Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Fred Trueman

Fred Trueman

Overview
Frederick Sewards Trueman OBE (6 February 19311 July 2006) was an English cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

er, generally acknowledged as one of the greatest fast bowlers in history. A bowler of genuinely fast pace who was widely known as Fiery Fred, Trueman played first-class cricket
First-class cricket
First-class cricket is a class of cricket that consists of matches of three or more days' scheduled duration, that are between two sides of eleven players and are officially adjudged first-class by virtue of the standard of the competing teams...

 for Yorkshire County Cricket Club
Yorkshire County Cricket Club
Yorkshire County Cricket Club represents the historic county of Yorkshire as one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure....

 from 1949 until he retired in 1968. He represented England in 67 Test matches
Test cricket
Test cricket is the longest form of the sport of cricket. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined by the International Cricket Council , with four innings played between two teams of 11 players over a period of up to a maximum five days...

 and was the first bowler to take 300 wickets in a Test career.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Fred Trueman'
Start a new discussion about 'Fred Trueman'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Quotations

If anyone beats it, they'll be bloody tired.

On being the first bowler to take 300 test wickets

A dismissed opposing batsman: That was one hell of a ball, Fred.Trueman: Ay, it were wasted on thee.

Encyclopedia
Frederick Sewards Trueman OBE (6 February 19311 July 2006) was an English cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

er, generally acknowledged as one of the greatest fast bowlers in history. A bowler of genuinely fast pace who was widely known as Fiery Fred, Trueman played first-class cricket
First-class cricket
First-class cricket is a class of cricket that consists of matches of three or more days' scheduled duration, that are between two sides of eleven players and are officially adjudged first-class by virtue of the standard of the competing teams...

 for Yorkshire County Cricket Club
Yorkshire County Cricket Club
Yorkshire County Cricket Club represents the historic county of Yorkshire as one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure....

 from 1949 until he retired in 1968. He represented England in 67 Test matches
Test cricket
Test cricket is the longest form of the sport of cricket. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined by the International Cricket Council , with four innings played between two teams of 11 players over a period of up to a maximum five days...

 and was the first bowler to take 300 wickets in a Test career. He and Brian Statham
Brian Statham
John Brian "George" Statham, CBE was one of the leading English fast bowlers in 20th-century English cricket. Initially a bowler of a brisk fast-medium pace, Statham was able to remodel his action to generate enough speed to become genuinely fast...

 opened the England bowling together for many years and formed one of the most famous bowling partnerships in Test cricket history.

Trueman's talent, skill and popularity were such that British Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson
James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, FRS, FSS, PC was a British Labour Member of Parliament, Leader of the Labour Party. He was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1960s and 1970s, winning four general elections, including a minority government after the...

 described him as the "greatest living Yorkshireman", yet Trueman was omitted from numerous Test teams because he was frequently in conflict with the cricket establishment, which he often criticised for its perceived "snobbishness" and hypocrisy.

After he retired from playing, Trueman became a media personality through work in television and as a popular and outspoken radio summariser.

Childhood


Fred Trueman was born at no. 5, Scotch Springs, Stainton
Stainton, South Yorkshire
Stainton is a village and civil parish in the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster in South Yorkshire, England. It has a population of 269....

 near Maltby
Maltby, South Yorkshire
Maltby is a town and civil parish of 17,247 inhabitants in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England, situated in a rural area about 7 miles east of Rotherham and 12 miles north-east of Sheffield...

, West Riding of Yorkshire
West Riding of Yorkshire
The West Riding of Yorkshire is one of the three historic subdivisions of Yorkshire, England. From 1889 to 1974 the administrative county, County of York, West Riding , was based closely on the historic boundaries...

 (now South Yorkshire
South Yorkshire
South Yorkshire is a metropolitan county in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England. It has a population of 1.29 million. It consists of four metropolitan boroughs: Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, and City of Sheffield...

). He said himself that he weighed 14 lb (6.4 kg) at birth and was delivered by his grandmother Mrs Stimpson. Her maiden name was Sewards and Fred's parents decided to honour her by naming him Frederick Sewards Trueman.

His parents were Alan and Ethel Trueman and he was the middle one of seven children. They were a country family, their home being part of a terrace row called Scotch Springs (now demolished) that was surrounded by countryside but about a mile from Maltby Main Colliery
Maltby Main Colliery
Maltby Main Colliery is a coal mine situated on the eastern edge of the township of Maltby, South Yorkshire, some 7 miles east of Rotherham. It is presently the only colliery in production in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham.-History:...

 and half a mile from Stainton village. Trueman's grandfather had been a horse dealer and his father worked primarily with horses too, though for a time he was a coalface worker
Miner
A miner is a person whose work or business is to extract ore or minerals from the earth. Mining is one of the most dangerous trades in the world. In some countries miners lack social guarantees and in case of injury may be left to cope without assistance....

 at Maltby Main. His parents instilled into all the children a strong sense of discipline and the values of honesty and forthrightness.

Trueman's education began at the village school in Stainton where his teachers recognised his talent for cricket. He had started bowling when he was four and was playing in games involving adults by the time he was eight. His father was captain of the Stainton club and Trueman used to accompany him to matches, though he claimed that he didn't have great enthusiasm for cricket as a youngster and that it was only his father's "devotion to the game" that kept him involved. He did say, however, that he always bowled fast and that this "just happened naturally".

When Trueman was twelve years old, the family removed to a larger house on Tennyson Road in nearby Maltby
Maltby, South Yorkshire
Maltby is a town and civil parish of 17,247 inhabitants in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England, situated in a rural area about 7 miles east of Rotherham and 12 miles north-east of Sheffield...

. He attended Maltby Secondary School having lost the chance of going to a grammar school
Grammar school
A grammar school is one of several different types of school in the history of education in the United Kingdom and some other English-speaking countries, originally a school teaching classical languages but more recently an academically-oriented secondary school.The original purpose of mediaeval...

 because his parents could not afford the uniform and books required.

Development as a cricketer


But at Maltby Secondary, Trueman had two teachers called Dickie Harrison and Tommy Stubbs who recognised his talent as a bowler and picked him for the school team, even though he was much younger than the other players. His school playing career was interrupted for two years after he was seriously injured by a ball that hit him in the groin. He started playing again when he was fourteen and, with his father's encouragement, joined a village club called Roche Valley. A year later, he took six wickets for only one run as Roche Valley defeated a club from one of the main leagues that was "in a different class of cricket from us". Afterwards, the captain of this team contacted former Yorkshire player Cyril Turner who was coaching the Sheffield United Cricket Club
Sheffield United Cricket Club
Sheffield United Cricket Club was the first sports club or association in England to bear the word "United" in its name, common amongst association football clubs in England today. Sheffield United Cricket Club was formed in 1854, by several local cricket clubs in Sheffield uniting, thus the name...

 which played at Bramall Lane
Bramall Lane
-Cricket at the Lane:Bramall Lane opened as a cricket ground in 1855, having been leased by Michael Ellison from the Duke of Norfolk at an annual rent of £70. The site was then away from the town's industrial area, and relatively free from smoke. It was built to host the matches of local cricket...

, a ground then in regular use by Yorkshire CCC.

After leaving school, Trueman had a number of jobs including work on a building site, in a wire works and in a glass factory. He was playing for Sheffield United's second team every Saturday. He acknowledged his debt to Cyril Turner, "a superb coach", who taught him how to hold the ball properly and enable it to "swing" both ways; and how to follow through properly to complete his bowling action. In 1948, when Trueman was sixteen, he was invited by Yorkshire CCC to join the Yorkshire Federation team for players under eighteen, effectively the county's third team. The team toured the south of England and it was on this tour that Trueman met two of his future Yorkshire colleagues, Brian Close
Brian Close
Dennis Brian Close , usually known as Brian Close, is a former cricketer who is the youngest man ever to play Test cricket for England. He was picked for the Test team to play against New Zealand, in July 1949, when he was 18 years old. Close went on to play 22 Test matches for England,...

 and Ray Illingworth
Ray Illingworth
Raymond Illingworth, CBE is a former English cricketer, cricket commentator and cricket administrator. He was one of only nine players to have taken 2,000 wickets and made 20,000 runs in First class cricket, and the last one to do so...

. When he returned to Sheffield, Cyril Turner promoted him to the Sheffield United first team so that he could play in the prestigious Yorkshire Council league. Trueman had already met a number of great Yorkshire players including George Herbert Hirst
George Herbert Hirst
George Herbert Hirst was a professional English cricketer who played first-class cricket for Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 1891 and 1921, with a further appearance in 1929. He played in 24 Test matches for England between 1897 and 1909, touring Australia twice...

 and he was delighted by an end of season newspaper report in which Herbert Sutcliffe
Herbert Sutcliffe
Herbert Sutcliffe was an English professional cricketer who represented Yorkshire and England as an opening batsman. Apart from one match in 1945, his first-class career spanned the period between the two World Wars...

 predicted that Trueman would play for Yorkshire before he was nineteen and for England before he was twenty-one. During the winter of 1948–49, Trueman attended the Yorkshire indoor nets at Headingley
Headingley Stadium
Headingley Stadium is a sporting complex in the Leeds suburb of Headingley in West Yorkshire, England. It is the home of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, rugby league team Leeds Rhinos and rugby union team Leeds Carnegie ....

, in Leeds
Leeds
Leeds is a city and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England. In 2001 Leeds' main urban subdivision had a population of 443,247, while the entire city has a population of 798,800 , making it the 30th-most populous city in the European Union.Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial...

, where he was coached by Bill Bowes
Bill Bowes
Bill Bowes was one of the best bowlers of the interwar period and, for a time, the most important force behind Yorkshire's dominance of the County Championship...

 and Arthur Mitchell
Arthur Mitchell (cricketer)
Arthur "Ticker" Mitchell was an English first-class cricketer, who played both for Yorkshire County Cricket Club and England....

.

1949 English cricket season


As the 1949 season began, Trueman was surprised to receive a call from Yorkshire to play for the first team in the opening first-class matches against Cambridge University
Cambridge University Cricket Club
Cambridge University Cricket Club is a first-class cricket team. It now plays all but one of its first-class cricket matches as part of the Cambridge University Centre of Cricketing Excellence , which includes Anglia Ruskin University...

 at Fenner's
Fenner's
Fenner's is the University of Cambridge's cricket ground.-History:Fenner's has hosted first-class cricket since 1848, and many of the world's great players have graced the wicket. The ground was established on land leased for the purpose by Francis Fenner, after whom the ground is named.Playing for...

 and Oxford University
Oxford University Cricket Club
Oxford University Cricket Club is a first-class cricket team, representing the University of Oxford. It plays its home games at the University Parks in Oxford, England...

 at The Parks
University Parks
The Oxford University Parks, more normally the University Parks, or just The Parks to members of the local community, is one large parkland area slightly northeast of the Oxford city centre in England...

