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England batsman Reg Simpson dies at 93

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Post by sirfredperry Thu Nov 28, 2013 8:01 am

Notts and England opener Reg Simpson has died aged 93. Older posters will recall his heroics when England finally won a post-war Test against Australia on Freddie Brown's 1950-51 tour.
More personally, Simpson played in a Surrey-Notts bank holiday match at The Oval in 1958 which just happened to be the first first-class match I saw. Nearly all from that match have now gone on to that great pavilion in the sky. Micky Stewart survives but many of the great names - May, Barrington, Lock, Laker, Bedser, Loader, McIntyre, Arthur Jepson - are no more
The obit I read on Simpson didn't mention whether he was England's oldest, hitherto, surviving Test player. I think he might have been. So who's the oldest now? Tom Graveney must be one of the oldest.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:12 pm

sirfred,
I suggested on the HOF thread that Doug Insole might be close to the oldest, 87 I believe. Good shout on Graveney though.
Never saw Simpson play, but he must also be about the last of the active duty guys who lost significant playing time during WWII - think he was an RAF fighter pilot.

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Post by guildfordbat Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:00 pm

Reg Simpson was effectively before my time but sounds like we could do with him in his prime in Australia now.

With a bit of internet stalking, I've discovered there are a few English Test cricketers who are older than Tom Graveney still living. Some of them only played the odd game and I have to confess I certainly didn't know all the names. Anyway, oldest of the lot is Don Smith, a Sussex all-rounder who played 5 Tests, aged 90. Also 90 but a couple of months younger is Fred Ridgway. Followed by 89 year old Bob Appleyard; I hope he is relatively comfortable now in old age - much of his life has been truly horrific with his near death in his twenties from TB almost a bright spot.

Next come Hubert Doggart (88), Doug Insole (87), John Dewes (87) and Donald Carr (86). That then takes us to 86 year old Tom Graveney.

Missing several more out, we finally get to 81 year old Micky Stewart whom Sir Fred saw play in his first first-class match. I had a chat with him at a Surrey seconds game at Guildford this summer. Pleased to report that he appeared in good health and humour as he closely followed procedings on the field.


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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:36 pm

That's pretty comprehensive guildford!

Just re-read a profile of Bob Appleyard and hadn't realised the extent of his apparent business acumen and the fact that he overcame the near tragedy of working for Maxwell by suing the barsteward and WINNING!


Was just going through the first Hampshire Team I ever saw and was astonished to find that Vic Cannings is still around, at the ripe old age of 94!
Leo Harrison (91), Jimmy Gray, Peter Sainsbury and Mike Barnard (he played in my first ever footie game as well!) still around also. Must be the Hampshire (and Dorset) air. (Didn't work for Mervyn Burden though.) Plus Malcolm Heath from that same squad also survives.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:54 am

Kgolfer and G'bat. Ta for all that research. Didn't realise that Graveney was, comparatively, young and reasonably down the pecking order.
  Sad to open papers and see obits of people who you first saw in the late 1950s. Today it's the turn of Nilton Santos, who was Brazil's full-back in the 54,58 and 62 World Cups.
   My first Test, as opposed to my initial first-class match, was E v P at The Oval in 1962. Probably not many survivors from that match - may be more on the Pakistan side such as Hanif and Mushtaq and Intikhab. That was Cowdrey's highest Test score (182) all made on the first day.
  Those Hampshire guys look like long livers. I was bought up on Essex cricket in the late 1950s - Bailey, Insole, Preston, Gordon Barker, Tonker Taylor, Barry Knight. Attractive side, as long as Bailey wasn't batting !

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:59 pm

Reading a little bit more (revising really!) on Leo Harrison, I see that he has the dubious distinction of having been the last player to have played County Cricket (in 1966 where a "victim" was Mickey Stewart!) who also played pre-WWII.

sirfred,
Barry Knight was one of those players who never received the Test recognition his performances merited, always seemed to be the first to hit the discard pile when selectors wanted to make a change. Probably more influential as a coach in Australia than the England selectors ever allowed him to be as a player, which always seemed a shame.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:19 pm

I remember Knight as a rather dashing player. He seemed more of the 70s than the late 50s early 60s. TMS regulars will recall the fun Johnners had when in 1968 (I think) Barry batted with Alan Knott so that the not out batsmen tonight were Knott and Knight. Knott was not out and Knight was not out, too, etc etc...

