Skip to main content

Three former Kent greats honoured in special presentation

Sunday 2nd August 2009

FORMER Kent greats Ivo Bligh, Jack Hubble and Frank Woolley (pictured)have been inducted into Kent County Cricket Club“s Hall of Fame.

Relatives of the three former Kent players were presented with their commemorative caps during a Capped Players Presentation at lunch on the third day of the Kent“s LV County Championship match with Derbyshire on Sunday.

The relatives of Messrs Bligh, Hubble and Woolley received their numbered caps, from Kent President Carl Openshaw and Club Captain Rob Key, in front of a decent crowd at the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury.

Below you can read more information on the three former Kent players:

The Honourable Ivo Bligh: Cap No. 9
Ivo Bligh played for Kent from 1877 until 1883. In 47 matches he scored a total of 1,490 runs at an average of 18.86. His highest score was 105, achieved against Surrey at The Oval in 1880. That season, only Lord Harris scored more runs for Kent. Ivo Bligh captained the England team to Australia in 1882-83, which was famous for creating the Ashes.
Ivo Bligh, who later became the Eighth Lord Darnley, suffered ill health which restricted his playing career. He served two terms as Kent President: in 1892 and 1902. He was President of the MCC in 1900.
Ivo Bligh is the man famed throughout cricket history as the person who brought the Ashes back from Australia. To sum up the Ashes story – in 1882 the Australians beat England in a Test match at the Oval. The following day, "The Sporting Times" published a mock obituary notice lamenting the death of English cricket and adding that "the body will be cremated and the Ashes taken to Australia." When, in the following winter, the honourable Ivo Bligh took a team to Australia and reversed the result, a number of ladies from Melbourne society burned possibly bails from the Test match, sealed the Ashes in an urn and presented it to him.

Ivo Bligh was awarded Cap No.9 in 1883.

John (Jack) Hubble: Cap No.62
Jack Hubble ranks high amongst Kent“s many outstanding wicketkeepers with 10,229 runs and 628 dismissals. He played 343 matches for Kent from 1904 to 1929. In the early years, of his career, he was played purely as a batsman and did not take on the role of wicketkeeper until the retirement of Fred Huish in 1914. Amongst the County“s wicketkeepers, only Leslie Ames and Alan Knott scored more runs. He was at his best in the 1920s when he was considered unlucky not to have been selected to play for England. He scored five centuries and fifty-five half-centuries including a best of 189, against Sussex at Tunbridge Wells in 1911. Two-thirds of those runs were scored in boundaries. In the 1926 season he achieved 78 dismissals, of which 34 were stumpings, whilst in 1923 his ten dismissals in the match against Gloucestershire, at Cheltenham, remain a record for Kent, jointly held with the aforementioned Fred Huish.

Jack Hubble was awarded Cap No.62 in 1906.

Frank Woolley: Cap No.63
In a career that spanned the years 1906 to 1938 Frank Woolley proved himself as one of the most outstanding cricketers of all time. In all first-class cricket only Jack Hobbs scored more runs than Woolley“s 58,959. Add to that his 2,066 wickets and 1,018 catches and the description of him as one of the greatest of the game“s all-rounders is fully justified. It is appropriate that his Cap presentation should be made this year which marks the Centenary of the record last wicket partnership of 235 with Arthur Fielder, which to this day remains the highest in domestic first-class cricket. Frank Woolley scored 145 centuries, in his long career, of which 122 were for Kent. His highest score was 305 not out when playing for the MCC against Tasmania on the 1911/12 tour of Australia. For Kent, his highest was 270 against Middlesex, at Canterbury, in 1923. His best bowling performance was against Gloucestershire at Maidstone in 1922 when he took 8-22 in their first innings. The following year he recorded match figures of 14-90 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston. As an outstanding slow left-arm bowler he was not unlike Colin Blythe. In 1913 the pair of them created a little bit of Kent cricket history, equally sharing the ten Warwickshire second innings wickets when dismissing them for just 16 runs.

The late great Frank Woolley was awarded Cap No. 63 in 1906.