Former Yorkshire and England captain Brian Close’s extensive collection of memorabilia and letters, acquired earlier this year by the Archives wing of the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, has been added to with the gift of further items by Brian’s widow, Vivien.
They were received during the Yorkshire v Somerset Championship match at Emerald Headingley by Yorkshire CCC chairman, Robin Smith, who is also chairman of the YCF Board.
And at the same occasion, Vivien gifted silverware and other items to Somerset CCC which Brian had been presented with while captaining Somerset after his Yorkshire days came to an unhappy end in 1970.
The pieces for Headingley included a wooden shield with raised crest in the centre presented by the Bermuda Cricket Board of Control to Brian to commemorate the Yorkshire CCC tour of Bermuda in 1964.
It was on this tour that Vivien first met Brian – and where Garry Sobers played in several one-day matches for Yorkshire upon being co-opted to the party as a replacement for Tony Nicholson who had not been able to make it because of illness.
Five years later, Yorkshire were in Bermuda again and Headingley now has possession of a shield presented to Brian by St David’s CCC to mark the tour.
Yorkshire President, Richard Hutton, was a playing member of both tour parties and Vice-President Geoff Cope was included in the party in 1969.
Two of the other items received by Robin were a silver plated oval serving tray presented to Brian at the Yorkshire Executive Sporting Club testimonial dinner in Bradford in 1976 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to world cricket, and a salver for winning a golf tournament at Moortown Golf Club in Leeds to mark the 1989 Ashes tour.
The pieces of memorabilia handed over to Somerset were received by Somerset president, Richard Parsons, and these will now be displayed in the Club’s museum. They include an ornate silver plated oval serving tray awarded to Brian by the general committee in 1977 in appreciation of his services to the Club, and a circular salver with pie crust edge and scroll feet presented by England captain Tony Greig to mark Brian being named Evening Standard cricketer of the month in May,1976.
Yorkshire Vice-President, David Warner, a member of the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation Archives Committee, helped to secure the Brian Close Collection of Memorabilia for Emerald Headingley and is currently writing a book on the subject with particularly reference to Close’s letters to a friend which he wrote while on England’s tour of Australia in 1950-51. Close remains England’s youngest Test player after making his debut against New Zealand at Old Trafford in 1949, aged 18 years and 149 days.