New biography puts the fighter Trevor Bailey under the Hill spotlight


The Valiant Cricketer: The Biography of Trevor Bailey

Author: Alan Hill
Published by: Pitch Publishing

Alan Hill has twice won the prestigious Cricket Society Literary Award for his biographies of the Yorkshiremen, Hedley Verity and Herbert Sutcliffe.  His work also includes portraits of Surrey legends Peter May, Jim Laker, Tony Lock and the Bedser twins, as well as Brian Close, Johnny Wardle, Bill Edrich and Les Ames.

His latest subject is the three-times Ashes winner Trevor Bailey, regarded as second only to Ian Botham among England's premier post-war all-rounders.

A multi-talented sportsman, a schoolboy prodigy at Dulwich College, Bailey won cricket and soccer blues at Cambridge University and an FA Amateur Cup winners medal with Walthamstow in 1951-2.

He was regarded as a fighter, a loyalist who served England and Essex, his home county, particularly well in a crisis. He was at his most competitive when tensions ran high, as was emphasised in one of the most celebrated rearguard actions against Australia at Lord's in 1953, alongside another footballer-cricketer, Willie Watson. Bailey's role in regaining the Ashes was acknowledged when he headed a national newspaper poll to name the most influential player in the series.

He played in 61 Tests and was only the second Englishman after Wilfred Rhodes to score 2000 runs and take 100 wickets. In retirement, he forged a broadcasting career as a member of the BBC's Test Match Special team.

Alan Hill is a senior member of the Cricket Writers' Club and his other affiliations include membership of the MCC and the Masters Club at the Oval.

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