. He made his first-class debut on Wednesday, 11 May, in the three-day match against Cambridge which Yorkshire won by 9 wickets. He was mistakenly referred to in the Wisden
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack is a cricket reference book published annually in the United Kingdom...

match report as a spin bowler, but opening the bowling in both innings with Brian Close, who was medium pace, Trueman took 2–72 and 1–22 as Cambridge were dismissed for 283 and 196 respectively. Yorkshire scored 317–6 declared and 164–1 so Trueman, who was number 11 in the order, did not bat. Trueman's first wicket was that of opening batsman Robert Morris, who was caught by Ellis Robinson
Ellis Robinson
Ellis Pembroke Robinson was a first-class cricketer who took over 1,000 first-class wickets for Yorkshire from 1934 to 1949, and Somerset from 1950 to 1952.-Early life:...

 for 19. In the second innings, Trueman bowled the future Sussex
Sussex County Cricket Club
Sussex County Cricket Club is the oldest of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Sussex. The club was founded as a successor to Brighton Cricket Club which was a representative of the county of Sussex as a...

 and England batsman Hubert Doggart
Hubert Doggart
Hubert Doggart, O.B.E., MA was an English administrator, cricketer and schoolmaster...

 for 23. Three other debutants that day who all became England players were Close and opening batsman Frank Lowson
Frank Lowson
Frank Anderson Lowson was an English cricketer, who played in seven Tests for England from 1951 to 1955. In first-class cricket, Lowson amassed 15,321 runs at an average of over 37, but had drifted away from the county game by his early thrties.-Life and career:Lowson was born in Bradford,...

 for Yorkshire; and Middlesex
Middlesex County Cricket Club
Middlesex County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Middlesex. It was announced in February 2009 that Middlesex changed their limited overs name from the Middlesex Crusaders, to the...

 fast bowler John Warr
John Warr
John James Warr is an English former cricketer. He played in two Test matches for England.His Test bowling average remains the worst of any English player, but Warr turned it into comic relief in his highly humorous after dinner speeches.-Life and career:He played for Middlesex as a right-arm...

 for Cambridge. Many years later, Warr wrote the biographical piece about Trueman in Barclays World of Cricket.

Trueman had match figures of 6–72 in his second match against Oxford, which Yorkshire lost by 69 runs. A month later, he took 8–70 against the Minor Counties on his first appearance at Lord's
Lord's Cricket Ground
Lord's Cricket Ground is a cricket venue in St John's Wood, London. Named after its founder, Thomas Lord, it is owned by Marylebone Cricket Club and is the home of Middlesex County Cricket Club, the England and Wales Cricket Board , the European Cricket Council and, until August 2005, the...

, bowling unchanged through the second innings. In his first County Championship
County Championship
The County Championship is the domestic first-class cricket competition in England and Wales...

 match, playing against Surrey
Surrey County Cricket Club
Surrey County Cricket Club is one of the 18 professional county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Surrey. Its limited overs team is called the Surrey Lions...

 at Park Avenue, Bradford
Park Avenue (stadium)
Park Avenue is a sports ground on Horton Park Avenue in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. It was used for both cricket and football. It held 306 first class and 48 list A cricket matches between 1881 and 1996, and was home to former Football League club Bradford Park Avenue, to which it lent its...

, Trueman bowled "fast and with effect".

As with most of their young players, Yorkshire intended to take their time over establishing Trueman and were prepared to set him aside for lengthy periods. The established pace bowlers in 1949 were Alec Coxon
Alec Coxon
Alexander "Alec" Coxon is a former English cricketer who played for Yorkshire. He also played one Test match for England in 1948. Cricket writer, Colin Bateman stated, "Coxon's Test career was abrupt - much like the man himself...

 and Ron Aspinall
Ron Aspinall
Ronald Aspinall was an English former cricketer, who played for Yorkshire, and a cricket umpire.-Life and career:Aspinall was born in Almondbury, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire....

, both fast-medium, while captain Norman Yardley
Norman Yardley
Norman Walter Dransfield Yardley was an English cricketer who played for Cambridge University, Yorkshire County Cricket Club and England, as a right-handed batsman and occasional bowler. An amateur, he captained Yorkshire from 1948 to 1955 and England on fourteen occasions between 1947 and 1950,...

 was a "capable third seam bowler". History was against Trueman as the county rarely looked for fast bowlers with express speed, instead preferring "the medium of fast-medium bowler with his capacity for control, economy and long spells". Trueman, once he became established, was a clear breach of Yorkshire tradition.

The great Yorkshire team of the 1930s had been broken up by the Second World War and a rebuilding phase was underway by the late 1940s, although Yorkshire had won the first post-war County Championship
County Championship
The County Championship is the domestic first-class cricket competition in England and Wales...

 in 1946. Norman Yardley succeeded Brian Sellers
Brian Sellers
Arthur Brian Sellers was an English amateur first-class cricketer, who played in 334 first-class matches for Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 1932 and 1948, and later became a prominent administrator at the club....

 as captain in 1948 and his main team members that season were Len Hutton
Len Hutton
Sir Leonard "Len" Hutton was an English Test cricketer, who played for Yorkshire County Cricket Club and England in the years around the Second World War as an opening batsman. He was described by Wisden Cricketer's Almanack as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket...

, Ted Lester
Ted Lester
Edward Ibson Lester is an English first-class cricketer, who played for Yorkshire County Cricket Club....

, Harry Halliday
Harry Halliday
Harry Halliday was an English first-class cricketer, who played 182 games for Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 1938 and 1953...

, Vic Wilson
Vic Wilson (cricketer)
John Victor "Vic" Wilson was an English first-class cricketer, who played for and captained Yorkshire. He was born in Scampston, Malton, Yorkshire, England....

, Willie Watson
Willie Watson (England cricketer)
William "Willie" Watson, was an English cricketer, who played for Yorkshire, Leicestershire and England. He was a double international, as Watson was also a footballer who played for England's national team.-Cricket career:...

, Frank Smailes
Frank Smailes
Frank Smailes was an English cricketer, who played first-class cricket for Yorkshire, and one Test for England...

, Johnny Wardle
Johnny Wardle
Johnny Wardle was an English spin bowler of post-war cricket. His Test bowling average of 20.39, is the lowest in Test cricket by any recognised spin bowler, since World War I....

, Don Brennan
Don Brennan (Cricketer)
Donald Vincent Brennan was an English cricketer, who played in two Tests in 1951. For his county Yorkshire he was their regular wicket-keeper between 1947 and 1953, taking a total of 380 dismissals in those seven seasons. A poor batsman, he averaged 10.52 in first-class cricket with only a single...

 (wicket-keeper), Ellis Robinson
Ellis Robinson
Ellis Pembroke Robinson was a first-class cricketer who took over 1,000 first-class wickets for Yorkshire from 1934 to 1949, and Somerset from 1950 to 1952.-Early life:...

, Ron Aspinall and Alex Coxon. Others in the picture were future captain Billy Sutcliffe
Billy Sutcliffe
William "Billy" Herbert Hobbs Sutcliffe was an English amateur first-class cricketer, and the son of Herbert Sutcliffe; his middle name was in honour of Jack Hobbs....

 and two more young fast-medium bowlers, Bill Foord
Bill Foord
Bill Foord is an English first-class cricketer, who played 51 first-class matches for Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 1947 and 1953...

 and Johnny Whitehead
John Whitehead (cricketer)
John Parkin Whitehead was an English first-class cricketer, who played thirty seven first-class games for Yorkshire County Cricket Club from 1946 to 1951, plus thirty three for Worcestershire in 1953 and 1955, and four more for the Combined Services in 1947...

.

The main team changes in 1949 were the retirement of Frank Smailes; the immediate establishment of Close and Lowson, who played in 22 and 24 championship matches respectively while Trueman only played in four; and an injury to Aspinall who was restricted to just three games. Aspinall had taken thirty wickets in his three matches and had been picked for a Test Trial but, at the end of May, he ruptured an Achilles tendon and was out of action for the rest of the season; indeed, he was never an effective bowler again. Yorkshire initially replaced Aspinall with Frank McHugh but then brought Trueman back in June before dropping him in July in order to try out Foord and Whitehead.

Trueman was recalled to play against the New Zealand tourists at Bramall Lane later in July but his debut season ended there and then as he sustained a thigh injury and had to be carried off the field. He could only watch from the sidelines as Yorkshire took part in "a fine struggle" for the championship which, in the end, they shared with Middlesex
Middlesex County Cricket Club
Middlesex County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Middlesex. It was announced in February 2009 that Middlesex changed their limited overs name from the Middlesex Crusaders, to the...

, both teams earning 192 points.

Trueman played in eight first-class matches in 1949, all for Yorkshire; in five matches for the Second XI in the Minor Counties Championship; and in one other match for Yorkshire's first team against an Army XI which included another up and coming fast bowler, Frank Tyson
Frank Tyson
Frank Holmes Tyson is an England cricketer of the 1950s who became a journalist and cricket commentator after he emigrated to Australia in 1960. Nicknamed "Typhoon Tyson" by the press he was regarded by many commentators as one of the fastest bowlers ever seen in cricket and took 76 wickets in...

. Trueman's 8–70 against the Minor Counties was his best performance and he took 31 first-class wickets in all at 23.19.

1950 English cricket season


Trueman's first match in the 1950 season was for Yorkshire against the West Indies tourists at Park Avenue. He made 12 appearances in the County Championship and played for "The Rest" against England in a Test Trial. He made only one appearance for the Second XI. He again took 31 first-class wickets, but at the much higher average of 28.25 and his best analysis this time was only 3–28.

On the face of it, and certainly in terms of his bowling figures to date, it was a surprise that Trueman was selected for the Test Trial. This was "a match immortalised by Jim Laker's eight for two". But Trueman's inclusion was designed to give the England batsmen practice against fast bowling even though, at this period of his career, Trueman was inaccurate in both length and direction. The selectors were driven by the repeated discomfiture of England batsmen against the great Australian bowlers Ray Lindwall
Ray Lindwall
Raymond Russell Lindwall MBE was a cricketer who represented Australia in 61 Tests from 1946 to 1960. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time. He also played top-flight rugby league football with St...

 and Keith Miller
Keith Miller
Keith Ross Miller MBE was an Australian Test cricketer and a Royal Australian Air Force pilot during World War II. Miller is widely regarded as Australia's greatest ever all-rounder. Because of his ability, irreverent manner and good looks he was a crowd favourite...

