, a book by Charles Salle and published in 1986.
Three years after Korty cheerful charlie Featured by Jan Kemp. Charlie McGee was another amateur in all respects, although the beating was a somewhat stronger suit than his leg rotation. Unlike Courtwright, McGay was crowned twice by England, in Australia in 1901/02.
The Essex captain in that first game was former Sarri and five-time England AP ‘Bunny’ Lucas player. Already 37 by the time Essex attained first division status, Lucas left the sometimes impressive slow bowling game behind, but he was still a useful hitter, and because he played more than twice as many matches for Essex as he did for Surrey, he is rightly mentioned here. His autobiography, written by David Prause, appeared in ACS Live in cricket series in 2010.
Johnny Douglas was still a teenager when he made his debut in Essex in 1901 alongside Courtright, McGee and Lucas. He later led the county for 17 years as well as England in most of his 23 Tests. Somewhat surprisingly, in 1983 the story of his life, Johnny won’t hit todayNarrated by David Lemon.
Between 1902 and 1904, EHD Sewell played an Essex amateur without really establishing himself. Sewell became a prolific writer on the game and two of his books were primarily autobiographical. they were The sports record And the God is outdoors, was published in 1923 and 1946, respectively.
Only two Essex players wrote autobiographies between the wars. Tours and Tests It was the title chosen by headmaster and fearsome fast bowler Kenneth Farnes. Killed while on active duty as a RAF pilot in World War II, Farnes was also the subject of an autobiography by David Thurlow, Ken Farnes – Diary of Mr. Essex which appeared in the year 2000.
For several years the man who had to keep the bouquet for Farnese was Roy Sheffield. In 1932/33, while conducting the most controversial cricket tour of them all, Sheffield made a trip to South America on the other side of the world. While there, he took a break from his job as a gocho in Argentina to make his way by canoe to Paraguay where, during a war with neighboring Bolivia, he found himself arrested by local authorities. Written in 1935 Bolivia a spy? It is an account of that episode and not really a cricket book at all. But it is a biography of a professional cricketer and therefore it deserves its spot here.
At this point, as I go through things in chronological order, I’ll mention Norman Burrett, who played one game for Essex in each summer of 1937, 1938 and 1946. sports master Written by Richard Sayer. His major sporting achievements were as an England hockey player and a British squash player. He also played cricket for a number of years with Devon in the Minor County Championship. The book was published privately in 2010.
In the immediate post-war years Trevor Bailey was Essex’s most famous player. For those who would like to know more about Billy, they have a choice in his bio, Wickets, Catches and Odd Run, published in 1986, or an autobiography, Trevor Bailey – A life in cricket From the namesake and former teammate Jack Bailey, or Brave cricketer From Alan Hill, published in 1993 and 2012, respectively.
Another man who was a fixture on Essex after World War II was T.C. Dickie Dodds. Dodds, the startling intro batsman and a member of Ethical Rearmament, wrote in 1976 Hit it hard and enjoy itAn excellent read, too.
Doug Insol was an amateur hitter who was crowned nine times by England and his career coincided with Billy Woods. CV , Cricket from the East, was published in 1960.
In the early 1960s, three young men began their careers in Essex, namely Robin Hobbs, batsman Keith Fletcher, and two years later, Ray East. Hobbes was, for years, the last English wrist spinner the subject of a remarkable autobiography, Hopsy, in 2018. Fletcher was set to lead the Essex to their first title and had a long career in Test and later became England team manager. autobiographical books, Captain runs In 1983 and From ashes to ashes In 2004. East, a famous comedian, was published Funny Turn: Confessions of a Cricket Clown in 1983. Some of us would have preferred a more serious cricket narrative, but East’s book is not without merits.
Two key parts of Fletcher’s side were South African batsman Ken McEwan, who was denied any international career by his self-isolating country, and left arm tailor John Lever. Posted by David Lemon Ken McEwan In 1985, Lever’s autobiography, JK Lever: Cricket cricket player It appeared four years later.
Few would seriously argue with the claim that Essex’s most successful cricketer to date is Graham Gotsch, and not only has he scored more kicks than anyone else, but has inspired more books as well. There were diaries (1981) and three touring books as well as the end of a career my CV in 1995. A lot of others have taken up the topic of Gooch, but Ivo Tennant and David Goodyear Phil Stevens between them. His hundred horns are also a theme For Essex and England, A handsome limited edition book by Gooch and publisher Michael Down.
The man whose career coincided at the top with Gooch’s was Derek Pringle, who after many years as a journalist dealt with the world in his 2018 autobiography, and push limits It is a very entertaining read.
One of Goch’s successors at the helm of the English national team was Nasser Hussein, and his biography, playing with fire, released in 2004, and at just under 500 pages long, is one of the most read in the English game.
Rather lighter in size and content is an Iranian rune no limits. The man who took charge from Hussain as Essex captain was forced out of the match due to injury in 2007 and two years later, by the time the TalkSPORT presenter introduced the chatty bio. I guess on thought I might be a little harsh on the book in this review, but it was a missed opportunity nonetheless.
And finally in our biography section is, of course, the last Essex man to lead England and the country’s top scorer, Aleister Cook. Cook wrote two autobiographies. in 2008 The Beginning: My Story So Far Benefiting from his early success, and after his international retirement my CV Featured in 2019, along with Aleister Cook’s story by Olly Brett.
Regarding other books about Essex cricket, the first to mention is, again, by David Lemon. summer of success Published in 1980 and relating to the events of last summer when he had never won any titles, Essex not only lifted the Benson & Hedges Cup at Lords, but ended the summer with the championship to go along with it. Thirty years later, Ian Oxboro and Rob Pritchard revisited 1979 again and a second book appeared, Fletcher Ace and Jokers.
I couldn’t find a book on Essex in the Tempus 100 Greats series, but I did find one book of the collected biographies, Famous cricketers in Essex by Dean Hayes, published by Spellmount in 1991. There is also a largely illustrated book, published by Sutton Publishing in association with the club in 2002, Essex County CricketWritten by William Powell.
Also noteworthy is the 2000 edition The Rise and Fall of Percy Perrin, a book to which I referred in connection with Derbyshire, Essex’s opponents in the remarkable 1904 inter-county match the book describes.
A final book on Essex cricket, and with this book there is definitely an element that left the best to the end, came out in 2018 and was written by Paul Hiscock and Tony MacDonald. I checked it HereAnd, after I brought out the book to look at it while making this post, I think maybe four stars meant a bit. It really is a very special effort.
And my choice for the future? A pair of biographies of what he believes. The first would be for Barry Knight whose story is great and, quite likely, already written, but if it were so and done correctly, it would undoubtedly have been the fault of readers defaming her proposed publisher, so it is unlikely that you will see the light of day during Knight’s lifetime. . The second would be a biography of Doug Insole, if I thought it could shed more light on the machinations of the D’Oliveira affair, but with Insole’s death in 2017 that seems unlikely, so my second choice would be a biography of Keith Boyce, the multi-level fast bowler in the The underappreciated West Indies, which, for a decade from 1967, were an integral part of the Essex side.