Hampshire Cricket: Black History Month (Part Three)

Hampshire Cricket's historian, Dave Allen, is back with a series of articles for Black History Month

Hampshire Cricket's historian, Dave Allen, is back with a series of articles for Black History Month - read part three below.

In 1948, Hampshire’s post-war Secretary and captain Desmond Eagar tried to recruit the (Black) West Indian batsman Allan Rae from Jamaica but “unfortunately he proved to be too good” establishing himself in the West Indies Test team. In 1950 Rae was in West Indies’ tour of England, scoring a century at Lord’s in the Second Test of that summer, an historic first victory for them in a Test in England.

That match concluded on a Thursday and two days later, on Saturday 1 July the West Indies arrived in Southampton to play against Hampshire in front of a huge crowd and Rae opened the batting that morning with a promising young white cricketer from Barbados, Roy Marshall. When Rae was first out for 28 the score was already 89 and at 124-2, Marshall was joined by the great Everton Weekes who ended the day 246 not out. That was outstanding but Marshall scored 135 and made sufficient impression that with his path to a Test place blocked by some fine players, Eagar persuaded him to sign for Hampshire. He qualified by residence and played for them in the County Championship from 1955-1972, including a spell as captain, retiring with the second highest aggregate in Hampshire’s history.

So Roy Marshall became Hampshire’s first West Indian player, the first in a succession which has now stretched for over 60 years, but their first Black West Indian was Daintes Abbias (‘Danny’) Livingstone who arrived in 1959. He was, a left-handed batsman from Antigua who skipped the residential qualification period by virtue of having done National Service in the RAF. Based in London and after an unsuccessful trial with Warwickshire, Danny joined Hampshire and made his first-class debut in his one match in 1959 against Oxford University age 25. He played mostly then in the new 2nd XI Championship but in 1960 he was a more regular member of the first team and by 1961, firmly established in the troublesome number four slot, passed 1,000 runs for the season - and on 1 September at Bournemouth Danny held the catch which brought Hampshire their first Championship title, 66 years after their admittance to the competition. By the end of his career in 1972 he had scored over 12,000 first-class runs for the county in 299 matches with a highest score of 200 v Surrey in a record ninth wicket partnership with Alan Castell which still stands. He also passed 1,000 runs in limited overs matches.

In July 1971 Danny Livingstone played in a remarkable Hampshire side in a drawn Championship match against Derbyshire at Basingstoke. Danny from Antigua was one member of an XI that contained four men from Barbados, Gordon Greenidge, John Holder. Larry Worrell and Roy Marshall. If the three Black footballers at West Bromwich Albion later in that decade are remembered fondly as the ‘Three Degrees’ then surely Hampshire’s four Black players should be the ‘Four Tops’? 

John HOLDER (Hampshire 1968-1972) was a fast bowler who played in 47 first-class matches, taking 139 wickets average 24.56. His best bowling was 7-79 v Gloucestershire at Gloucester 1972 and in the same year he took a hat-trick v Kent (Southampton). In limited overs matches he took 46 wickets, average 26.36. He became subsequently a Test Match and English County Umpire

‘LARRY’ WORRELL (Hampshire 1969-1972) was a right arm off-break bowler who played in 32 first-class matches, taking 65 wickets, average 32.55. His best bowling was 5-67 v Leicestershire at Southampton 1971.

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Dave Allen: Hampshire On The Island

With Hampshire facing Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Newclose during this summer’s Royal London Cup, Club Historian Dave Allen has taken a look back at Hampshire’s previous matches on the Isle of Wight.