, but John Arlott
John Arlott
Leslie Thomas John Arlott OBE was an English journalist, author and cricket commentator for the BBC's Test Match Special. He was also a poet, wine connoisseur and former police officer in Hampshire...

 suspected there was also a subconscious urge to "reflect public feeling, the national desire for a fast bowler, even an inexperienced one – anyone so long as he was fast".

1950 was a frustrating season for Trueman who was straining to establish himself in the Yorkshire team. The committee, however, persisted in a policy of short-term usage followed by a period of discard while they looked at Whitehead. Trueman faced the added problem of trying to succeed in an atmosphere of prevailing "discontent in the dressing room" which amounted to much more than a typical "them and us" situation between players and committee. Trueman said that the team itself was "split into cliques", specifically the "gentlemen players" and one or two senior professionals like Hutton, who had social ambitions, on the one hand; and the younger professionals like himself, Close, Illingworth and Lowson on the other. The situation was exacerbated by bad feeling between some of the professionals, Wardle in particular being a difficult person to have in a team. Although he was fast, Trueman was often wayward and sometimes expensive. These "negatives assumed great importance" in such a dour and unforgiving atmosphere. However, on Trueman's debit side, some of his colleagues perceived him to be "loud-mouthed and seemingly insensitive".

Trueman was downhearted enough at this time to even think about joining Yorkshire's traditional rivals Lancashire
Lancashire County Cricket Club
Lancashire County Cricket Club represents the historic county of Lancashire in cricket's County Championship. The club was founded in 1864 as a successor to Manchester Cricket Club and has played at Old Trafford since then...

. But at the end of the season, he went back to the winter nets where he listened to Bowes and Mitchell, practised, kept himself fit and looked forward with increasing determination to the future. Trueman was an "apt pupil" and Bowes said of him: "He had the three great assets for the job: a love of fast bowling, a powerful physique and a smooth cartwheel action".

Yorkshire finished third in the County Championship, twenty points adrift of the joint winners Lancashire and Surrey. For the most part, Yorkshire selected from 15 players in 1950 although a few others made occasional appearances. Yardley captained the team in which Hutton and Lowson were the established openers although, with Hutton's Test calls, there were more opportunities for Halliday and Geoffrey Keighley
Geoffrey Keighley
William Geoffrey Keighley OAM was an English barrister, businessman, first-class cricketer, farmer, grazier and legislator....

. Lester, Watson, Wilson and Billy Sutcliffe were the other batsmen and Brennan was the wicket-keeper. The main bowlers were Wardle, Coxon and Eddie Leadbeater
Eddie Leadbeater
Edric "Eddie" Leadbeater was an English cricketer who played in two Tests in 1951. He was born in Lockwood, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, and died in Huddersfield....

. Brian Close was doing his National Service and could only make a single appearance, Ellis Robinson had departed and Ron Aspinall's career had been wrecked by his injury. So Trueman and Whitehead, who made 13 appearances, contested the fourth bowling place but one of the bit players was Bob Appleyard
Bob Appleyard
Bob Appleyard is a former Yorkshire and England cricketer.He was one of the best English bowlers of the 1950s, a decade which saw England develop its strongest bowling attack of the twentieth century...

, who would make a major impact in 1951.

1951 English cricket season


The next stage in Trueman's development was to harness his speed and exercise full control of the ball. This was what Bowes and Mitchell worked on in 1950–51 and "the improvement in his bowling was immediately noticeable". Whereas in 1949 and 1950 he had taken 31 wickets in both seasons at average costs of 23.19 and 28.25 apiece, he took 90 first-class wickets at 20.57 in 1951 including 5 wickets in an innings six times.

His best analysis of the season was 8–53 against Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club
Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Nottinghamshire, and the current county champions. Its limited overs team is called the Nottinghamshire Outlaws...

 at Trent Bridge
Trent Bridge
Trent Bridge is a Test, One-day international and County cricket ground located in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, England and is also the headquarters of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club. As well as International cricket and Nottinghamshire's home games, the ground has hosted the Finals Day of...

 when he captured his first hat-trick
Hat-trick
A hat-trick or hat trick in sport is the achievement of a positive feat three times during a game, or other achievements based on threes. The term was first used in 1858 in cricket to describe HH Stephenson's feat of taking three wickets in three balls. A collection was held for Stephenson, and he...

 by making the ball swing with devastating effect, Yorkshire winning by 9 wickets. His hat-trick victims were Reg Simpson
Reg Simpson
Reginald Thomas Simpson is an English former cricketer, who played in twentry seven Tests from 1948 to 1955.-Life and career:...

, Alan Armitage
Alan Armitage
Alan Kenneth Armitage is a former English cricketer. Armitage was a right-handed batsman who occasionally fielded as a wicket-keeper. He was born at Nottingham, Nottinghamshire....

 and Peter Harvey. All four of Trueman's career hat-tricks were taken for Yorkshire and this is a county record he shares with George Macaulay
George Macaulay
George Gibson Macaulay , was a professional English cricketer who played first-class cricket for Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 1920 and 1935. He played in eight Test matches for England from 1923 to 1933, achieving the rare feat of taking a wicket with his first ball in Test cricket...

.
The hat-trick match was the second time Trueman had destroyed the Nottinghamshire batting that season. A month earlier at Bramall Lane, he had taken 3–26 and 8–68, enabling Yorkshire to win by an innings and 33 runs. According to Wisden, Trueman "bowled at very fast pace and frequently made the ball fly".

Trueman might have expected that eleven-wicket haul at Bramall Lane to firmly establish his place in the Yorkshire first-team but his immediate reward was to be rested and given twelfth man duties with the Second XI, who were playing against Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire County Cricket Club
Lincolnshire County Cricket Club is one of the county clubs, which make up the Minor Counties in the English domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Lincolnshire and playing in the Minor Counties Championship and the MCCA Knockout Trophy...

 at Cleethorpes Sports Ground. To be fair to Yorkshire, the teams for the subsequent first and second XI matches had already been chosen when he took his 8–68. But he quickly swallowed his disappointment and his 8–53 at Trent Bridge was summarised by one of his biographers Don Mosey
Don Mosey
Don Mosey was a sports journalist and radio producer, best remembered for his lengthy tenure as a cricket commentator on BBC's Test Match Special , which he joined in 1974 and left in 1991....

 as "the start of the Trueman era".

Despite their internal problems and disharmony, Yorkshire finished second behind Warwickshire
Warwickshire County Cricket Club
Warwickshire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Warwickshire. Its limited overs team is called the Warwickshire Bears. Their kit colours are black and gold and the shirt sponsor...

 in the County Championship. One of the problem players, Alex Coxon, surprisingly resigned after the 1950 season and it was widely said that "his face did not fit", even though he was a top-class bowler who had played for England. Brian Close made only two appearances as he completed his National Service; and Ray Illingworth made his debut but played in only the one match. With Johnny Whitehead playing only seven times, Yorkshire relied mainly on a squad of 13 players including Trueman, who played in 26 championship matches. The other twelve regulars were Yardley (captain), Hutton, Lowson, Lester, Watson, Wilson, Halliday, Sutcliffe, Brennan, Wardle, Leadbeater
Eddie Leadbeater
Edric "Eddie" Leadbeater was an English cricketer who played in two Tests in 1951. He was born in Lockwood, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, and died in Huddersfield....

 and Appleyard.

Trueman made 30 first-class appearances in 1951, more than doubling his career tally, and showed that he was a great fielding prospect too by holding 21 catches. At this early stage of his career, he had not developed any real batting ability and could only contribute 114 runs with a highest score of 25.

On Monday, 13 August, Trueman and Bob Appleyard were awarded their county caps by team captain Norman Yardley.

National Service


Since his first involvement with Yorkshire in 1948, Trueman had been working a winter job at Maltby Main in the tally office (contrary to one of the urban myths about him, he was never actually a miner). Yorkshire had encouraged him to work for the National Coal Board
National Coal Board
The National Coal Board was the statutory corporation created to run the nationalised coal mining industry in the United Kingdom. Set up under the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act 1946, it took over the mines on "vesting day", 1 January 1947...

 so that he would be in a reserved occupation and so avoid National Service
National service
National service is a common name for mandatory government service programmes . The term became common British usage during and for some years following the Second World War. Many young people spent one or more years in such programmes...

. But in the winter of 1950–51, he learned that his job was to be declassified and that he would be liable for call-up at some stage. He decided to volunteer after the 1951 season and, at the same time, take advantage of a new Yorkshire committee ruling that any capped players who were called up would be paid £5 a week, which was a good wage at the time.

Trueman undertook his National Service
National service
National service is a common name for mandatory government service programmes . The term became common British usage during and for some years following the Second World War. Many young people spent one or more years in such programmes...

 in the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 at RAF Hemswell
RAF Hemswell
RAF Hemswell was an airfield used by RAF Bomber Command for 20 years between 1937 and 1957 and saw most of its operational life during World War II. Later used by RAF Fighter Command as a nuclear ballistic missile base during the Cold War it closed to military use in 1967...

 in Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire is a county in the east of England. It borders Norfolk to the south east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south west, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to the west, South Yorkshire to the north west, and the East Riding of Yorkshire to the north. It also borders...

. At that stage, "the RAF was probably less hierarchical than Yorkshire County Cricket Club, and he coped with the vagaries of service life rather better than he did with the Yorkshire committee". He was there through the next two seasons until he was demobilised at the end of the 1953 season. During this time he made his Test debut for England against India in 1952 and took part in the 1953 Ashes
The Ashes
The Ashes is a Test cricket series played between England and Australia. It is one of the most celebrated rivalries in international cricket and dates back to 1882. It is currently played biennially, alternately in the United Kingdom and Australia. Cricket being a summer sport, and the venues...

 series against Australia. He was fortunate in having a station commander in Group Captain Jim Warfield who was a cricket enthusiast and was willing to grant him leave for Test and occasional county matches. In addition, Warfield decided to employ Trueman in the sports section, looking after the equipment and playing fields.

