Where are they now? Yorkshire – Gillette Cup winners 1969

By Neil Fissler

John Hampshire admits that he did not know it at the time but Yorkshire’s second Gillette Cup win in four years was to bring to a close one of the greatest chapters in their history.

The 69-run win over Derbyshire at Lord’s would prove to be the last trophy won by one of the greatest club side’s county cricket has ever seen.

Over the previous ten years Yorkshire were crowned County Champions seven times and they also won the Gillette Cup in 1965, beating Surrey by 175 runs in the final. Fred Trueman and Raymond Illingworth had been the first to go in 1968 and they were followed out of the Headingley dressing room by Brian Close two years later.

Trueman retired and Illingworth left for Leicestershire after a contract dispute. He would completely transform Leicestershire into a side who would win the first of two Championships in 1975. Close was sacked after offending the Lancashire president, the Hon Lionel Lister, who had entered the Yorkshire dressing room after a defeat in the Roses match.

Hampshire said: “It was our second Gillette Cup win but it was very much the end of an era, for us. Although at the time we didn’t know that it was going to be the end of it all.

“Things happened pretty suddenly. Big Fred (Trueman) retired and Raymond Illingworth went to Leicestershire. Brian Close went to Somerset, even though that was a little later. So we lost three big guns as I remember. It was arguably the best modern Yorkshire squad that there ever has been.

“Obviously we won the Championship seven times, and two Gillette Cup finals but we also beat several touring sides by an innings including Australia.

“It was a good set-up to be involved in and we had a very good leader in Close and some very good senior professionals.

“But I think that if we can keep our current side together they might go somewhere near to achieving what we did all those years ago.”

Hampshire said that there was nothing very remarkable about Yorkshire’s run to their second Gillette Cup final win.

In the first round against Norfolk, at Lakenham, Yorkshire scored 167 with Tracey Moore taking 6-48. Chris Old then took 3-14 as the hosts were dismissed for 78.

The second round saw them knock out Lancashire by seven wickets at Old Trafford after chasing down the 174 runs needed. Close scored 96 in the quarter final at The Oval, helping Yorkshire to 272 and, inspired by Don Wilson’s 4-31, the hosts were dismissed for 134.

The semi-final was at Scarborough where Yorkshire knocked up 191 and then bowled out Notts  for 123, Peter Stringer taking 3-4 in another dull encounter.

In the final Barrie Leadbetter’s 76 helped them to 219 before Derbyshire were bowled out for just 150 with Close and Wilson both taking three wickets.

“It was a low scoring tournament. There was nothing at all to remember about the run to the Gillette Cup apart from the fact we won.

“Anybody paying to watch us must have been terribly disappointed other than our own Yorkshire supporters. We played Derbyshire in the final. We were never over confident but we thought that we had a chance against almost anybody.

“The final wasn’t very memorable, either. Barrie Leadbeater scored 70-odd and won the man of the match award but, that apart, I couldn’t really tell you anything.”

Back Row (left-right):
Barrie Leadbeater: A middle order batsman who became a first class umpire. Continued to stand until reaching 65 in 2008. Is now working for the ECB as a coach and mentor.
John Hampshire: Former England batsman who spent 20 years as a first-class umpire. Stood in the last Benson & Hedges Cup final with Barry Dudleston, 30 years after they played in the first.
Chris Old: England fast bowler whose brother Alan played rugby for the British Lions, he lives in Cornwall where he ran a restaurant and worked part-time for Sainsbury’s.
Richard Hutton: All-rounder, son of Sir Leonard and father of Middlesex batsman Ben. Five Test appearances and was editorial director of The Cricketer.
Peter Stringer: Seamer who also played for Leicestershire. Now living in South Africa where he coached at the Wanderers Club among a number of other top clubs.
Tony Nicholson: Seamer who was a policeman in Rhodesia. Later a sales rep for a brewery prior to his death in Harrogate in November 1985, aged 47.
Geoffrey Boycott: Opening batsman who captained both Yorkshire and England. Has worked for a number of media organisations on all platforms since retiring.
Geoff Cope: Off-spinner who played three Tests for England. Worked for the family paper business and later became Yorkshire’s cricket director. Vice president of FC Halifax.

Front Row:
Phil Sharpe: Batsman serving England as player and selector. Also on the Yorkshire committee. Worked as an oil company representative then ran a travel business. Died May 2014 at 77.
Jimmy Binks: England keeper who won the Championship seven times and the Gillette Cup twice. Worked for JH Fenner in Hull until emigrating to the USA to work for Stone Hydraulics.
Brian Close: England all rounder who played football for Leeds United, Arsenal and Bradford City. Later had business interests in the engineering industry.
Doug Padgett: Batsman who continued to serve at Headingley as assistant coach, head coach and then cricket development manager. Lives in Micklethwaite in retirement.
Don Wilson: Left-arm spinner who played for England. Was chief coach for the MCC at Lord’s then director of sport at Ampleforth College. Died in York in July 2012, aged 74.

Not Pictured:
Chris Balderstone: England Test batsman who played in the First Division for Carlisle United prior to going on to become a first-class umpire. He died in March 2000, aged 59.
Mike Bore: Seamer who won the County Championship with Nottinghamshire before going into coaching. Has held various coaching jobs.
Andrew Dalton: Batsman who became a successful businessman, holding a number of directorships and advisory positions. Currently the director of two sea container businesses.
Colin Johnson: Right-handed batsman. Still lives in his native Pocklington and has worked in the financial services and insurance industries.
John Woodford: Now retired in his native Bingley after working as a PE teacher. He started his own cricket business importing clothing and equipment which he ran for over 20 years.

This piece originally featured in The Cricket Paper on Friday July 3, 2015.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *