Bob Appleyard . . . . Finds the end of Memory Lane

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Bob Appleyard . . . . Finds the end of Memory Lane

Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 17 Mar 2015, 1:35 pm

All of us start to follow sports at a certain time; my first memories are of Drobny vs Rosewall at Wimbledon, the WBA vs PNE Cup Final and, a tad later, the 1954/55 England Tour of Australia.
All the players were important to an impressionable young lad, especially when England won the Ashes. Hutton, Compton, Tyson and Statham all left indelible impressions but so did Bob Appleyard, the Yorkshire spinner.
Appleyard died, today I think, leaving only a handful of survivors from that series, Graveney, Morris and Harvey are still at their wickets, Benaud waxes lyrical and Tyson still wants the ball.

But Appleyard's story is incredible, some salient bullet points for those not given to too much research:
~Mother left home when Bob's sister died of diptheria.
~Was left with father and step-mother - came home as 15-y-o to find his father had gassed himself and his wife, plus Bob's two young sisters.
~Was then looked after by step-parents.
~As a young cricketer was sick for a year with tuberculosis - Lost half of a lung and had to learn to walk again.
~His son, and later his grandson, both died of leukaemia.
~Played for Yorks in 1951 and was one of five Wisden COTY's.
~Sick in 1952 & 1953 but returned with a vengeance in 1954, second in the bowling averages and off to Australia.
~Cricket stuff easy to research, but bear in mind that Wartime and illness kept him from the Fist Class game until his late twenties:
~Successful businessman, some of the time with Robert Maxwell's BPC - took him to court and won. (Maxwell later to be mysteriously drowned while his yacht drifted off the Canaries.)
~Awarded an honorary Doctorate from Bradford University, was a noted philanthropist for cricket in Yorkshire, and was a long-time President of Yorkshire CCC.
~Last surviving member of the 200-wickets-in-a-season club. Dead at 90.

Sounds like a "Boys Own" story but a real-life series of triumphs over adversity/ies.


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Re: Bob Appleyard . . . . Finds the end of Memory Lane

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 17 Mar 2015, 1:58 pm


Thank you very much for that article.

Bob Appleyard was a remarkable man who overcame so much with good grace. A lesson there for some of us and certain of today's sporting stars.


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Re: Bob Appleyard . . . . Finds the end of Memory Lane

Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Tue 17 Mar 2015, 11:14 pm

I would very much support the tributes from Kwini and Guildford.  I have some recollection of championing Appleyard on the HoF thread if we were to grant entry on the basis of outstanding character in overcoming adversity. He had a truly remarkable life story.  I would have loved to have seen him make a century!


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