However, this relaxation of the usual rules caused questions to be raised in the House of Commons after the mother of another conscript complained to her local MP that her son had been refused leave to take part in a national banjo
Banjo
In the 1830s Sweeney became the first white man to play the banjo on stage. His version of the instrument replaced the gourd with a drum-like sound box and included four full-length strings alongside a short fifth-string. There is no proof, however, that Sweeney invented either innovation. This new...

 playing championship. Trueman claimed that he was the first person to be mentioned in Hansard
Hansard
Hansard is the name of the printed transcripts of parliamentary debates in the Westminster system of government. It is named after Thomas Curson Hansard, an early printer and publisher of these transcripts.-Origins:...

in a cricketing connection.

Trueman's identity in the RAF was AC2 F S Trueman 2549485. He was later promoted to AC1.

1952 English cricket season


National Service restricted Trueman to just nine first-class matches in 1952 but four of them were Tests. He made his debut for England on Thursday, 5 June, after he was selected for the First Test against India at Headingley. Len Hutton had been appointed England captain before the series as the first professional to hold the post in the 20th century and the first ever to hold it in a home series. The appointment was controversial, especially among the amateur establishment, but Hutton had "an easy initiation against a weak Indian side, who did not relish the tearaway bowling of the young Trueman". England won the match in four days by 7 wickets. After taking 3–89 in the first innings when India scored 293, Trueman produced a sensational opening spell in the second innings and, after only 14 balls had been bowled, India were reduced to 0–4, Trueman taking three of the wickets. He finished with 4–27 as India recovered to score 165. England had made 334 in the first innings and a second innings total of 128–3 secured the win. Although Hutton was Trueman's team mate at Yorkshire, the two did not get on well and this was to have an impact on Trueman's early Test career. The rest of the England team in his debut match were Reg Simpson, Peter May
Peter May
-External links:* * at Cricket Archive*...

, Denis Compton
Denis Compton
Denis Charles Scott Compton CBE was an English cricketer who played in 78 Test matches, and a footballer...

, Tom Graveney
Tom Graveney
Thomas William Graveney in Riding Mill, Northumberland, is a former English cricketer and was the President of the Marylebone Cricket Club for 2004/5. He went to Bristol Grammar School...

, Allan Watkins
Allan Watkins
Allan Watkins Allan Watkins Allan Watkins (born Albert John Watkins (21 April 1922 – 3 August 2011) was a Welsh cricketer, who played for England in fifteen Tests from 1948 to 1952. He toured India and Pakistan in 1951-2 with the MCC, and also participated in the 1955-6 'A' Tour to Pakistan...

, Godfrey Evans
Godfrey Evans
Thomas Godfrey Evans CBE was an English cricketer who played for Kent and England.Described by Wisden as 'arguably the best wicket-keeper the game has ever seen', Evans collected 219 dismissals in 91 Test match appearances between 1946 and 1959 and a total of 1066 in all first-class matches...

, Roly Jenkins
Roly Jenkins
Roly Jenkins was an English cricketer, almost exclusively for Worcestershire as a leg spinner in the period immediately after World War II...

, Jim Laker
Jim Laker
James "Jim" Charles Laker was a cricketer who played for England in the 1950s, known for "Laker's match" in 1956 at Old Trafford, when he took nineteen wickets in England's victory against Australia...

 and Alec Bedser
Alec Bedser
Sir Alec Victor Bedser, CBE was a professional English cricketer. He was the chairman of selectors for the English national cricket team, and the president of Surrey County Cricket Club...

.

In the Second Test at Lord's, England won by 8 wickets. Trueman, again opening the bowling with Alec Bedser, took 4–72 and 4–110. He also enjoyed a brisk knock with the bat, coming in at number eleven with England on 514–9, by scoring 17 in only 9 minutes with two fours and a six. In the Third Test at Old Trafford, England won by an innings and 207 runs with Trueman taking 8–31 and 1–9. The final Test at The Oval
The Oval
The Kia Oval, still commonly referred to by its original name of The Oval, is an international cricket ground in Kennington, in the London Borough of Lambeth. In the past it was also sometimes called the Kennington Oval...

 was ruined by rain and drawn after England scored 326–6 declared and India had been bowled out for only 98. Trueman with 5–48 and Bedser with 5–41 were almost unplayable. His tally of wickets in his debut series was therefore 29.

Trueman took 61 first-class wickets in the season at the outstanding average of only 13.78, his best analysis being his 8–31 in the Old Trafford Test. He had five instances of 5 wickets in an innings. He scored 40 runs and took 5 catches. He had one problem during the season in "a tendency to get stitch
Side stitch
A side stitch is an intense stabbing pain under the lower edge of the ribcage that occurs while exercising. It is also referred to as exercise related transient abdominal pain...

", which was diagnosed as "a lack of regular fast bowling exercise".

In the 1952 County Championship, Yorkshire made a strong challenge but ultimately finished as runners-up to Stuart Surridge
Stuart Surridge
Walter Stuart Surridge was a cricketer who played for Surrey. He was born at Herne Hill in south London, educated at Emanuel School, and died at Glossop in Derbyshire....

's great Surrey team which began a remarkable run of seven consecutive titles to 1958. Trueman was restricted to five championship appearances but Yorkshire did get Brian Close back from his National Service. Yardley was again the captain and the other mainstays were Hutton, Lowson, Lester, Halliday, Wilson, Watson, Sutcliffe, Brennan, Wardle, Leadbeater and the fast-medium bowler Bill Holdsworth who was effectively Trueman's stand-in. Holdsworth played 24 matches in 1952 and 1953 only; but never again after Trueman returned to full-time action in 1954.

As a result of his fine performances in 1952, Trueman was voted the Young Cricketer of the Year
Cricket Writers' Club Young Cricketer of the Year
The Young Cricketer of the Year is an annual award voted by the Cricket Writers' Club for the best young cricket player in England and Wales, and has been awarded since 1950. Former recipients include Fred Trueman, Geoffrey Boycott, Ian Botham and David Gower....

 by the Cricket Writers' Club.

The following spring, he was named as one of the Cricketers of the Year
Wisden Cricketers of the Year
The Wisden Cricketers of the Year are cricketers selected for the honour by the annual publication Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, based primarily on their "influence on the previous English season"...

 for 1952 by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack in its 1953 edition. Wisden said of Trueman in its citation that he "is 5 ft 10 ½ in. and weighs 13 st 9lbs" and "gives promise of becoming a second Harold Larwood
Harold Larwood
Harold Larwood was an English cricket player, an extremely accurate fast bowler best known for his key role as the implementer of fast leg theory in the infamous "bodyline" Ashes Test series of 1932–33....

". Having mentioned his problem with "stitch", Wisden remarked that "it is doubtful whether Trueman has reached the stage of physical development to bowl the long spells which may be necessary against Test batsmen of the highest class". While Yorkshire thought Trueman would need two more seasons "before he can do everything asked", England certainly possess "the best fast bowling prospect in years" and Wisden followed this comment with a direct comparison of Trueman's attributes with those of Larwood.

Writing in 1999, Derek Birley
Derek Birley
Sir Derek Birley was an English educator and writer who had a strong interest in sport, especially cricket.He was educated at grammar school in Hemsworth, West Yorkshire, and at Queens' College, Cambridge University....

 said of Trueman at this pivotal moment in his career that he was "still learning his craft and, rather more slowly, how to behave". Birley viewed Trueman as "an early cricketing example of a post-war phenomenon, the brash and undisciplined youth tolerated for his talent – the anti-hero". But Birley admitted that Trueman eventually became "an immensely popular public figure" thanks to his "rudimentary sense of humour, prodigious memory and forthright views", all of which made him a media favourite on the one hand but, on the other, the same qualities made him "less popular on the county cricket circuit", where he was "dreaded off the field like the Ancient Mariner".

Football with Lincoln City: 1952–53


Trueman played football for Lincoln City
Lincoln City F.C.
Lincoln City Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Lincoln, Lincolnshire. The club are currently members of the Conference National in 2011–12 following relegation from the Football League....

 during his National Service. He played football for RAF Hemswell during the 1952–53 season and was spotted by Lincoln City manager Bill Anderson, who invited him to play for the Lincoln reserves. Trueman was a forward, playing either as a striker or on the wing. Given the publicity Trueman had received after his performances in the 1952 Test series, there was a lot of public interest in his football and Lincoln's attendances increased considerably when he was playing. Eventually, Bill Anderson offered him professional terms but Trueman decided to concentrate on cricket and, aware of the risk to his Test and county career if he sustained a football injury, he declined.

1953 English cricket season


Trueman played in 15 first-class matches in 1953 and scored 131 runs, including his best career score to date of 34; and he took 15 catches, one per match. With the ball, he was not as effective as in 1952, taking 44 wickets at the high average of 32.06. His best analysis was 6–47 and he took 10 wickets in a match once, 5 wickets in an innings twice.

The highlight of the season, for him and all other England cricket followers, was the series victory over Australia that enabled England to win The Ashes for the first time since the bodyline
Bodyline
Bodyline, also known as fast leg theory bowling, was a cricketing tactic devised by the English cricket team for their 1932–33 Ashes tour of Australia, specifically to combat the extraordinary batting skill of Australia's Don Bradman...

 series in 1932–33. Trueman missed the first four Tests, which were all drawn, and played in the last at The Oval which England won by 8 wickets, partly thanks to him taking four important wickets. "Erratic, yes; wild, most certainly; but full of fire and dynamite", wrote Jack Fingleton
Jack Fingleton
John "Jack" Henry Webb Fingleton OBE was an Australian cricketer who was trained as a journalist and became a political and cricket commentator after the end of his playing career...

.

Yorkshire by contrast had a poor season, though it could partly be excused by the impact of Test calls, injuries and Trueman's National Service. They dropped to twelfth place, which was then their lowest-ever position. Ray Illingworth, who had made only a handful of appearances previously, was an ever-present in Yorkshire's championship team in 1953 and other young prospects making progress were Mike Cowan
Michael Cowan
Michael Joseph Cowan is a former first-class cricketer for Yorkshire County Cricket Club. A right-handed batsman and a left-arm fast medium bowler, he averaged 5.54 in 94 innings with the bat, with a high score of 22. His bowling return was 276 wickets at 24.57, with a best of 9-43. He toured...

, Doug Padgett
Doug Padgett
Doug Padgett was an English cricketer, who played more than 500 first-class matches and represented England in Tests twice, both in 1960....

, Bryan Stott
Bryan Stott
William Bryan Stott and known as Bryan, is an English former first-class cricketer, who played for Yorkshire County Cricket Club throughout his career, which spanned from 1952 to 1963...

 and Ken Taylor
Ken Taylor (cricketer)
Ken Taylor is an English former cricketer, who played in three Tests for England from 1959 to 1964. He also played first-class cricket for Yorkshire...

