Friday, 15 February 2013
Many happy returns to Ted Lester at 90
Birthday greetings to Yorkshire Honorary Life Member Ted Lester, the doyen of the county Club’s capped players, who celebrates his 90th birthday today, February 18.
Ted, who still lives in his home town of Scarborough, gave almost half-a-century of loyal service to Yorkshire - first as a hard-hitting batsman, and then as second team captain before taking over as the Club’s scorer.
He did the job full time until current scorer John Potter filled in for the away matches in 1989, and Ted retired completely at the end of the 1992 season, although he has generally managed to keep an eye on Yorkshire whenever they have been at North Marine Road.
Spectators rarely dozed off when Ted was at the crease, and in that golden summer of 1947 he finishing third in the national averages to Denis Compton and Bill Edrich, who each scored over 3,000 runs. Ted played in only 11 first-team matches that season, but he still averaged 73 - exactly the same as he did in the second team.
One of his greatest achievements was to score a century in each innings of the Roses match at Old Trafford in 1948, and he remains the last Yorkshire batsman to achieve that feat against Lancashire. A century in each innings was not new to him, because the previous season he had done the same against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.
Ted played in 232 matches for Yorkshire between 1945 and 1956, scoring 10,616 runs and hitting 24 centuries - six of them coming in 1952, when he plundered 1,786 runs and averaged 49.61. He was even more prolific in 1949, when he made 1,801 runs and hammered his career-best 186 against Warwickshire on the home ground where he had posted many batting records for the Scarborough club in his younger days.
Ted has a host of fond memories to cherish, none of them greater than when he played against his boyhood hero, Don Bradman, for Yorkshire against the Australians at Bramall Lane in 1948. ‘The Don’ scored 54 and 86, while Ted managed 31 and five not out in the drawn match.
Yorkshire President Geoffrey Boycott and everyone connected to the Club would like to wish Ted the happiest of days, and also extend their best wishes to his charming wife, Mary.
Words: DAVID WARNER
Pictures: RON DEATON Archive and Brian Sanderson