Harold Larwood

The Official Website – Since 2002
Subscribe

Profile

The Beginning :

Time hung heavily on the hands of a two year old boy one June day in 1907 in the tiny Nottinghamshire mining village of Nuncargate. Discovering a pint of paraffin in a bottle in the scullery of his father’s modest cottage, the child promptly swallowed part of the contents. A hastily summoned doctor pumped out the oil in time to save the child’s life.

The incident started something, for the boy’s father decided that his son needed some kind of interest to keep him out of mischief. From and old fence paling he made a tiny cricket bat and presented it to his son together with a rubber ball to push about the garden. It solved the problem and the boy began spending hours in the backyard playing with his new toys.

It wasn’t long before young Harold Larwood was pestering his father for more bats and balls. ‘I can remember only from the time when I was about five. From that age I hardly spent any leisure time without a bat or ball in my hands. I kept my father poor buying me ninepenny balls. They usually lasted about a week because I hit them so hard and so often. I became attached to the game, so far as I understood it, that unless my father kept me in bed under threat of punishment – and he could dish it out – I would even get up before breakfast to play. By now I was carving my own bats out of any old piece of wood I could find.’

At the age of 14 the legal age a boy could work down a mine, Larwood became a pit boy. On the very first day he mustered a team of pit boys, played a team of local boys and bowled them out in 3 overs. He was a pit boy for 3 years, on pay days gave every penny to his mother. The wages were 32 shillings, it was a lot of money. When Larwood turned 17 he took a job on the night shift at another mine near by, the Langton Colliery.

‘Cricket was my outlet. I played often in the late summer evenings although very tired after a day’s work. As a slightly built boy of fifteen I played in the Nuncargate second eleven as a fast bowler, the other players being men in their 20′s. In my first season I took 76 wickets at an average of less than 5 runs. Two years later I was promoted to the village’s first team. Bowling in sandshoes because I didn’t own a pair of boots, I sent down 20 overs during the match, even though I’d worked down the mine all the previous night.’

‘I remember the game as if it were last week. After a few overs my nose began to blled. Team mates, men they were , urged me to leave the field. I refused and kept on bowling. Down the mine I dreamed of cricket; I bowled imaginery balls in the dark; I sent the stumps spinning and heard them rattling in the tunnels. No mishap was going to stop me from bowling in the real game, especially this one.’

‘My nose bled worse than ever, spattering my shirt. I was again advised to go off but I continued to bowl. Then a ball caught the middle stump. My next delivery scattered the incoming batsman’s wicket. Although feeling a bit weak by now I got ready for one more, and hit the off stump. It was my first hat-trick.’

‘Cricket was my reason for living.’

One day about a year later he got the shock of his life. Joe Hardstaff went up to Harold in Nuncargate and said “Harold, my boy, how’d you like to go to Trent Bridge for a trial ?”. Larwood couldn’t believe it, how was it possible ? “Surely not, Mr Hardstaff ?”. “I think you have possibilities, you might even become a great cricketer one of these days”. Little did Joe Hardstaff know then that Larwood would become the most feared fast bowler in his time.

“To be frank, I did not believe I would get as far as a trial with Notts. But Joe arranged it, otherwise it might never have happened. I had to have the proper gear and it cost my father £9 – a small fortune at the time. I’d have been laughed off the ground without them.”

In 1923, Larwood was then 18 years old and with his father to accompany him made his way to Trent Bridge, home of Nottinghamshire Country Cricket Club for the trial. He bowled to several batsmen at the nets, but they all played him without any problems. He was bowling to experienced County players, one or two even made encouraging remarks. “I must have made a good impression because a club official to us into his office and asked me if I would sign on for a year with a view to becoming a professional”.

Needless to say, Harold accepted ! A year after joining Notts as a probationer he was given his first County game, against Northants and he took one wicket. “I wasn’t ready and was sent back to the nets” he said.

Half way through the 1925 season, when he was 20, he had his first real start in County cricket against Yorkshire at Sheffield. “Herbert Sutcliffe faced up to me. Or rather, I faced up to him. He looked surprised at the speed of my first ball as it went past him. The second came off his bat and flew into the safe hands of my skipper, Arthur Carr, at slip.”

