Bryan Stott and Doug Padgett, the two heroes of Yorkshire’s thrilling Championship-clinching triumph against Sussex at Hove in 1959, both celebrate their 80th birthdays within a couple of days of each.
Bryan, who lives at Rawdon, was 80 on Friday, July 18, and Doug, who lives at Micklethwaite, near Bingley, reaches the landmark today (Sunday July 20).
It will be 55 years ago on September 1 that Sussex set Yorkshire to make 215 in 105 minutes for victory and at 40-2 hope was fading, despite Bryan’s flying start which saw him thrash 13 out of 15 in the first over.
But then he was joined at the crease by Doug and the pair ran riot with their 141 stand for the third wicket coming up so quickly that Yorkshire were able to reach their target with seven minutes to spare, Bryan’s brilliant 96 being scored in 86 minutes and Doug’s dashing 79 in just over an hour.
Yorkshire county cricket team, May 1963. Back row (left-right): G Alcock, Doug Padgett, John Hampshire, Don Wilson, Melville Ryan, Tony Nicholson, Bryan Stott, Phil Sharpe, Ted Lester (scorer). Front row: Jimmy Binks, Fred Trueman, Brian Close, Ray Illingworth, Ken Taylor.
It was during the players’ journey to Scarborough in the evening for the Festival match against MCC the following day that they learned that they were the new county champions, so unseating Surrey who had been all-conquering for the previous seven seasons.
For Yorkshire it was their first title success for 13 years and it ended their longest barren sequence since the formation of the official Championship in 1890. It also marked the start of a golden period in the Club’s history with six more title wins following over the next nine years as well as lifting the Gillette Cup in 1965 and 1969.
In that long and glorious summer of 1959, Doug was Yorkshire’s leading scorer in county matches with 1,807 at 42.03, closely followed by Bryan with 1,694 at 37.64.
When Bryan retired at the end of the 1963 season, he had played in 187 first class matches for Yorkshire, scoring 9,168 runs with 17 centuries and a top score of 186.
Doug (pictured), who succeeded Len Hutton as the youngest cricketer to play for Yorkshire when he made his debut in 1951 at 16 years and 321 days – the record now being held by Barney Gibson at 15 years and 27 days – retired at the end of 1971. He played in 487 matches and scored 20,306 runs with 29 centuries and a top score of 161 not out. He went on to captain the Second XI and was Yorkshire coach until his retirement at 65, having served the White Rose continuously for half a century.
Yorkshire County Cricket Club wish the pair of them a very happy birthday.