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Essex Shield

Tales from the Boundary

Summer AND Winter


The Geoff Hurst piece (No. 40 - Forever Blowing Bubbles) got me thinking about cricketers who play football and vice versa.  I did think about adding it on but feared folk might fall asleep before they got to the end.   Anyway, the elongation of the football season seems to have put paid to footballing cricketers.  Nonetheless, it's an interesting list.

My first port of call was that old faithful Wikipedia, which occasionally receives derogatory comment but, I find, is a good reference.  I subscribe a miserly two pounds a month, not obligatory but well worth it, so that the site can be kept advert free.

Just search "cricketers footballers" and up pops, which lists Double Internationals AND those who have played for the England cricket team and professional football, first class cricket and England football team AND first class cricket and professional football.

There can be no surprise to find Arthur Milton and Willie Watson as Double Internationals BUT Clare Taylor achieved the double more recently AND played eleven times for England (against Willie's four and Arthur's one) PLUS 16 Tests and 105 ODI's (against 23 and 6 Tests for the men).  One must also not forget Rachel Heyhoe-Flint who played hockey four times for England and 22 Tests and 23 ODI's AND was a single-figure handicap golfer, also played hockey, squash and golf for Staffordshire AND became a Baroness.

C. B. Fry played for England only once at football and 26 Tests BUT reputedly turned down the throne of Albania (which was a country where Norman Wisdom films were the only ones by Western actors permitted by dictator Enver Hoxha to be shown) AND could leap from a stationary position backwards onto a mantelpiece (CBF, that is, not NW, though the latter might have if he'd tried).

R. E. "Tip" Foster is the only man to captain England at football and cricket, five games and eight Tests.  On his Test debut Foster scored 287, still the highest by a debutant AND In one club match in 1909 he scored 261 in just 75 minutes.   'Tip' was one of seven brothers who played for Worcestershire, such that it became, for a period, known as 'Fostershire'. See

Anyway, if you want to know more about footballing cricketers and cricketing footballers just click  I'm off to bed ....

Andrew Appleby