My first visit to Lords

The first time I went to Lords was for the 1979 B & H Final, Essex v Surrey. It was a fantastic match, lots of runs, a great century by Gooch, and the first trophy that Essex ever won. I went with my dad along and a pal and his wife.

During the lunch break, we had a stroll around the ground, and as we were behind the pavilion, who should drive up in his swish 3.5 litre Rover (the hatchback version, which was very new then) but Mr. Brearley himself. He was surrounded by small boys demanding autographs.

“Not today, lads, I’m on holiday and I haven’t had my lunch yet” came the reply, and the England Captain disappeared into the Middlesex Club HQ hut. A few minutes later the Great Man emerged again and was again surrounded by small boys. More persistently, he stated “Not today, lads, I’m on holiday and I haven’t had my lunch yet” and started to climb the open staircase at the back of the pavilion.

I didn’t catch what one of the autograph hunters said to him, but he turned around as though stung, leaned over the rail and boomed in his cultured Harrovian tones over the heads of many hundreds of ordinary cricket goers just mooching about,

“You’re rude little buggers! Sod Off!”

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