Fred Titmus's cricketing record that will never be beaten - By Jon Batham and Ben Kosky

Fred Titmus's cricketing record that will never be beaten - By Jon Batham and Ben Kosky

Some sporting records, you can state with some degree of confidence, will never be broken.

Among those must surely be the total number of wickets captured by long-serving Middlesex bowler Fred Titmus, a staggering 2,361 for the county during a marathon career that spanned five decades.

Titmus, who passed away 13 years ago this weekend, finally brought the curtain down on his remarkable career in the same way he had begun it – as part of a Middlesex side that were crowned county champions.

Also capped 53 times by England, the north Londoner’s lengthy playing days are recalled in Middlesex CCC The Championship Years by Jon Batham and Ben Kosky – an in-depth look at each of the county’s 13 title successes to date.

Titmus became Middlesex’s youngest first-team player when he made his debut at the age of 16 years 213 days, against Somerset at Bath in June 1949, a summer in which the Seaxes would share the County Championship title with Yorkshire.
But there were to be no more championship wins, either shared or outright, for the men from Lord’s until 1976, when Titmus was firmly established as the county’s elder statesman and an invaluable source of advice to his team-mates.

Clive Radley, who regularly travelled to away games with Titmus in the latter’s VW Beetle, recalled: “Fred was hard as nails… it was just the way he went about his business. I learned more from him than anyone else throughout my playing career.
“In my first ever game against Yorkshire, Fred Trueman was still pretty quick and he was whizzing them around my head. I’d been trying to fend him off for two or three overs and I’d taken a few bruises.

“Fred (Titmus) came down the wicket between overs and I thought he was going to say ‘I’ll take him for a bit’. He didn’t. He said ‘Illingworth is turning it square down my end so I’ll look after him and you stay down Fred’s end’.

“I learned something from that, which was to look after yourself. He gave me all sorts of advice, not necessarily about cricket or technique, but just about life.”

Titmus – who had continued his career despite losing four toes in a boating accident during England’s 1967/68 tour of the West Indies – made his final appearance at the grand age of 49, coming out of retirement to take three wickets and help secure a win over Surrey as the Seaxes closed in on another county title in 1982.

You can read more about Titmus and Middlesex’s Championship successes by ordering your copy of the book now.

Middlesex CCC - The Championship Years by Batham, Mr Jon (
Middlesex CCC - The Championship Years – JMD Media Ltd

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