HUDDERSFIELD has produced many brilliant cricketers down the years.
Some of them achieved legendary status, such as George Hirst, Wilfred Rhodes and Schofield Haigh to name but three, while others were just very good county players, like Platt, Taylor, Leadbeater, Watson and more recently Blakey, Sidebottom and Wood.
But two more, who have sometimes tended to slip under the radar, have been elevated to more popular status by local writer Robert Owen, who personally knew both Alex Coxon and Ron Aspinall, hence the title of his book, ‘Two Huddersfield Cricketers.’
The irony is that both Coxon and Aspinall, who were classmates as Moldgreen School, began their careers in Huddersfield before moving up to the North-East, while the author Owen hails from the North East but moved to Huddersfield in 1972.
Just 80 pages in length, Owen’s book is an enjoyable read and has references to many cricketers well-known to those readers of more ‘mature’ years.
In his foreword, Owen makes no apologies for devoting more of the book to Coxon, whom he describes as the more ‘flamboyant’ of the two players, as witnessed in the opening paragraph.
“Has that no paid for t’ bloody middle lad” bellowed former Dalton player Coxon with his hands on his hips, glaring down the pitch at a young batsman who had just edged two consecutive deliveries for fours.
Both men went on to play for Yorkshire, and in 1946, there were no fewer than five Huddersfield products in the county side, with Coxon and Aspinall joined by Freddie Jakeman, Harry Beaumont and Willie Watson.
Coxon was only to play once for England, against Australia at Lord’s, when his temper got the better of him, after being denied the wicket of the great Don Bradman, which led to a dressing room ruckus, which sadly probably spelled the end of his international career.
As Owen suggests, the book will surely bring back memories to cricket lovers, both in Huddersfield and the North-East.
One interesting footnote that I’m sure many people will be unaware of, is that Aspinall was the uncle of Ian Booth, who for many years was a stalwart at Hall Bower, and is of course father to former Huddersfield Town player Andy Booth, who also played for Hall Bower, where he is now the club president.
Two Huddersfield Cricketers by Robert Owen (£7), is published by Write Good Books, The Old School, Cliff Lane, Mappleton, East Yorkshire. Tel 01964 536663.
They can also be ordered by contact Mr Owen, on 01484 533041.