Cricket fans everywhere will
know of Len Hutton [1916–90] who as an opening batsman, enjoyed a stellar
career with Yorkshire and England before and after the Second World War.
Born into a family of cricketers
in Fulneck, near Bradford, Hutton played the game as a schoolboy and joined
Pudsey St Lawrence CC as a junior member, aged 12. He soon became established
at the club and by the time he reached his 16th birthday, he was a regular
first team player. As Hutton’s reputation grew he was introduced into County
cricket with Yorkshire where he began quietly in the second team. His early experiences
added to coaching from Yorkshire’s staff brought Hutton, aged twenty, into
Yorkshire’s first team as the County’s opening batsman.
Never flamboyant but always
defensively sound, Hutton was one of the best batsmen in the world and in 1938
at the Oval, showed his brilliance in the last Test of an Ashes series. His
score of 364 was a monumental achievement and remained the highest Test innings
for twenty years.
When serving in the Army in the
Second World War, Hutton fractured his left arm in an accident in a gymnasium.
The injury never healed properly and despite several operations, the arm settled
at about two inches shorter than his right
arm. Despite the injury Hutton
returned to First Class cricket where his Test and County career culminated in
his appointment as captain of England, the first modern professional cricketer
to achieve that honour. After victory in the Ashes series of 1953, Hutton took
a young party to Australia to defend them and, with the help of the devastating
pace attack of Tyson and Statham, emerged victorious. Hutton retired in 1956
and was knighted in the same year.
This excellent biography was written with
the full cooperation of the subject and is now reissued with more
illustrations, to commemorate the centenary of Len Hutton’s birth