This is the first in an occasional series on players who have represented both Yorkshire and least one other county but not including overseas players. Paul Dyson looks at the 18 cricketers who played for the White Rose as well as Derbyshire. They occur in chronological order and the focus is on each player’s career with Derbyshire, their time with Yorkshire being detailed in various publications.
Matthew Burrows was born in Chesterfield but played for Yorkshire in 1880 before representing his native county four years later in one match against Surrey in which he scored 0 and 13 and took none for ten.
Frank Sugg was born in Ilkeston in Derbyshire but represented Yorkshire first. He played for the county of his birth for three seasons from 1884 before moving to Lancashire. An attacking batsman, in his 33 games with Derbyshire he scored 1,278 runs including a score of 187 against Hampshire at Southampton in 1885.
Although Arnold Hamer did not play for Derbyshire until he was aged 33 he had a lengthy career after transforming himself from a spin bowler to an opening batsman. In a career interrupted by the Second World War, his one season with Yorkshire was in 1938 and his Derbyshire career ran from 1950 to 1960. He received his county cap in his first season, in which he scored over 1,000 runs, and was awarded a benefit in 1958. Hamer scored over 1,000 runs in each of his first ten seasons, his best being 1,850 in 1959, when he was aged 42. His highest innings was 227 against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 1955 and his total number of runs for Derbyshire was 15,277 in 290 matches, including 19 centuries. He also took 68 wickets with his occasional off-spin. Representative cricket came in the form of one match for each of the Players, The Rest and an England XI.
For much of his career, Hamer’s opening partner was Charlie Lee. Younger by seven years, he moved south from Yorkshire in 1954 and, also like Hamer, spent 11 seasons with Derbyshire, the last two as the county’s first professional captain. His teams finished 17th and 12th in the Championship and reached the quarter-final of the Gillette Cup in 1963. In 268 first-class matches he scored 12,008 runs, including eight centuries, his highest score being 150 against Gloucestershire at Chesterfield in 1958. He received his county cap in 1956 and his final season, by which time he was aged 40, was also his benefit year.
A third batsman to move from Yorkshire to Derbyshire in the 1950s was Billy Oates. He batted in the middle-order, was an attractive player and represented his second county for seven seasons from 1959, being awarded his county cap in 1962. In 121 first-class matches he scored 4,568 runs, passing 1,000 runs in a season twice, and had a top score of 148 not out against Sussex at Worthing in 1961. Despite taking a total of only 13 wickets with his off-spin bowling, he had figures of six for 47 against Oxford University at The Parks in 1964. In five Gillette Cup matches he scored 50 runs.
Although Fred Trueman retired from all cricket in 1968 he was persuaded to play for Derbyshire four years later and did so at the age of 41. He played in six matches, in which he took seven wickets, in the John Player League in the earlier part of the season.
Derbyshire was the last of Brian Bolus’s three counties. He played for the county from 1973, captaining it in each of his three seasons there. He also returned to play in three List A matches at the start of the 1976 season, by which time he was aged 42. In 64 first-class matches he scored 3,279 runs and in 61 List A games 1,386 runs. Under his leadership Derbyshire finished 16th, 17th and 15th in the Championship; its best season in the John Player League was 1975 (9th) in which year it also reached the semi-final stage of the Gillette Cup.
One former Yorkshire player who would have played under the captaincy of Bolus was Phil Sharpe, both being former team-mates when with the White Rose county. He played for Derbyshire in both formats in 1975 and 1976. In the second of these two seasons he struck over 1,000 first-class runs for the 12th time in his career and this included four centuries, one of which was his highest-ever innings – a score of 228 against Oxford University at The Parks. He totalled 2,031 and 47 catches in his two seasons in that format and also scored 982 runs in 40 List A matches, including the second century of his career – 111 not out against Glamorgan at Chesterfield.
Unusually, Steve Oldham played for Derbyshire, for four seasons from 1980, between two stints with Yorkshire. His second county gave him a first team cap, in his first season, something he did not receive with his first county. In 70 first-class matches with Derbyshire he scored 436 runs and took 143 wickets including a career-best seven for 78 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in 1982. In 71 List A games he took 98 wickets.