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Post by guildfordbat Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:52 pm

Kwini and Sir Fred,

I'm sure it's not deliberate but you gentlemen haven't half been confusing me! Wink 

I've finally worked out that Kwini's Mike BArnard who also played football was not the Mike BErnard I saw playing for Stoke in the late '60s / early '70s! The player I saw was no spring chicken but the dates still didn't make sense!!

As for Barry Knight - well, I'm sure I saw a very similar post a while back from the Corporal [the revered poster CorporalHumblebucket - currently understood to be on a secret mission behind enemy lines, hope it's going well] about the lack of his Test recognition. Now, I'm of a similar vintage as the Corporal but I have little memory of Knight. Particularly surprising as Sir Fred said Knight ''seemed more of the 70s'' - the decade I most closely followed cricket. Having looked a few details up, I'm relieved - at least as regards my memory - to find out that a bankrupt Knight packed up the game in this country at the age of just 31 and emigrated to Australia in 1969, the year of his last Test appearance. He actually made his Test debut as far back as 1961 but never seems to have been a fixture in the team.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:11 pm

Knight had to compete with the likes of Tom Cartwright, Fred Titmus and David Allen for an all rounder Test spot. Trueman and Statham were still going strong for the first part of the 60s and then we had the likes of Larter, the young Snow, Higgs and David Brown (sure there's a few more I've forgotten).
  Broadening this a bit on a gloomy wet November afternoon, I seem to recall a Test player with NZ has reached his 100 in terms of years. No doubt the experts can come up with each country's oldest surviving Test player.


Last edited by sirfredperry on Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:11 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:24 pm

guildford,
Re the thread on the footie board, Mike Bernard had his "hard man" moments, didn't he, possibly not as many as Mike Pejic from the same era. Nice team that, used to watch them frequently, them and the Sheff Utd outfit of the same generation.

Mike Barnard was an all-rounder, terrific fielder and a fairly skilful inside forward. Think he was seriously injured in some sort of bus crash when his first-class career was over, perhaps on tour of Germany playing British forces teams.

PS: I would feel that sirfred underestimates Barry Knight . . . . . . !

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Post by sirfredperry Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:32 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:guildford,
Re the thread on the footie board, Mike Bernard had his "hard man" moments, didn't he, possibly not as many as Mike Pejic from the same era. Nice team that, used to watch them frequently, them and the Sheff Utd outfit of the same generation.

Mike Barnard was an all-rounder, terrific fielder and a fairly skilful inside forward. Think he was seriously injured in some sort of bus crash when his first-class career was over, perhaps on tour of Germany playing British forces teams.

PS: I would feel that sirfred underestimates Barry Knight . . . . . . !
No, I thought Knight was rather good and perhaps didn't get a fair crack with England. Would have walked into some of the sides later - the 90s for example.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:30 pm

Hi all - Guildford behind enemy lines rather sums it up at times!

This is a dream thread for me: mentions of Barry Knight, Bob Appleyard and a brief cameo appearance by Barrington. I would propose Bob Appleyard for at least honorary membership of our HofF for his astonishing example of succeeding in the most adverse of circumstances.

I never saw Reg Simpson play but did see Micky Stewart.

There's a page on Wiki on the subject of lists of oldest cricketers.  It has already been updated to reflect the death of Reg Simpson RIP so I imagine it is likely to be a reasonably reliable source.  

Sir Fred - possibly the NZ player you had in mind was Eric Tindill who, according to the Wiki article died in 2010 at the age of 99 ys 226 days.  That makes him the second oldest test player, with only Norman Gordon making the century.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:16 pm

CorpHB - ta for that info. For some reason I thought the NZ guy was the centenarian. Love the way one can go back decades with one's own links.
  I saw Bedser play, who played against Bradman who played against Wilfrid Rhodes who played against Grace. Suddenly you're back to 1865, and all without the help of the Tardis.
  Link with players could be Ramprakash-Gooch-John Edrich-Bedser and then as above.
  There are also the times when an oldie is recalled (as in the case of Rhodes at The Oval in 1926) when he was playing for England before another in the team (in this case Larwood) was even born.
  Reckon the same thing happened when Brian Close (England debut 1949) was recalled in 1976


Last edited by sirfredperry on Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:22 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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