Regular readers of The Incider would have noted that the writers here are all big fans of the Somerset Cricketers book series, so are delighted to hear that the fourth volume in the series will be available to buy very soon. This latest book focuses on those players who made their first-class debuts for Somerset from the start of the 1971 season until the close of the 2000 season.
And, once again, it offers another fantastic read for cider county supporters.
It was author Stephen Hill’s vision to write short but detailed biographies of every player to ever feature in first-class cricket for Somerset, so he set about documenting the playing careers of those cricketers who represented Somerset from 1882 to 1914. Aided by research from Barry Phillips, that first offering was followed by volume two (1919-1939) and volume three (1946-1970) with Barry now sharing writing duties as co-author.
In volume four Stephen is joined by former Somerset opening bat, Julian Wyatt – whose own playing career of 69 FC and 46 List A games is included in the new volume – who offered help via extensive research and his impressive book of contacts!
It is somewhat fitting that the first biog in this collection features one of the most influential players to ever wear the Somerset Wyvern – and the 465th player to turn out in Somerset colours – a certain Dennis Brian Close. The gritty Yorkshireman, who signed for Somerset after falling out with the key people of influence at his home county once too many times, certainly helped change the identity, attitude and, ultimately, fortunes of the club as he almost single-handedly created a winning culture where previously there was contentment for Somerset to merely survive.
Between Close’s biog and the final one in this volume, Joe Tucker (the 580th Somerset debutant), there are some very famous names (and even greater characters) whose tales are told concisely yet beautifully. Names that will forever enjoy legendary status and who played at the highest level: Botham, Richards, Garner, Marks, Crowe, Ahmed, Trescothick, Caddick, Lathwell and Blackwell. They are joined by the local-boys-made-good who played no insignificant part in making Somerset the county it is today, including Dredge, Jennings, Parsons, Turner and Trego. And those that came to Somerset and made it their home, such as Jones, Burns and Kerr. Not to mention those who had colourful lives like Roebuck and Hayhurst.
There is a chance for a select band of Somerset supporters to get their hands on their copy of this fourth volume before the rest of the public on Tuesday 21st May – day two of the Warwickshire game – as Stephen and Julian will be signing copies at Somerset County Sports at the CACG ahead of official release. So if you’re going on Tuesday make sure you pop along and get your copy.