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Are you on target to get the Magnificent Seven?

— 22 June 2010

How many of these Yorkshire greats can you dentify before clicking on the picture to read the name caption? This is one of a wealth of historic pictures which appear in Andrew Collomosse’s book, Magnificent Seven, recording Yorkshire’s triumphs of the modern Golden Age of 1959 to 1969.

The author of Yorkshire’s Carnegie Official History, Derek Hodgson, has written the following review of the book especially for the Yorkshire County Cricket Club website, and we close this webpage with a link line to the publishers, Great Northern Books.

Magnificent Seven, by Andrew Collomosse (Great Northern Books, £16.95)

This is a book that has been waiting to be written for almost half a century. It was imperative that the memories and recollections of Yorkshire’s last great team were recorded while the players remained accessible. The author chased down 15 of the participants to contribute to this account of the years 1959-69, when Yorkshire won seven Championships – they deserved eight – and two Gillette Cups.

Don Mosey, assisted by Fred Trueman in 1994, covered the most important matches of the period in his Champion Times, but he and Fred were perhaps too contemporary, too close, to record fully the human detail, the jokes, wind-ups, foibles, idiosyncracies, vices and virtues that compose any society or team – especially a winning one.

How and why Yorkshire were so successful is the recurring theme from these witnesses, and I do wish this book had been available for reference for the Carnegie 0fficial History. Its evidence might not have effected that History’s conclusions as to why the county’s fortunes dipped so drastically from 1970, but it could have reinforced many of the opinions expressed without the privilege of access to the dressing room.

Listening to Bob Platt, Richard Hutton, Don Wilson and Philip Sharpe, we are reminded that the 1960s were, sadly, the Indian summer of the County Championship, an era captured so well by Stephen Chalke’s work. Cricket was still the major summer sport by a margin, and was played in a quieter, friendlier, better-mannered and much less commercially minded world.

The Yorkshire Secretary, Joe Lister – today the Chief Executive – was able to ask the Committee, in a debate about subscriptions, without a trace of irony: “Why do we need more money?”

The book is embellished with some excellent photographs, rarely seen, from Ron Deaton’s collection. With this work Andrew Collomosse has won a permanent place on Yorkshire bookshelves.