. Otherwise, the mainstays were as before: Yardley, Hutton, Lowson, Lester, Halliday, Watson, Wilson, Sutcliffe, Brennan and Wardle. Close played in only two matches and Trueman in ten. Bill Holdsworth made 14 appearances and Bill Foord, in his last season before finally deciding to be a schoolteacher, made 22.

MCC tour of West Indies in 1953–54


Trueman's first overseas tour was in the following winter after he was demobilised by the RAF. He played in eight first-class matches, including three of the five Tests, and took 27 wickets at 33.66 with a best effort of 5–45.

But this was a controversial tour and its ramifications had an adverse impact on Trueman's international career during the next few years. MCC at the outset were "riddled with anxiety" about sending a team abroad under a professional captain but could hardly deny Hutton his right having just won The Ashes. England had a very strong team in which the main bowlers were Bailey, Laker, Lock, Wardle, Trueman and Statham. However, they had also some strong characters and weak management.

Hutton discouraged fraternisation with the West Indies players and this went decidedly against Trueman's grain, given that he was a gregarious character who liked nothing better than to fraternise. Trueman had made friends with Frank Worrell
Frank Worrell
Sir Frank Mortimer Maglinne Worrell is sometimes referred to by his nickname of Tae and was a West Indies cricketer and Jamaican senator...

 and other West Indian players when he met them in English league cricket and objected strongly to Hutton's policy, claiming that he was not alone in this and especially as Hutton gave no reason for it. Trueman suspected the MCC hierarchy of instructing Hutton to make the demand. For his own part, he would not allow anyone to dictate who he would be friends with.

C L R James commented on the 1953–54 team that it was "actively disliked". He said that this was "not due merely to unsportsmanlike behaviour by individuals" but that there was "evidence to show" that the team was there primarily to "establish the prestige of Great Britain, and by that, of the local whites".

Trueman quickly alienated the West Indian crowds who disliked his belligerent style, especially when he followed instructions and did not show sympathy for batsmen he had hit with the ball. The West Indian fans nicknamed him ""Mr Bumper Man" and someone wrote a calypso
Calypso music
Calypso is a style of Afro-Caribbean music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago from African and European roots. The roots of the genre lay in the arrival of enslaved Africans, who, not being allowed to speak with each other, communicated through song...

 about him that was based on the sea shanty
Sea shanty
A shanty is a type of work song that was once commonly sung to accompany labor on board large merchant sailing vessels. Shanties became ubiquitous in the 19th century era of the wind-driven packet and clipper ships...

 Drunken Sailor
Drunken Sailor
Drunken Sailor is a traditional sea shanty also known as What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?It begins with the question, "What shall we do with a drunken sailor, early in the morning?" Each verse thereafter suggests a method of sobering—or castigating, or simply abusing—the sailor.The song...

. He fell foul of off-field incidents too, including one in which he and Tony Lock were blamed for something done by Compton who, as the "golden boy" of English cricket, was effectively beyond reproach. It was while the team was in Barbados
Barbados
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

 that one of the most repeated "Trueman stories" is said to have originated, although it is almost certainly apocryphal. At a dinner, Trueman is said to have ordered a local dignitary, apparently the Indian High Commissioner, to: "Pass t'salt, Gunga Din". At the end of the tour, to his outrage, Trueman had his good-conduct bonus docked. No reason was given and he tried without success to obtain one, but neither Hutton nor MCC would elaborate. Trueman never forgave Hutton and the two never played together for England again.

Trueman played in the First Test at Sabina Park
Sabina Park
Sabina Park is the home of the Kingston Cricket Club, and is the only Test cricket ground in Kingston, Jamaica and is often referred to as "The Holiday Home of Cricket"....

 but, with figures of 2–107 and 0–32, he proved expensive and West Indies won by 140 runs. He was omitted from team for both the Second and Third Test but then recalled for the Fourth Test at Queen's Park Oval
Queen's Park Oval
Queen's Park Oval, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, is currently the largest capacity cricket ground in the West Indies and has hosted more Test matches than any other ground in the Caribbean. It also hosted a number of matches in the 2007 Cricket World Cup. It is privately owned by the...

 which was drawn; Trueman again struggled and had a return of 1–131 in the first innings as West Indies amassed 681–8 declared, all of the famous "Three Ws" scoring centuries: Everton Weekes
Everton Weekes
Sir Everton DeCourcy Weekes, KCMG, GCM, OBE is a leading former West Indian cricketer. Along with Frank Worrell and Clyde Walcott, he formed what was known as "The Three Ws" of West Indian cricket.-Youth and early career:...

 206, Frank Worrell 167 and Clyde Walcott
Clyde Walcott
Sir Clyde Leopold Walcott, KA, GCM was a West Indian cricketer. Walcott was a member of the "three W's", the other two being Everton Weekes and Frank Worrell: all were very successful batsmen from Barbados, born within a short distance of each other in Bridgetown, Barbados in a period of 18...

 124. Trueman was retained for the final Test at Sabina Park which England won by 9 wickets to square the series two apiece. He opened the bowling with Bailey and returned figures of 2–39 and 3–88, while Bailey produced a match-winning 7–34 in the first innings when West Indies were all out for only 139. The West Indies team in this match included a 17-year-old all-rounder called Garfield Sobers
Garfield Sobers
Sir Garfield St Aubrun Sobers AO, OCC is a former cricketer who captained West Indies. His first name of Garfield is variously abbreviated as Gary or Garry. He is widely regarded as one of cricket's greatest ever all-rounders, having excelled at all the essential skills of batting, bowling and...

, who was making his Test debut.

1954 English cricket season


Back in England after the tour of the West Indies, Trueman was able to play a full season for the first time since 1951. He played in 33 matches and, for the first time, exceeded 100 wickets in a season. His tally was 134 at 15.55 with a best return of 8–28. He took 5 wickets in an innings on 10 occasions but never managed 10 in a match. His batting was again invariably of tailender quality but he did manage to score a half-century for the first time with a score of 50 not out. His fielding was outstanding as usual and he took 32 catches in his 33 matches.

But, despite his excellent form, there was no place for Trueman in any of the Test matches against Pakistan, nor was he selected for the tour of Australia and New Zealand the following winter.

1955 English cricket season


Trueman had an even better season with Yorkshire in 1955, taking 153 wickets at 16.03. He had 10 in a match three times and 5 in an innings eight times, including his best analysis of 7–23. He held 26 catches in 31 appearances and managed to improve his highest score to 74, that being his only half-century.

He did force his way back into the England team for the Second Test at Lord's, in which England defeated South Africa by 71 runs. Opening the bowling with Statham, Trueman took 2–73, which was expensive, and 0–39 while Statham won the match for England with 2–49 and a brilliant 7–39. That was Trueman's only Test in 1955 as Frank Tyson was recalled for the Third Test at Old Trafford.

There was no Test tour in 1955–56 so Trueman had to wait a whole year for his next chance to play for England.

1956 English cricket season


The Australians visited England in 1956 and Trueman was recalled for two Tests against them. In the Second Test at Lord's, which Australia won by 185 runs, Trueman opened the bowling with Statham and took 2–54 and 5–90. During the second innings, he reached his 50th wicket in Test cricket when he had Keith Miller
Keith Miller
Keith Ross Miller MBE was an Australian Test cricketer and a Royal Australian Air Force pilot during World War II. Miller is widely regarded as Australia's greatest ever all-rounder. Because of his ability, irreverent manner and good looks he was a crowd favourite...

 caught behind, but Miller had the last laugh as his ten-wicket haul won the match for Australia.

Trueman had done enough to retain his place for the Third Test at Headingley where England won by an innings and 42 runs. But it was a spinner's wicket and 18 of the Australian wickets fell to Jim Laker
Jim Laker
James "Jim" Charles Laker was a cricketer who played for England in the 1950s, known for "Laker's match" in 1956 at Old Trafford, when he took nineteen wickets in England's victory against Australia...

 and Tony Lock
Tony Lock
Graham Anthony Richard Lock was an English cricketer, who played primarily as a left-arm spinner. He played in forty nine Tests for England taking 174 wickets at 25.58 each.-Life and career:...

. Trueman opened the bowling with his future Test Match Special colleague Trevor Bailey
Trevor Bailey
Trevor Edward Bailey CBE was an England Test cricketer, cricket writer and broadcaster.An all-rounder, Bailey was known for his skilful but unspectacular batting...

 and took 1–19 and 1–21, dismissing Colin McDonald in both innings.

Brian Statham returned for the now legendary Fourth Test at Old Trafford, taking Trueman's place and opening the bowling with Bailey, but no pace bowlers were needed here for this was "Laker's Match", the Surrey off-spinner taking an unparalleled 19 wickets in the match.

Trueman made 31 first-class appearances in 1956 but it was a disappointing season as he could only manage 59 wickets at 23.44. He was not included in the 1956–57 tour of South Africa, in which England relied for pace on Bailey, Statham, Tyson and Peter Loader
Peter Loader
Peter James Loader was an English cricketer and umpire, who played thirteen Test matches for England. He played for Surrey and Beddington Cricket Club. A whippet-thin fast bowler with a wide range of pace and a nasty bouncer, he took the first post-war Test hat-trick as part of his 6 for 36...

. To keep his name in the frame, Trueman accepted an invitation to make a short tour of India with C G Howard's XI, which played two matches.

1957 English cricket season


Trueman returned to the fore in 1957 and finally became an established England player, taking part in all five Tests against West Indies. He was England's leading wicket-taker with 22 at 20.68. His great partnership with Statham began in earnest and for six years the pair were a formidable presence in international cricket: Statham "accurate and persistent", Trueman "rhythmic and dynamic".

Trueman played in 32 first-class matches in 1957, taking 135 wickets at 17.05 with a best return of 7–37. He had 10 wickets in a match twice and 5 in an innings nine times. He had an outstanding time in his favoured leg slip position too, holding 36 catches.

1958 English cricket season


Trueman played in 30 first-class matches in 1958 including all five Tests against New Zealand. He took 106 wickets at a very low 13.33 with best figures of 6–23, one of six 5-wicket hauls. He held 22 catches in the season and it was about this time that he began to prove himself a more reliable batsman, eventually being able to rise from number 11 to about 8 or 9 in batting orders. He scored 453 runs in 1958 with 3 half-centuries and a highest score of 61.

