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HOF: Player Profiles Pre-1965

Roy Tattersall began his career with Lancashire at the age of 25 as a seam bowler. After two seasons he was persuaded to try off-spin and was an immediate success, taking 193 wickets ave. 13.59 to put him at the top of the national averages. He was 6ft 3in, slim and with a high action; his changes in flight and direction made him a difficult proposition for batsmen. He played in 16 Tests taking 58 wickets at an ave. of 26.08 with a best return of 7-52 against South Africa at Lord’s in 1951. In 277 matches for Lancashire he took 1168 wickets, average 17.39 including 9-40 against Notts at Emirates Old Trafford which included a hat-trick with 4 wickets in 5 balls. He was in and out of the Lancashire side at the end of the 1950's and this was a sad and unaccountable end to a most distinguished career. He was a superb bowler, courteous, always ready to help a younger player and someone who was always willing to bowl, even to the best batsman. He retired to Kidderminster where he was professional for many years and he died in 2012.

Geoff Pullar was a tall left-handed batsman with a distinguished Test career. He played in 312 matches for Lancashire scoring 16,853 with 32 centuries.  He scored 1,000 runs in a season 9 times(one 2,000), topping the Lancashire averages in six of these. In 1959 he was selected to play for England as an opener because of his temperament and sound defensive technique. In his second Test Match against India he became the first Lancashire cricketer to score a Test century at Emirates Old Trafford. He played in 28 Tests, scoring 1974 runs ave. 43.86 with four centuries. He made his career best 175 against South Africa at the Oval in 1960 sharing in a first-wicket partnership of 290 with Colin Cowdrey.

A knee injury ended his Test career and “Noddy” as he was affectionately known, moved to Gloucestershire for two years in 1969. A warm, honest, friendly man, generous in his praise for good cricket, he is President of the Lancashire Former Cricketers Association.

Part of a strong Norfolk cricketing family, Geoff joined Lancashire with his older brother Eric after the War after suffering under the Japanese for over three years as a prisoner of war in Thailand, when he was released he weighed just six stones.

A man of strong principles and incredible determination, he showed relentless courage when batting, scoring 1,000 runs in eight seasons with over 2,000 runs in 1952. He was chosen for a Commonwealth tour of India and played in two unofficial Tests scoring two centuries, ending the tour with an average of 40. He played in 322 matches for Lancashire scoring 14,730 runs ave 34.74 and scored 24 centuries. He was a magnificent slip-fielder and captained Lancashire when Cyril Washbrook was absent, never losing a match as captain. After coaching and captaining the Second Xl he left to play league cricket and also to play for Cumberland. In 1962 he was appointed head groundsman at Cheltenham College ground where he stayed until his retirement.

It was a very moving moment when he attended a Former Players Association function and received a long standing ovation as he took his seat. He earned respect from all who knew him with his steely courage and his warm and friendly smile.

Ken Grieves was from Sydney and played for New South Wales after the war. He came to England because Keith Miller could not play for Rawtenstall in 1947 and Ken Grieves took his place. After two successful seasons he joined Lancashire in 1949, scoring 1,000 runs in his first season. A natural ball-player he was a brilliant close-to-the wicket catcher.  He played until 1961 and returned in 1963 to captain the team for two years, giving him 15 seasons in which he played 452 matches, scored 20,802 runs ave. 33.39  and took 225 wickets  ave.28.80. He scored 1,000 runs in a season 13 times with 2,253 runs in 1959 ave. 41.72. He was one of the most brilliant close-to-the-wicket catchers Lancashire have ever had and holds the record for most in a season for the county. 63  in 1950. He also holds the record for most catches in a match with eight against Sussex at Emirates Old Trafford in 1951. He took 556 catches and hardly ever dropped one. He was also a keen golfer and an excellent goalkeeper for Bolton Wanderers, Stockport County and Bury. He served on the Lancashire committee for 13 years and was elected a Vice-President in 1991 but died three weeks later. 

At the age of only 19 Malcolm Hilton dismissed the mighty Don Bradman twice, a feat which gained him national prominence. A slim fair-haired figure, Malcolm bowled left-arm spin at brisk pace. He relied on turn rather than variety of pace and on uncovered pitches he was very effective. In 1950 he took 135 wickets at 16.79 and played in his first of four Test matches. In India he had the unusual experience of opening the English attack with Lancashire teammate Roy Tattersall. He took 11 wickets at 17 but never played for England again. In 1956 he took 158 wickets at less than 14. His career best was 8-39 and a match return of 14-88 against Somerset at Weston-super-Mare. He took 926 wickets  ave. 18.80 for Lancashire and over 1,000 in first-class cricket. He was an outstanding fielder and once hit a century batting at no.9 at Northampton. He was selected as one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year in 1957. He captained the second Xl in the in his last two years and retired at the age of 33.  With a distinctive sense of humour and ready smile, he had a great ability to perform Lancashire monologues.


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