‘The Utmost Sangfroid’

Published: 2023
Pages: 12
Author: Tebay, Martin
Publisher: Red Rose Books
Rating: 3 stars

It has been a while, three years in fact, since the last title appeared in this publisher’s Significant 19th-century Cricket Matches in Bolton series. We have previously reviewed the last of the three previous titles in the series, A Small Riot…..

The match featured in ‘The Utmost Sangfroid’ was played in 1872 at the splendidly named Back-o’th’-Bank ground in Bolton, between the Bolton Club and Ground and a side from as far away as Glasgow, known as Western.

The game itself was rather spoiled by the weather, although at least it produced a result between the showers. The Scots were all out for a mere 40, the damage done primarily by Lancashire’s William McIntyre, who took 6-6. When the match came to an end the home side were 64-6, and were thus declared the winners.

There are three parts to the story, an introduction, an account of the play and an afterword. All dwell on the life of the man who compiled a match winning innings of 29 not out, George Winder. The story of Winder is a remarkable one, as he had only one hand, the other having been lost in a shooting accident. The afterword also tells of the rather unfortunate and short life of the Western club, and the rather sad piece of litigation that followed its demise.

The curious story that ‘The Utmost Sangfroid’ tells is certainly an interesting one, and the booklet appears in a limited edition of, fittingly, 29 signed and numbered copies that are available at £6.99 inclusive of UK postage and packing, direct from the publisher

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