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Rodney Ulyate
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Captain Henry Holden
« on: May 28, 2007, 21:58 PM »

*Just reposting an article that I wrote elsewhere*

When the 1882 Australian visitors went in for lunch at Trent Bridge, during their tour fixture against Notts, it was soon discovered that no lunch had been provided. It was, of course, the long-established convention for the hosts to look after the amateur “gentlemen” cricketers in respect of catering, while the paid professionals were expected to join the line of spectators over at the public refreshment tents. The Australians, however (although all of them were making money out of the venture), did not regard themselves as professionals - and neither did the majority of the country in which they were travelling. They were, therefore, less than impressed at what they regarded as a pointed statement by the local authorities.

The Notts secretary, Captain Henry Holden (prevalently known as “Hellfire Jack”), was the man in command of the luncheon arrangements, and his defence, quite simply, was that he “forgot”. That, of course, hardly satisfied the Australians, whose manager, Charlie Beal, backed up by big George Bonnor and several others, engaged him in an irate quarrel about tour conditions. When pressed again about matter of the missing lunch, Holden made the contemptuous rejoinder that professionals found their own.

Holden then proceeded to lay into Billy Murdoch, the Australian captain, telling him that, as the secretary of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, it was he, not the umpires or the team captains, who was responsible for deciding upon the duration for which the wicket would be rolled between innings. Bonnor, meanwhile, had grown so livid that he had to be held back, and Holden announced that he had had quite enough of this. Taking out a cigar, the secretary asked, pointedly, and with emphasis, “Will some Englishman give me a light?”

Bonnor shot back in an instant: “I can tell you, sir. I am as much an Englishman as you or any gentlemen present. I can trace my family back for six generations, and perhaps you cannot do more.”

That evening, a hanger-on to the Australian team chalked onto its hotel door some nasty comments about the nasty man who had caused all the trouble that day. The remarks were discovered the following morning, and Holden openly accused Beal of having made them. This was disproven, however, when it was discovered that it had actually been the work of the aforementioned sycophant.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2007, 08:31 AM by Rodney Ulyate » Logged
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