January 18, 1916, Huddersfield, Yorkshire. Died: January 22, 2006 (Aged 90)
Right-hand bat, Right-arm medium-fast
1947. YCCC Cap No. 81.
BATTING AND FIELDING AVERAGES
Legend would have it that Alexander ‘Alec’ Coxon was indestructible. He was a wiry fast-medium bowler, a dogged batsman and many pundits thought that his solitary Test appearance against Australia at Lord’s in 1948 did not accurately reflect his talent. He missed out on the prized wicket of Don Bradman in that game, having a huge appeal for lbw turned down when The Don was yet to score. He finished with 3-172 from 63 overs.
After stints as a professional in the Bradford League with Brighouse and Saltaire (as well as playing football for Bradford Park Avenue), he went straight into the Yorkshire side at the age of 29 when first-class cricket recommenced after the Second World War. Although he lacked the pace to succeed at Test level he played for Yorkshire for 5 years taking 483 wickets at 20.91.
Coxon was a man of large contrasts. One of 11 children he was often blunt and hostile and upset many people. He could however be hugely sociable with a lively sense of humour that won many friends.
He abruptly left Yorkshire at the end of the 1950 season after taking a career best haul of 131 wickets at 18.60. Coxon always indignantly denied the Yorkshire Committee sacked him, instead insisting that his omission from the MCC touring party to Australia had completely disillusioned him with the game. He accepted an offer to play for Sunderland as the first £1,000-a-year professional in the Durham Senior League.
During a Minor Counties match at a rain-soaked Old Trafford Coxon and the rest of the Durham side were sliding so much when bowling that sawdust was called for. The inexperienced groundsman asked where to put the sackful of sawdust and subsequently did as he was told when Coxon ordered: "Right there" – the whole lot fell in front of the stumps right on a good length. One Durham player Ken Land remembered years later: "It was more like a butcher's shop than a cricket pitch. We thought it was hilarious and even the umpires were chuckling." One man did not see the funny side however - Durham captain RB `Bill' Proud, who was a huge man and strict disciplinarian known as the `Durham Ox'. Alec never played for the county again.
Three days after his 90th birthday Alec, a greatgrandfather, lifted his pint glass and said: "Here's to my family, my friends and sport which have given me such a wonderful life." He died peacefully the next day.
JMB October 2010