After taking Sutcliffe’s wicket and two others in the Yorkshire game he had a permanent place in the Notts side and from that moment on all he wanted to do was keep his place. His first County 50 came in the return fixture against Northants in 1925, two months after he had won his Cap and blazer. (In the two months he had taken 52 wickets at less than 22 runs each). “I went on to make 70 in the match in a 151 run partnership with W. Payton. Almost 5,000 people applauded and cheered me when I got to my 50.”

The pony pit boy had come a long way. (Miles Orchard)

The quotes above are taken from Harold Larwood’s book ‘The Larwood Story’ written by Harold and Kevin Perkins.

Harold Larwood’s name will forever be linked to the Bodyline series of 1932-33 in Australia. Many people remembering him as ‘that bowler from the Bodyline series’, and sadly not for many of his other achievements throughout his career and family life.

It was his last Tour for England and after an international career that spanned a little over 6 years, it came to an abrupt end at the hands of the administrators. While playing in his final Test in Sydney he suffered an injury to his foot and he was never the same again. Even though he received telegrams of support from the MCC during the controversial tour, he returned home to an unsavoury welcome from the members at Lords.

Asked to apologise for the way he bowled at the Australians during the tour, he refused and even under the threat of never playing for his beloved country again, he stuck to his principles. The MCC stuck to theirs and a stalemate was reached; Harold never played for England again. However Harold never regretted his decision and in later years commented ‘I’m still glad to this day I never apologised’.

Of average height and build, he made his debut for Nottinghamshire in 1924 and he was to go on and play 361 matches for the county.

Two years later, he made his Test debut at Lord’s against Australia, the same year he played his first full season for Nottinghamshire.

He took six wickets against the Australians at the Oval during that series, helping England to regain the Ashes.

He toured Australia with Percy Chapman’s successful side of 1928/29, but was mostly un-penetrative, although at the old Exhibition ground in Brisbane he achieved a match-winning and career best of 6 for 32, together with a score of 70.

When Australia came to England in 1930, Larwood suffered at the hands of Bradman. In three Tests, his four wickets cost 292 runs.

Running in from about 18 yards and accelerating with controlled rhythmic strides, he would open his shoulders by fully extending his arms into a great arc. He was a lethal bowler.

In the series, Larwood captured 33 wickets, 16 of them clean-bowled and together with Bill Voce and Bill Bowes, England destroyed Australia with a 4-1 defeat.

In the fifth Test at Sydney, coming in as night watchman, ‘Lol’ scored 98, for which he was cheered whole-heartedly.

In 21 Test matches, he took 78 wickets, averaging 28.35. Five times he headed the English first-class bowling averages (1927; 1928; 1931; 1932; 1936) and eight times took 100 wickets in a season.

His career figures were 1,427 first-class wickets (ave: 17.15), 743 of whom were bowled.

Harold retired from cricket in 1938 and in the early 50′s he and his growing family emigrated to the very land where he had encountered so much hostility – Australia.

It always amazed Harold how warmly he and his family were received. In 1993, he was awarded the MBE by Prime Minister John Major – a belated waft of the olive branch from Establishment circles. Too little too late.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.