MCC tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1958–59


Despite sending a very strong team on this tour, England lost The Ashes to Richie Benaud
Richie Benaud
Richard "Richie" Benaud OBE is a former Australian cricketer who, since his retirement from international cricket in 1964, has become a highly regarded commentator on the game....

's Australians. Trueman took part in the last three Tests. Trueman played in twelve first-class matches and took 37 wickets at 22.24 with best figures of 5–42. He took 11 catches and scored 266 runs at 17.73 with a highest innings of 53.

On the New Zealand leg of the tour, Trueman played in all five first-class matches, including two Tests, and took 20 wickets at 12.20 with best figures of 8–45 and 10 wickets in a match once.

1959 English cricket season


For the first time in Trueman's career, Yorkshire won the County Championship outright. He made a major contribution to that success as he took 140 wickets in his 30 first-class appearances at 19.50 with a best return of 7–57 among six 5 wicket hauls. He took 24 catches and scored 602 runs, easily his largest tally in a season to date, with a highest score of 54.

England played India in the Test series and Trueman, whose selection problems were by now behind him, played in all five Tests.

MCC tour of West Indies in 1959–60


Trueman took 37 wickets and 11 catches in 10 first-class appearances including all five Test matches.

1960 English cricket season


Trueman played in all five matches of the Test series against South Africa.

Yorkshire won a second successive County Championship.

He made 32 first-class appearances and took 175 wickets, the highest season tally of his entire career, at the outstanding average of 13.98. He took 10 in a match four times and 5 in an innings 12 times with a best return of 7–41. Still improving as a batsman, though he was never consistent enough to be termed an all-rounder
All-rounder
An all-rounder is a cricketer who regularly performs well at both batting and bowling. Although all bowlers must bat and quite a few batsmen do bowl occasionally, most players are skilled in only one of the two disciplines and are considered specialists...

, he made 577 runs at 16.48 in 1960 with three half-centuries and a highest score of 69. He held 22 catches, mostly in his favourite position at leg slip.

1961 English cricket season


Trueman played in the first four Tests against Australia. England failed to regain The Ashes.

Yorkshire finished second in the County Championship behind Hampshire
Hampshire County Cricket Club
Hampshire County Cricket Club represents the historic county of Hampshire in cricket's County Championship. The club was founded in 1863 as a successor to the Hampshire county cricket teams and has played at the Antelope Ground from then until 1885, before moving to the County Ground where it...

, who won the title for the first time.

He had another outstanding season with 155 wickets at 19.35 in his 34 first-class appearances. He took 10 in a match four times and 5 in an innings eleven times with best figures of 7–45. Surprisingly, he held only 13 catches though he was still one of the best leg slip fielders in the game, but he continued to provide the occasional good innings and made his highest score to date of 80 not out among 4 half-centuries and a season's total of 809 runs.

1962 English cricket season


In a five-Test series, England made short work of a Pakistan team that was weak in attack. As in 1961, Trueman played in the first four Tests but not the Fifth Test at The Oval.

Yorkshire regained the County Championship title.

In another outstanding season of pace and swing, Trueman took 153 first-class wickets at 17.75 with best figures of 8–84. He had one 10 wicket match and five 5 wicket returns. He made 33 first-class appearances in 1962 and scored 840 runs, which was the best season tally of his whole career but, because of inconsistency, he remained well short of the standard required if he was to be termed an all-rounder, though that is not something he ever pursued given his workload as a specialist bowler. Despite his total of runs, a score of 63 was his only half-century. He held 24 catches.

MCC tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1962–63


Fred Trueman and Brian Statham
Brian Statham
John Brian "George" Statham, CBE was one of the leading English fast bowlers in 20th-century English cricket. Initially a bowler of a brisk fast-medium pace, Statham was able to remodel his action to generate enough speed to become genuinely fast...

 had 216 and 229 wickets respectively when they toured Australia in 1962–63 and were poised to overtake the record of 236 Test wickets set by the assistant-manager Alec Bedser
Alec Bedser
Sir Alec Victor Bedser, CBE was a professional English cricketer. He was the chairman of selectors for the English national cricket team, and the president of Surrey County Cricket Club...

. The Australian captain Richie Benaud
Richie Benaud
Richard "Richie" Benaud OBE is a former Australian cricketer who, since his retirement from international cricket in 1964, has become a highly regarded commentator on the game....

 was another contender with 219 wickets, but it was Statham who broke the record. Trueman took 5-62 in the only England victory at Melbourne and Ted Dexter
Ted Dexter
Edward Ralph Dexter CBE is a former English cricketer...

 used him in short bursts, setting defensive fields until his strike bowler could return. The Reverend
The Reverend
The Reverend is a style most often used as a prefix to the names of Christian clergy and ministers. There are sometimes differences in the way the style is used in different countries and church traditions. The Reverend is correctly called a style but is often and in some dictionaries called a...

 David Sheppard
David Sheppard
David Stuart Sheppard, Baron Sheppard of Liverpool was the high-profile Bishop of Liverpool in the Church of England who played cricket for Sussex and England in his youth...

 dropped some vital catches on the tour, and when he missed a sitter off Trueman from Neil Harvey
Neil Harvey
Robert Neil Harvey MBE is a former Australian cricketer who represented the Australian cricket team between 1948 and 1963, playing in 79 Test matches. He was the vice-captain of the team from 1957 until his retirement...

 in the Fourth Test Trueman told him "The only time your hands are together are on Sunday". This is a story that increased with the telling, another version being "Pretend it's Sunday Reverend, and keep your hands together",. Statham did not tour New Zealand and Trueman took his 243rd Test wicket to set a new record and finished with 250. He was presented with the ball that took the 243rd wicket and received telegrams of congratulations from every county except Yorkshire
Yorkshire County Cricket Club
Yorkshire County Cricket Club represents the historic county of Yorkshire as one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure....

.

1963 English cricket season


Although England were well beaten by Frank Worrell
Frank Worrell
Sir Frank Mortimer Maglinne Worrell is sometimes referred to by his nickname of Tae and was a West Indies cricketer and Jamaican senator...

's outstanding West Indies team, Trueman had an outstanding series.

Yorkshire retained the County Championship title.

He made 27 first-class appearances in 1963, taking 129 wickets at only 15.15 with best figures of 8–45 among ten 5-wicket returns and five matches when he took 10 wickets. He held 15 catches and enjoyed what was probably his best season ever with the bat, scoring two centuries and two half-centuries in a tally of 783 runs at the respectable average of 22.37. His highest score was 104.

1964 English cricket season


England again failed to recover The Ashes in a generally disappointing series which is memorable for Trueman completing the unprecedented feat in taking 300 career wickets in a Test career. He reached the milestone when he had Neil Hawke
Neil Hawke
Neil James Napier Hawke was an Australian Test cricketer and leading Australian rules footballer.Born in Cheltenham, South Australia, Hawke quickly developed as a natural all-round sportsman who excelled in cricket, football and golf and made his senior Australian rules football debut for South...

 caught by Colin Cowdrey at slip in the Fifth Test at The Oval. Hawke, a good friend of Trueman off the field, was the first to congratulate him. The occasion produced one of Trueman's few concessions to fatigue when he was asked if he thought his record would ever be broken and he quipped: "Aye, but whoever does it will be bloody tired". As Warr pointed out: "This comment reveals the essence of the man. A touch of belligerence, a hint of humility, a pinch of roughness and an over-riding sense of humour".

Yorkshire lost the County Championship title which was won for the first time by a very strong Worcestershire
Worcestershire County Cricket Club
Worcestershire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Worcestershire...

 team which starred Tom Graveney and featured Basil D'Oliveira
Basil D'Oliveira
Basil Lewis D'Oliveira CBE , known affectionately around the world as "Dolly", was a South African-born English cricketer. D'Oliveira was classified as 'coloured' under the apartheid regime, and hence barred from first-class cricket, resulting in his emigration to England...

, Norman Gifford
Norman Gifford
Norman Gifford was an English cricketer, who played primarily as a left-arm spinner...

 and fast bowlers Len Coldwell
Len Coldwell
Len Coldwell was an English cricketer, who played in seven Tests for England from 1962 to 1964. Coldwell was a right-arm fast-medium bowler who was, for a few years in the early to mid-1960s, half of a respected and feared new-ball partnership in English county cricket...

 and Jack Flavell
Jack Flavell
Jack Flavell was an English cricketer who played in four Tests for England from 1961 to 1964. His county cricket career was spent with Worcestershire, with whom Flavell won two County Championship titles...

.

Trueman's overall achievements in 1964 did not meet his own high standards and his tally of exactly 100 wickets was well down on his totals in recent seasons. His average increased to a still creditable 21.94 but he only took 5 wickets in an innings three times with a best return of 5–48. He scored 595 runs in his 31 appearances with a highest score of 77 among four half-centuries; and he held 19 catches.

1965 English cricket season


Trueman's Test career ended in 1965 after he had played in the first two of a three-match series against New Zealand. He bowed out with a then world record of 307 Test wickets at an average of 21.54.

Although he was the first bowler to take 300 Test wickets, he had undergone numerous clashes and problems with the England cricketing hierarchy. He was not involved in the tours of Australia (1954–55); South Africa (1956–57) and (1964–65); India and Pakistan (1961–62); or India (1963–64). From the beginning to the end of his international career, England played 118 Tests and he missed 51 of them. He recalled in his memoirs: "Irrespective of the fact I was at the top of my game for Yorkshire and frequently topped the county bowling averages, I was often overlooked for England. To my mind the reason for this was personal. Quite simply, some of the selection committee did not like my forthright attitude, which they misinterpreted as being "bolshy". Rather than pick the best eleven players for the job, the selection committee would often choose someone because he was, in their eyes, a gentleman and a decent chap. Such attributes often took precedence over someone's ability to play international cricket". He also wrote: "For this reason I was selected for far fewer Tests than I believe I should have been. To my mind, if I'd had the opportunity to play in those Tests, I'm sure I would have topped 400 wickets. But that was not to be, even though I was regularly taking 100-plus wickets a season for Yorkshire".

Yorkshire failed to regain the County Championship which was won for the second time in succession by Worcestershire.

Trueman's overall performance in 1965 suggested that the Test selectors had discarded him too soon as he took 127 wickets in 30 matches at only 14.25 and a best analysis of 8–36. He took 10 wickets in a match once and had ten 5 wicket returns. He held 17 catches and scored 636 runs at 17.18, including his third (and last) career century with an innings of 101. He also scored two half-centuries.

