Eddie Leadbeater, one of only two outstanding leg-spinners in Yorkshire’s history, died in a Huddersfield nursing home on Sunday, April 17, at the age of 83.
The other great leg-spinner, Adil Rashid, returned match figures of 11-114 in Yorkshire’s first LV County Championship match of the season at Worcester.
Adil’s were the best leg-spin figures ever recorded for the county, narrowly beating the 11-162 captured by Eddie against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 1950. In that same season Eddie enjoyed a 10-155 haul, including career-best figures of 8-83 against Worcestershire at New Road – the same ground on which Adil bamboozled the opposition.
Eddie, Christened Edric, was a Huddersfield man, born and bred, who played in 81 matches for Yorkshire from 1949 to 1956, taking 201 wickets at 28.41 runs apiece and hitting 898 runs with a top score of 91.
He was never awarded his county cap despite his undoubted skills, and he remains one of cricket’s few players to be capped by England but not their county. He was called up by MCC for the tour of India in 1951-52, and played in two of the Test matches.
Eddie spent two seasons with Warwickshire after leaving Yorkshire, and in 1958 he made his only First Class century – 116 against Glamorgan at Coventry.
His cricket was by no means over upon his retirement from the First Class scene, and he continued to play for Almondbury in the Huddersfield League until he was 68 – taking more than 1,000 wickets for the club. He helped Almondbury to beat a very strong Paddock side In the Sykes Cup final in 1962, claiming three wickets and scoring 105.
Cricket was not the only sport in which Eddie excelled: he was a very good footballer, and on occasions he played alongside former Yorkshire fast bowler and cricket chairman Bob Platt.
Eddie had a daughter with his first wife, Betty Knott, and three sons and a daughter with his second wife, Mary, to whom he was married for 49 years up to his death.
The funeral service will take place on Tuesday, May 3, at All Hallowes Church, Almondbury, at 10.45am, followed by a private cremation.