History – George Herbert Hirst

Born 7th September 1871, Died 10th May 1954

There have been many very good Yorkshire players who have been Scarborough players, David Byas, Brian Close, David Hunter, Ted Lester, John Tunnicliffe, Vic Wilson and more but probably the best known, certainly in his time was George Hirst.

He was born in Kirheaton near Huddersfield, the same village where Wilfred Rhodes was born six years later in 1877.

It is said that he discovered a method to make the ball swing, known as swerve in those days.

As a left arm medium pace bowler and right hand batsman his first class playing career for Yorkshire and England was from 1891 until 1929 and his achievements during his playing life were outstanding.

He played 826 matches and scored 36,356 runs at an average 34.13. His highest score was 341 which he made in 1905 and still remains a record for Yorkshire. He made 100 runs 60 times.

He took 2,742 wickets at an average of 18.73 and five wickets on 184 occasions.

He held 605 catches and did the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in a season 14 times.

He also has a unique record of being the only player to score 2,000 runs and take 200 wickets in one season which was 1906.

In 1919 he was appointed coach to Eton College but still played for Yorkshire when he could. By 1921 he decided to retire from first class cricket and did so from the balcony of Scarborough Cricket Club where he had captained The Players v the Gentlemen in the Festival.

He did play occasional games for Yorkshire even as late as 1929 however he began to play for Scarborough from 1923 onwards.

His coaching at Eton went on until 1938 however the short summer terms allowed him to play for Scarborough in July and August which he did for seven seasons. During his time at Scarborough he played a full role in coaching, in some of his years alongside David Hunter.

Playing for Scarborough in League matches during those seven seasons he scored 2,682 runs at an average of 58.3, in 1926 his average was 117.2 and in 1928 at 58 years old his average was 108 with a top score of 124.

His bowling was equally impressive taking 182 wickets at an average of 13.1 including in 1924 when he took 45 wickets at an average of 8.00 with a strike rate of one wicket every four overs.

A truly great player who played for Scarborough.