1966 English cricket season


Trueman made 33 first-class appearances in 1966 and was able to focus on his county career, helping the team to win the first of three consecutive County Championships to 1968. He took 111 wickets, the 12th and final time he achieved 100 in a season, at 18.37 with best figures of 8–37. He had one 10 wicket match and twice took 5 in an innings. He scored 448 runs with a highest of 43 and held 22 catches.

1967 English cricket season


Yorkshire again won the County Championship in 1967 and Trueman made 31 first-class appearances. He scored 342 runs with a highest score of 34 and held 32 catches. He greatly reduced his workload as a bowler, operating mainly in short spells, but still took a creditable 75 wickets at 21.46 with a best performance of 5–39.

1968 English cricket season


With Brian Close injured for a long period, Trueman was Yorkshire's acting captain in several matches and ensured that the team completed a hat-trick of titles. An event that gave Trueman considerable satisfaction was to lead Yorkshire to victory against a Test-strength Australian team at Bramall Lane.

He made 29 first-class appearances, scoring 296 runs with a highest innings of 45 and holding 16 catches. He followed his policy of the previous season by bowling in short spells and, again, it paid off with 66 wickets at 20.83 and a best performance of 6–20 among three innings when he took 5 wickets.

Into retirement


Although he had officially retired, Trueman made one final first-class appearance in 1969 when he agreed to appear at the Scarborough Festival
Scarborough Festival
The Scarborough Festival is an end of season series of cricket matches featuring Yorkshire County Cricket Club which has been held in Scarborough, on the east coast of Yorkshire, since 1876. The ground, at North Marine Road, sees large crowds of holiday makers watching a mixture of first class...

 and play for the International Cavaliers
International Cavaliers
The International Cavaliers were an ad hoc cricket team made up of famous cricketers in order to encourage local cricket. Their teams included many prominent cricketers from the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s as many retired veterans and talented young players were in the team at one point or another...

 against the touring Barbados team.

Trueman took 2,302 first-class wickets (including four hat-tricks) at an average of 18.27. Bob Platt
Bob Platt
Bob Platt is an English former first-class cricketer, who played ninety six matches for Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 1955 and 1963, and three for Northamptonshire in 1964...

 remembered: "If I close my eyes I can still see him pawing the ground like a bull in a Spanish ring, then running up to the wicket like silk. Whenever he came back from a Test match to play for Yorkshire, he would put a few thousand on the gate. The Yorkshire public idolised him, just as we all did". In 459 first-class matches for the county, Trueman took 1,745 wickets at 17.12, a total bettered only by Wilfred Rhodes
Wilfred Rhodes
Wilfred Rhodes was an English professional cricketer who played 58 Test matches for England between 1899 and 1930. In Tests, Rhodes took 127 wickets in and scored 2,325 runs, becoming the first Englishman to complete the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in Test matches...

, George Herbert Hirst, Schofield Haigh
Schofield Haigh
Schofield Haigh was a Yorkshire and England cricketer. He played for eighteen seasons for Yorkshire County Cricket Club, for England from the 1898/99 tour to 1912, and was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1901....

 and George Macaulay. He claimed 100 wickets in a season on 12 occasions, with a best return of 175 wickets in 1960. He holds the record for most consecutive first-class matches played (67) in which he took a wicket.

Trueman surprisingly reappeared in 1972 when he joined Derbyshire
Derbyshire County Cricket Club
Derbyshire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the England and Wales domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Derbyshire...

 and played in six limited overs matches.

On 8 August 2009, Fred Trueman was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame
ICC Cricket Hall of Fame
The ICC Cricket Hall of Fame "recognises the achievements of the legends of the game from cricket's long and illustrious history". A hall of fame, it was launched by the International Cricket Council on 2 January 2009, in association with the Federation of International Cricketers'...

. The ceremony took place at Headingley during a Test match and Trueman's award was received by his widow, Veronica, who said: "It is an honour to receive this on Fred's behalf and I'm sorry that he isn't here for this great occasion. Fred regarded Headingley as his headquarters and it is a huge pleasure to be receiving this on his behalf in front of the Headingley crowd". Also honoured that day were Wilfred Rhodes, Geoffrey Boycott and Ian Botham
Ian Botham
Sir Ian Terence Botham OBE is a former England Test cricketer and Test team captain, and current cricket commentator. He was a genuine all-rounder with 14 centuries and 383 wickets in Test cricket, and remains well-known by his nickname "Beefy"...

.

Approach to cricket


In his own words, Fred Trueman "didn't play cricket for social reasons like some of the fancy amateurs". It was his living and he "played to win". Conversely, he would try and do something each day to make the crowd laugh and "he breathed life and humour into any cricket match". He took his bowling very seriously indeed but he liked to entertain when he was batting. On the occasions when he captained his team, especially in 1968 when Brian Close was injured for a long time, he proved to be "a shrewd and intelligent exponent of the craft (of captaincy)".

It was his "sense of fun and mischief" that prompted him to make a habit of visiting the opposition dressing room and this was always "more than a social call". Sometimes he did genuinely want to see a "good mate" in the other team, such as Tony Lock or Brian Statham, but more often than not it was "a declaration of war, an acutely personal challenge, clothed in rollicking humour and self-caricature".

Trueman always maintained his hostility towards the perceived arrogance and "snobbishness" of some in the cricketing establishment, especially the likes of Gubby Allen
Gubby Allen
Sir George Oswald Browning "Gubby" Allen, CBE was a cricketer who played for Middlesex, Cambridge University, MCC and England. Australian-born, Allen was a fast bowler and hard-hitting lower-order batsman, who captained England in eleven Test matches...

. He hated what he called "fancy caps", which specifically meant those of MCC and the universities, and was sometimes heard to say on seeing the wearer of such a cap that he would "pin him to t'bloody sightscreen". On one occasion, a Cambridge University batsman, having just been dismissed, acknowledged him with the condescending compliment: "That was a very good ball, Mr Trueman". Trueman replied: "Aye, wasted on thee".

Trueman's view of the Gentlemen v Players
Gentlemen v Players
The Gentlemen v Players game was a first-class cricket match that was generally played on an annual basis between one team consisting of amateurs and one of professionals . The first two games took place in 1806 but the fixture was not revived until 1819. It was more or less annual thereafter...

 fixture was that it was a "ludicrous business" that was "thankfully abolished" after the 1962 season.

Bowling


From the beginning of his career, Trueman's run-up was "curving and long but nicely modulated". Reaching the wicket, Trueman now turned his body side-on and cocked back his ball-carrying right arm, as the leading left arm was hoisted, before "an awesome cartwheel" sent him into a followthrough which "resembled a Sea Fury
Hawker Sea Fury
The Hawker Sea Fury was a British fighter aircraft developed for the Royal Navy by Hawker during the Second World War. The last propeller-driven fighter to serve with the Royal Navy, it was also one of the fastest production single piston-engined aircraft ever built.-Origins:The Hawker Fury was an...

 finishing its mission along the runway of an aircraft carrier". Trueman's final stride had a "pronounced drag" which caused him some difficulties when the front-foot rule was introduced. Trueman kept his bowling arm high through the delivery stride, to generate extra bounce and pace off the pitch, and the movement of the ball was "predominantly away from the bat" (i.e., the out-swinger).

Trueman maintained that his ability to bowl outswingers consistently was "another new ingredient I brought to the county game". As Maurice Leyland
Maurice Leyland
Maurice Leyland , christened 'Morris Leyland', was an English cricketer who played 41 Test matches between 1928 and 1938 and proved himself one of the best left-handers of his generation....

 said to him: Keep bowling those outswingers, Fred, and you'll be all right. That's the one that gets the great batsmen out!" Trueman acknowledged that other great fast bowlers who could bowl the outswinger well were Ray Lindwall
Ray Lindwall
Raymond Russell Lindwall MBE was a cricketer who represented Australia in 61 Tests from 1946 to 1960. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time. He also played top-flight rugby league football with St...

 and Wes Hall
Wes Hall
Wesley Winfield Hall is a Barbadian former cricketer and politician. A tall, strong and powerfully built man, Hall was a genuine fast bowler and despite his very long run up, he was renowned for his ability to bowl long spells. Hall played 48 Test matches for the West Indies from 1958 to 1969...

; but Brian Statham and Frank Tyson could not.

Trueman was one of the most charismatic cricketers of the post-war period and this charisma has been summarised in "the rolling up of the flapping shirt sleeve on the walk back to his mark; the tossing back of the wayward locks of black hair before the smooth accelerated run to the wicket culminating with a high cartwheel action and drag of the back foot through the crease". The conclusion is that "Trueman is one of English cricket's icons".

In his early days, Trueman was "rapid, but also wayward and liable to be punished accordingly". His natural hostility in this period earned him his famous nickname of "Fiery Fred". But, "as the belligerence and raw pace of youth faded over the years, so in its place came a complete mastery of the bowling arts". Strength, determination and stamina were always among Trueman's greatest attributes and with maturity came a control of seam and swing". Trueman learned that it was unwise to "always follow a boundary with a bouncer" and instead he cultivated the yorker
Yorker
Yorker is a term used in cricket that describes a ball bowled which hits the cricket pitch around the batsman's feet. When a batsman assumes a normal stance this generally means that the cricket ball bounces on the cricket pitch on or near the batsman's popping crease...

 as "a potent weapon".

When explaining his success as a fast bowler, Trueman always maintained that he was "blessed by two things from birth": the "Trueman tenacity" and the "perfect physique for a fast bowler". He said that the essentials for that perfect physique were having strong, thick legs – "always the first essentials" – with big shoulders and hips.

Trueman's career lasted twenty seasons, an extremely long span for a fast bowler, and John Arlott
John Arlott
Leslie Thomas John Arlott OBE was an English journalist, author and cricket commentator for the BBC's Test Match Special. He was also a poet, wine connoisseur and former police officer in Hampshire...

 noted of him that he maintained his form and ability "much longer than the peak period (i.e., a decade) of even the best of the kind (and) he was, when the fire burned, as fine a fast bowler as any".

Wisden described Fred Trueman as "probably the greatest fast bowler England has produced". Trueman would have considered this to be an understatement as he believed himself to be "t'finest fast bowler that ever drew breath" and there were many who agreed with him.

Batting


Trueman had some talent as a batsman but he always saw himself as a specialist bowler and never aspired to becoming an all-rounder. In any case, he lacked the necessary consistency. He was "a batsman who liked to entertain" but he had a good defence with "a range of bold, attacking strokes".