  • livedate
  • 30
  • 24 open
  • red
  • .
  • 9
  • gala net
  • 5
  • 2
  • 5
  • xs
  • 60
  • 1
  • 5
  • 2
  • 78
  • 20
  • 5
  • 45
  • 2
  • garnier
  • 50
  • 2009
  • xl s
  • 25
  • 7
  • avon
  • 1
  • 20
  • 9
  • 5 7
  • 47
  • 5
  • 9
  • xls
  • 40
  • 3
  • body belt
  • www zdorovieinfo ru
  • 2009
  • my
  • youplus
  • sotka
  • mamba
  • icq
  • 24
  • icq
  • -
  • 19
  • 24
  • .. .
  • c -
  • freedate
  • -
  • k
  • pc
  • .
  • 684
  • icq
  • blue system
  • -
  • free
  • 50
  • title
  • -
  • .
  • mamba
  • 25
  • lo
  • galaxy
  • iris
  • 30
  • vipstarclub
  • 34
  • -
  • -
  • .
  • ua
  • 24
  • 50 60
  • monamour
  • .
  • .
  • - .
  • -
  • 40
  • -
  • 45
  • cosmo
  • -
  • .
  • girl
  • -
  • volga volga
  • wap playfon
  • asq
  • 40
  • slando
  • friends
  • mylove
  • wab
  • 24
  • interkontakt
  • .
  • tomsk
  • --
  • -
  • gay
  • 50
  • vip
  • 2v1
  • wap
  • sms
  • - .
  • single
  • narod
  • .
  • .
  • tamdam
  • - .
  • -.-
  • super lovers
  • java
  • amba
  • icq
  • 9600
  • lav plenet
  • .
  • - -
  • euro
  • c
  • -
  • kiss
  • lavplenet
  • planetalove
  • 24 open
  • slando
  • rambler akq
  • co il
  • c
  • 30
  • 35 40
  • 24
  • wap wapos
  • .
  • narod
  • data
  • venera
  • my
  • icq
  • .
  • mamba
  • -
  • jdu
  • -
  • fox
  • russianevro
  • ail
  • --
  • rambler
  • 24
  • rambler my planet
  • koketochka
  • girl
  • mon amour
  • .
  • infon
  • 24
  • sms ka
  • 35
  • 30
  • 2055
  • icq
  • skype
  • kontakte
  • .
  • ..
  • -
  • sms
  • best
  • skipe
  • c
  • .. -
  • online
  • -
  • janim
  • lubvi net
  • -
  • 40
  • 4
  • znax
  • 24
  • -
  • -
  • vip starclub
  • missing heart
  • ignio
  • 24
  • 42
  • planeta
  • 25
  • sms
  • porno
  • .
  • mamba
  • mamba
  • crack
  • c
  • my
  • paru
  • 40
  • - -
  • tamdam
  • ctrcf
  • poz
  • ri
  • wmj
  • 2
  • -
  • .--
  • -
  • icq
  • icq
  • loveplenet
  • loveland
  • tltlove
  • laves planet
  • relax
  • 55
  • .
  • mamba
  • mamba
  • wap
  • v kontakte
  • 33
  • -
  • jad
  • -
  • kontact
  • - .
  • -
  • c
  • c
  • russianeuro
  • .
  • online
  • .
  • my
  • rabler
  • 684
  • -
  • oupen 24
  • .
  • russianeuro
  • -
  • 55
  • v kontakte
  • womenlove
  • london
  • bigmir
  • wap
  • beline
  • -
  • mamba
  • 2gether
  • -
  • .
  • mamba
  • --
  • ya
  • ramber
  • .
  • onlain
  • - .
  • .
  • wap mts
  • rumbler
  • 24
  • wwwrambler
  • c
  • 32
  • icq
  • yf
  • -
  • lili
  • ambler
  • hfv kth
  • sexfriend
  • -
  • icq
  • galaxy
  • 3
  • -
  • 40
  • polarnet
  • planet iove
  • -
  • .
  • 24
  • hi5
  • nocd
  • isq
  • my
  • -
  • yf rjvgm ntht
  • 48
  • vip
  • 55
  • .
  • -
  • .
  • monamur
  • cq
  • 50
  • lambler
  • glove
  • 30
  • mheart
  • -
  • mamba
  • aldangold
  • rambler
  • c
  • 52
  • ndex
  • relakslive
  • 24
  • meta ua
  • .
  • .
  • 55
  • venera
  • -
  • 4
  • 37
  • bright
  • -
  • .
  • 24
  • teen dream
  • .
  • kappara
  • 40
  • rixa
  • yourlove
  • fourthman
  • kiev ua
  • yf
  • web
  • -
  • wap amobile
  • 65
  • mamba
  • v
  • mamba
  • .
  • ..
  • -
  • 24
  • .
  • -
  • .
  • -
  • superlovers
  • man 30
  • maw
  • .
  • .
  • -
  • iris
  • 21
  • belove
  • -
  • 24
  • tj
  • 24 open
  • -
  • proext
  • dom2
  • blue