Published: 2020
Pages: 12
Author: Tebay, Martin
Publisher: Red Rose Books
Rating: 3.5 stars

The Red Rose Cricket Records series moves swiftly on to Volume 7, and the more impressive statistic is that all seven have appeared this year, so at least we know that Martin Tebay’s time during lockdown has been well spent.

JT is, of course, the man who also features in Volume 1, JT Tyldesley. In terms of sheer weight of numbers JT’s younger brother Ernest is the most prolific Lancastrian with bat in hand but, despite the claims of Archie Maclaren before him, and Eddie Paynter, Cyril Washbrook and Michael Atherton afterwards, few Lancastrians would disagree with the assertion that JT is our finest batsman.

Against that background it is a great shame that no full biography yet exists of this great son of Worsley, despite one being worked on a few years for the ACS Lives in Cricket series. That one is a project that I believe has now been shelved, although I have not given up hope that it my yet be salvaged.

But for now we have to get JT’s story in dribs and drabs, and this booklet deals with the events of 13,14 and 15 June 1910 when, for Lancashire against Hampshire, JT became the first Red Rose to score a century in each innings of a First Class match at Old Trafford. Perhaps a future Red Rose Cricket Records volume will chronicle the first time a Lancashire batsman had achieved the feat anywhere, in which case JT, having done so against Warwickshire at Edgbaston fourteen years earlier, will feature again.

The formula for JT is similar to its predecessors. There is a short introduction to begin with and, bringing up the rear an equally brief afterword, a partial scorecard and a list of the thirteen occasions on which twin centuries have been scored for Lancashire. Bookended by those are a vivid account of the match put together from an impressive list of contemporary sources.

In terms of availability the bad news is that such is the popularity of this series of booklets that by the time you read this review, a mere fortnight after publication, the thirty copies printed may all have been sold, but if not JT is available via the publisher’s website.

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