Fielding


Trueman preferred to field close in, his favourite position being leg slip, and he was fine and safe catcher. He was a "brilliant ambidextrous thrower" and he "made life very easy for his captain to place him advantageously in the field".

Test Match Special


Trueman was an expert summariser for the BBC's Test Match Special
Test Match Special
Test Match Special is a British radio programme covering professional cricket, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 , Five Live Sports Extra and the internet to the United Kingdom and the rest of the world...

radio cricket commentaries for many years, and his catch phrase, "I don't know what's going off out there", summed up his dismay that modern cricketers lacked his knowledge of tactics. He was well-known for his direct style of commentary. For example, he once said about Geoffrey Boycott
Geoffrey Boycott
Geoffrey Boycott OBE is a former Yorkshire and England cricketer. In a prolific and sometimes controversial playing career from 1962 to 1986, Boycott established himself as one of England's most successful opening batsmen...

: "I know why Boycott's bought a house by the sea – so he'll be able to go for a walk on the water."

Famous for his dislike of many aspects of the modern game, especially one-day cricket and the injury rate of fast bowlers, Trueman was criticised by some, such as Ian Botham, for being unduly negative about modern players and for glorifying cricket "in my day". He once remarked, amusingly without any sense of irony, "We didn't have metaphors in my day. We didn't beat about the bush".

Trueman was nevertheless respected for his unsurpassed knowledge of the mechanics of fast bowling, and many feel he should have been used as a bowling coach for England's under-achieving teams of the 1980s and 1990s, a point once emphasised by his fellow-summariser Trevor Bailey
Trevor Bailey
Trevor Edward Bailey CBE was an England Test cricketer, cricket writer and broadcaster.An all-rounder, Bailey was known for his skilful but unspectacular batting...

 on Test Match Special. A good example of Trueman's coaching ability had occurred in 1975 when he was approached by the Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee
Dennis Lillee
Dennis Keith Lillee, AM, MBE is a former Australian cricketer rated as the "outstanding fast bowler of his generation"...

 for help. Lillee was having trouble with both his run-up and bowling action, problems that Trueman had already observed and mentioned on the radio. Trueman gave Lillee the technical advice that provided the solution and Lillee was soon able to recover his form, though this was at the expense of England. Trueman received criticism from many people in the England camp for helping an Australian player, especially after Lillee publicly acknowledged his debt to Trueman. Bailey, on the other hand, completely rejected this criticism and said that the "prima donnas" of English cricket should also have the sense to consult experts like Trueman.

Television, journalism and other media work


In the 1970s Trueman presented the Yorkshire Television
Yorkshire Television
Yorkshire Television, now officially known as ITV Yorkshire and sometimes unofficially abbreviated to YTV, is a British television broadcaster and the contractor for the Yorkshire franchise area on the ITV network...

 ITV
ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

 programme Indoor League
Indoor League
Indoor League was a television series broadcast in the United Kingdom by Yorkshire Television during the 1970s.It was hosted by England cricketer, Fred Trueman who often wore a cardigan whilst smoking a pipe throughout his links...

, which was broadcast at 5.15pm on a Thursday evening, after the children's programmes. This show had a notably Northern, working class
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

 focus, and featured pub games such as darts
Darts
Darts is a form of throwing game where darts are thrown at a circular target fixed to a wall. Though various boards and games have been used in the past, the term "darts" usually now refers to a standardised game involving a specific board design and set of rules...

, bar billiards
Bar billiards
Bar Billiards is a form of billiards which is often thought to be based on the traditional game of bagatelle. It is actually based on the French/Belgian Billard Russe game that preceded it....

, shove ha'penny
Shove ha'penny
Shove ha'penny , also known in ancestral form as shoffe-grote ['shove-groat' in Modern English], slype groat ['slip groat'], and slide-thrift, is a pub game in the shuffleboard family, played predominantly in the United Kingdom...

, skittles
Skittles (sport)
Skittles is an old European lawn game, a variety of bowling, from which ten-pin bowling, duckpin bowling, and candlepin bowling in the United States, and five-pin bowling in Canada are descended. In the United Kingdom, the game remains a popular pub game in England and Wales, though it tends to be...

 and arm-wrestling. Trueman anchored the programme with a pint of bitter
Bitter (beer)
Bitter is an English term for pale ale. Bitters vary in colour from gold to dark amber and in strength from 3% to 7% alcohol by volume.-Brief history:...

 and his pipe to hand, and signed off each week with his catchphrase, "Ah'll sithee" (Yorkshire dialect for "I'll be seeing you").

Trueman made guest appearances in a number of popular British television programmes of the 1970s, most notably in the Dad's Army
Dad's Army
Dad's Army is a British sitcom about the Home Guard during the Second World War. It was written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft and broadcast on BBC television between 1968 and 1977. The series ran for 9 series and 80 episodes in total, plus a radio series, a feature film and a stage show...

episode The Test (series 4, episode 10). He was the subject of This Is Your Life
This Is Your Life (UK TV series)
This Is Your Life is a British biographical television documentary, based on the 1952 American show of the same name. It was hosted by Eamonn Andrews from 1955 until 1964, and then from 1969 until his death in 1987 aged 64...

on 5 December 1979.

Trueman wrote a column in the Sunday People newspaper for 43 years to provide coverage of cricket and rugby league
Rugby league
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 by a split from Rugby Football Union over paying players...

. Soon after his retirement from cricket, he tried his hand at being a stand-up comedian but found after-dinner speaking to be a more congenial and lucrative occupation.

Personal and family life



Fred Trueman married Enid Chapman in 1955 and had three children: Karen, Rebecca and Rodney. After divorce in 1972, Trueman remarried in 1973. His second wife was Veronica Wilson who had two children: Sheenagh and Patrick. They lived in the Craven
Craven
Craven is a local government district in North Yorkshire, England that came into being in 1974, centred on the market town of Skipton. In the changes to British local government of that year this district was formed as the merger of Skipton urban district, Settle Rural District and most of Skipton...

 village of Flasby, near Skipton
Skipton
Skipton is a market town and civil parish within the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England. It is located along the course of both the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the River Aire, on the south side of the Yorkshire Dales, northwest of Bradford and west of York...

, in the Yorkshire Dales
Yorkshire Dales
The Yorkshire Dales is the name given to an upland area in Northern England.The area lies within the historic county boundaries of Yorkshire, though it spans the ceremonial counties of North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Cumbria...

.

Having been a pipe-smoker all of his adult life, Trueman was elected Pipe Smoker of the Year
Pipe Smoker of the Year
Pipe Smoker of the Year was an award given out annually by the British Pipesmokers' Council, to honour a famous pipe-smoking individual. The award was discontinued in 2004 because its organisers feared it fell foul of laws banning all advertising and promotion of tobacco.-Pipe Smokers of the Year:...

 in 1974 by the British Pipesmokers' Council. This award was discontinued in 2004, two years before Trueman was diagnosed with lung cancer
Lung cancer
Lung cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. If left untreated, this growth can spread beyond the lung in a process called metastasis into nearby tissue and, eventually, into other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in lung, known as primary...

, because its organisers feared it fell foul of new laws on tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

 promotion.

Trueman was made an OBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 in 1989. But, after his Test Match Special
Test Match Special
Test Match Special is a British radio programme covering professional cricket, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 , Five Live Sports Extra and the internet to the United Kingdom and the rest of the world...

colleague Brian Johnston
Brian Johnston
Brian Alexander Johnston CBE, MC was a cricket commentator and presenter for the BBC from 1946 until his death.-Early life and education:...

 had nicknamed him "Sir Frederick", there were those who thought he had really been knighted and many, particularly in his native county, who could not understand why he had not.

Trueman received additional publicity in June 1990 when his daughter Rebecca married Damon Welch, the son of film star Raquel Welch
Raquel Welch
Jo Raquel Tejada , better known as Raquel Welch, is an American actress, author and sex symbol. Welch came to attention as a "new-star" on the 20th Century-Fox lot in the mid-1960s. She posed iconically in a animal skin bikini for the British-release One Million Years B.C. , for which she may be...

. However, the marriage was short-lived and ended in divorce two years later.

In the 1990s, Trueman discovered that his maternal grandmother had been Jewish, making him Jewish in Jewish law
Halakha
Halakha — also transliterated Halocho , or Halacha — is the collective body of Jewish law, including biblical law and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions.Judaism classically draws no distinction in its laws between religious and ostensibly non-religious life; Jewish...

. He said that he was happy to be called Jewish.

Trueman was diagnosed with small cell carcinoma
Small cell carcinoma
Small cell carcinoma is a type of highly malignant cancer that most commonly arises within the lung, although it can occasionally arise in other body sites, such as the cervix and prostate....

 of the lung in May 2006. He died of the disease on 1 July 2006 at Airedale General Hospital
Airedale General Hospital
Airedale General Hospital is an NHS district General Hospital based in Steeton with Eastburn, West Yorkshire, England and is operated by the Airedale NHS Trust...

 in Steeton with Eastburn
Steeton with Eastburn
Steeton with Eastburn is a civil parish within the City of Bradford Metropolitan District, West Yorkshire, England. According to the 2001 census the parish had a population of 4,277. The parish includes the villages of Steeton and Eastburn....

, West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county within the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England with a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972....

. He was buried in the cemetery at Bolton Abbey
Bolton Abbey
Bolton Abbey is the estate within which is located the ruined 12th-century Augustinian Bolton Priory in North Yorkshire, England. It gives its name to the parish of Bolton Abbey.-Bolton Priory:...

.

On 18 March 2010, a bronze statue of Trueman by Yorkshire-born sculptor Graham Ibbeson
Graham Ibbeson
Graham Ibbeson is an artist and sculptor resident of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England. He has created bronze sculptures in towns and cities across Britain including Leeds, Cardiff, Dover, Barnsley, Doncaster, Northampton, Chesterfield, Middlesbrough, Perth, Otley and Rugby...

 was unveiled by Trueman's widow Veronica at the Leeds and Liverpool Canal
Leeds and Liverpool Canal
The Leeds and Liverpool Canal is a canal in Northern England, linking the cities of Leeds and Liverpool. Over a distance of , it crosses the Pennines, and includes 91 locks on the main line...

 basin in Skipton. Also in attendance were Trueman's brother Dennis and the former Test umpire
Umpire (cricket)
In cricket, an umpire is a person who has the authority to make judgements on the cricket field, according to the Laws of Cricket...

 Dickie Bird.

Information


Photographs