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At the Heart of English Cricket: The Life and Memories of Geoffrey Howard Hardcover – 1 Dec 2001
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From the Publisher
'Out of the blue an unlikely and remarkable new book has been published. At The Heart Of English Cricket is a glisteningly well-remembered and appealing monograph in hardback by Stephen Chalke on the life of Geoffrey Howard, caring and radical secretary at both Old Trafford and The Oval, before-his-time manager of successive MCC teams abroad and still a livewire of 92. Any sportsperson of a certain age will enchantedly relish and lap up the myriad of horse's-mouth revelations in cricket's most delightful book for a long time.' Frank Keating, The Guardian, 10 December 2001 'It is a cracking read, studded with invaluable historical insight and laced with anecdote. It cannot be recommended too highly.' David Llewellyn, The Independent, 11 December 2001
Top customer reviews
Of course that statement is totally unfair, Bomber Wells, Bob Appleyard, Tom Carwright, Geoffrey Howard, everyone through their conversations with Chalke, have helped him create books that are full of wonderful memories of Cricket from a different era. Never though are these stories written through rose tinted glasses, just with a respect and understanding of his subject so often missing from todays none event back page press style biographies (Alistair Cook and Kevin Pieterson's poor efforts spring to mind).
This book sat in my collection for some time before I read it, maybe because I knew little of Geoffrey Howard as a cricketer, his main career being that of an administrator, he played just a couple of matches for Middlesex CCC as an amateur. Once I started reading it though it was hard to put down. A warm, compasionate man, who has had a life worth telling, and at 90 sat down with Stephen Chalke to piece it together.
The Hutton led tour of Australia takes up alot of this book, and the insights from Howard of this tour are well worth reading. A tour that saw Huttons decision to put Australia in to bat in the 1st test see England beaten out of sight only for Tyson, May, Cowdrey et all to step up to the plate to such an effect that England returned home 3-1 victors! It could well have been 4-1 had rain not interviened in one test.
Other stories of tours to the sub continent are equally fascinating, as is Howards private life outside County / International cricket first working for a bank, then his life during the war years, through into later life.
All in all a definate 5 star book as for that matter are Stephen Chalke's books on Bob Appleyard, Bomber Wells and Tom Cartwright. His efforts with Keith Andrew and Ken Taylor are not far behind.
I whole heartedly recommend all these books plus his first two Runs in the Memory and Caught in the Memory.
Few writers on the game have ever maintained such a high standard and a new book from Stepehn Chalke is always most welcome.
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