Tuesday 20 February 2018

A Most Unlikely Tour

Last night on Radio 4 I heard a repeat of an engaging programme about Yorkshire County Cricket Club's unlikely tour of North America in 1964, when Beatlemania was at its height. There's an article about the tour, written by Dan Waddell (son of 'Voice of Darts' Sid, fact fans),  here  – a more complete account of events, getting increasingly bizarre, and funny, as it goes along. Stick with it – it's a great read for anyone who remembers the Yorkshire team in their mid-Sixties pomp.
 Many of those Yorkshire greats are dead now – but not, of course, the one and only Geoffrey Boycott, who contributed a few memories to the radio documentary. Young Boycs suffered an abreaction to a smallpox vaccination on the flight to New York, so was not in the best shape when the tour began. Another (non-Yorkshire) contributor remembers him sitting in silence as a party, drinking beer after beer – which seems uncharacteristic of him, though not of the rest of the team, whose drinking often left them groggy and hungover when play began, a factor that no doubt contributed to a couple of shaky performances. Boycott recalls Fred Trueman striding into the opposition's dressing room, cigar in hand, to remind them what rubbish they were – and, on one occasion, coming to the crease wearing a stetson. Of the Beatles, Boycott concedes that 'They were a little bit bigger than us'.
 Also sharing his memories was John Hampshire ('Me name's John – call me Jack and th'interview's over'). He ruefully recalled the extent of the touring Yorkshire team's sponsorship – 'a collapsible chair and a raincoat'. Different times...


  1. Fantastic story. Especially this bit :

    Binks tried to catch the cockroach but the sure touch that made him one of the county’s finest ever wicketkeepers eluded him, as did the insect. Binks then resorted to less stealthy means – and picked up a bat to administer a swift kill. He swung, caught Wilson on the chin and knocked him out cold.

  2. Yes - someone should make a film...