RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Somerset Cricket - The glory Years - 1973-1987
Somerset Cricket - The glory Years - 1973-1987 - by Alain Lockyer (with text by Richard Walsh)

Published by: Holsgrove House
Ryelands Business Park, Bagley Road,
Wellington, Somerset TA21 9PZ,


: 144

Price: Sterling Pounds 19 and Pence 99 only

The Taunton-based photographer, Alain Lockyer has done an outstanding job. Two years ago, Somerset Cricket Museum acquired a unique archive of images relating to the history of the club between 1973 and 1990. His photographs covered some of the years of the County's greatest success, including the period known as the Glory Years during which Somerset won five one day trophies in as many seasons.

Richard Walsh, in his introduction, says, "The five years referred to by the Glory Years are those between 1979 and 1983 when Brian Rose captained the side to success in five one-day competitions. However, it was under the stewardship of Brian Close, who preceded Rose as skipper between 1972 and 1977, that the trophy winning Somerset team was developed."

For Alain, the early days were a world away from today's digital cameras and sophisticated transmission techniques. "I used to stand on the boundary edge with a Rolliflex, a twin-lens reflex camera, with no telephoto lens, hoping that a fielder would come near to where I was standing.

"However, with the coming of 35mm cameras and Novaflex sports lens, taking pictures took a big step forward."

The picture that sticks in his memory is one he took of Ian Botham, Joel Garner and Viv Richards on the day of their final match for Somerset. "The big three sent a messenger out to me on the field, where there were as many as 50 other photographers waiting for a glimpse of them, and they posed for that picture, which they said was my going-away present and that still means so much to me." Together the pictures are an irreplaceable document of the Country’s greatest cricket team at the height of its powers, and this book which is the first publication to feature the collection widely, will be read eagerly not only by fans of Somerset but devotees of the summer game as a whole. Accompanying the pictures is a fine and informative text by County Museum Trustee and journalist Richard Walsh, to complete this remarkable visual history, packed with classic memories.

In his foreword, club president Roy Kerslake, President, Somerset CCC traces the origins of the club's success "back to the arrival in 1971 of that most redoubtable of Yorkshiremen, Brian Close, who brought to the dressing-room a mix of skill, grit and northern wit in equal measure". He explains: "Along with older pros like Tom Cartwright, Mervyn Kitchen and Graham Burgess, Close (as captain from 1972) nurtured an emerging crop of talented youngsters - including a couple of likely lads called Botham and Richards = and instilled in them an inner belief and winning mentality.

"Brian Rose was now at the helm. And it is to Rosey's enormous credit that he possessed the ability to mould a side containing both artists and artisans into a unit willing and able to run through a brickwall for each other."

An outstanding publication, this is a fascinating book, having excellent photographs and pleasantly produced.