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Touched by Greatness: The Story of Tom Graveney, England's Much-Loved Cricketer by [Murtagh, Andrew]
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Touched by Greatness: The Story of Tom Graveney, England's Much-Loved Cricketer Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Review

"A superb book. An easy read that you never wish to put it down. A book you will not regret going out of your way to get." --Association of Cricket Statisticians

"Those of a certain age will recall Andrew Murtagh as a bustling, whole-hearted seam bowler for Hampshire in their successful period of the 1970s. With this book on the legendary England batsman, Tom Graveney, he proves himself an even better writer. A book on a player of such importance is long overdue and it is to the credit of both author and publisher that it has seen the light of day. Tom Graveney is 87 and not in the best of health but the easy conversational style of the author and the excellent collection of photographs transports the reader back to a time when the player was in his pomp and the game seemed far more innocent than it does today. A worthy addition to any cricket library and perhaps my favourite book of this summer." --Peakfan Blog

About the Author

Andrew Murtagh is the author of A Remarkable Man, which was short-listed for both the Cricket Society and MCC Cricket Book of the Year. Currently enjoying his third career, Andrew was previously a schoolmaster at Malvern College, and in the 1970s played cricket for Hampshire, contributing to county championship and John Player League wins.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3156 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pitch Publishing (23 Feb. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IMKDK34
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #232,718 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Andrew Murtagh has followed up his very good biography of George Chesterton with an excellent one on Tom Graveney.

Graveney, I believe, is the only player to have scored 10,000+ first-class runs for 2 counties, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire and he was the first purely post WWII batsman to get a hundred centuries and is part of an exclusive club of 25 batsmen. He was also the first ex professional cricketer to become President of MCC.

Murtagh had extensive meetings and conversations with Graveney in order to write the biography. The very essence of Graveney leaps from the pages.

Graveney's Test career had its ups and downs but the latter part was a glorious, golden period when he scored heavily for England. He probably should have had more than 79 caps but captains such as Hutton were not wholly supportive.

Graveney played the game the right way - he played hard but fair and made many long-standing friendships, often with opposition players at both county and Test level.

Graveney was a key player as Worcestershire won the County Championship twice in the 1960's, a feat not achieved at Gloucestershire.

It seems that Graveney was a favourite player of both colleagues and opponents, spectators and pundits. He was, indeed, a much-loved cricketer. His charm, integrity and decency come out in the biography.

Graveney's career did have its controversies with some dust ups with Lord's and being sacked by Gloucestershire in dubious circumstances. However, Graveney rose above these incidents.

Murtagh has done a great job - I commend any cricket enthusiast to read this book. It's a gem!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was too young just, to see Tom Graveney bat save for one or two benefit matches and Old England XI appearances after his retirement. Andy Murtagh I certainly do recall as a "bit-part" player making up the numbers, without wishing to sound unfair, in the very entertaining and successful trophy winning Hampshire side I loved watching in the 1970s adorned by such luminaries of the game as Barry Richards, Gordon Greenidge, Andy Roberts, Trevor Jesty, David Turner and David O'Sullivan.

The only thing of particular note I recall of Andy Murtagh was a brilliant throw from the boundary to run out the Australian captain, Ian Chappell, in a tour match at Southampton. Since then I'd largely forgotten about him and never knew he'd become an outstanding author after a distinguished career teaching at Malvern College.

This book brilliantly bring's Tom Graveney's career and his batting style back to life and also perfectly captures the personality of Graveney, the man. The only time I came across him was in the old Nets Bar, now long demolished at The Oval when it was packed out at the close of play during a Test Match in the 1980s. It was about my turn to finally be served when Tom Graveney appeared with a few friends. The barman headed straight off to serve him instead of me but Tom quickly sent him back to me saying "That young man over there was here before me". I smiled in thanks to him but was too shy and embarrassed at the time to speak up and thank him properly. After all, this ground was the scene of some of his greatest innings and cricketing moments such as the match clinching the return of the Ashes in 1953. It was also a real free-for-all to get served.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have to declare an interest in that Andy Murtagh is a friend and former colleague. He was well known for his perceptive and entertaining reports on pupils in his house and he brings those same qualities to the two books that he has written on Worcestershire CCC cricketers," A Remarkable Man" [ George Chesterton ] and now Tom Graveney.
Murtagh has spent many hours interviewing the man himself and others who know him well, on and off the pitch. He has combined his skill as an English graduate with his professional background as a cricketer with Hampshire CCC and Eastern Province to provide a fascinating insight into the man who is one of Worcestershire's all time greats. This book will appeal not just to Worcestershire cricket fans but to all cricket lovers, for Graveney's batting grace is done full justice by the elegance of Murtagh's writing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book written by an author who has a gift to make the pages turn. Further more his intuitive feel for matters in the past,show how much Worcestershire gained by Gloucestershire's folly . Tom Graveney was a great cricketer and a good man
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There is a contradiction running through this excellent biography of Tom Graveney, arguably the most stylish batsman of his era. On the one hand he is presented as amiable, gentle-natured and well-liked by all. On the other, he was involved throughout his long career in disputes with authority which are well described in this book. This is not to say that amiability and controversy are mutually exclusive. Indeed, the fact that Andrew Murtagh (the uncle of Middlesex medium-pacer Tim) doesn't raise the seeming contradiction may be because he sees that such spats with authority were an inevitable feature of a long career in cricket. At least they were perhaps inevitable in the period in which Graveney played.

Tom Graveney is now 87, the oldest survivor of the triumphant 1953 Ashes- winning team. His illustrious career spanned over 20 years, 79 Tests and over 700 first-class matches. But this book isn't about statistics. In cricketing terms it's about style rather than substance, and Graveney displayed that in a way that has long since gone out of fashion in a time of big bats, even bigger shoulders and shorter boundaries. Murtagh does well at conveying the style and elegance of Graveney, qualities that led some (in particular, Test captains Len Hutton and Ted Dexter) to doubt that he possessed the spirit for a fight when the team was up against it. What the author does even better is to chart the social context in which Graveney's career took place. After all, Graveney's career started at a time when he was admonished by his then Gloucestershire captain B.O. Allen in 1950 for the way in which he addressed an opponent, David Sheppard: "you never call an amateur by his Christian name, you either call him Mr or Sir". B.O.
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