Orphaned at a ridiculously tender age, Herbert Sutcliffe progression from an inveterate cricketer at his home town of Pudsey, to England and Yorkshire’s immortal stalwart puts many a fairy tale to shame. Alan Hill in his unique and extremely readable style, breathes beautiful life to this tale in his inspiring biography.
Immaculate in attire, implacable in attitude and incredible in achievement, Herbert Sutcliffe is one of cricket’s most cherished and memorable characters. A preternatural ability to occupy the crease, an uncanny gift to unerringly detect a bowler’s line and length and a seemingly inexhaustible vault of courage all contrived and combined to distinguish Sutcliffe from many of his peers and contemporaries.
Alan Hill succeeds grandly in his sweeping coverage of Sutcliffe’s amazing partnership with the “Master”, Sir Jack Hobbs (for England), and with the indefatigable Percy Holmes (for Yorkshire). The latter combination once put an Essex attack to unparalleled shame by notching up a world record opening partnership of 555 runs.
The Biography also reveals some surprising aspects thereby giving a peek into the humane side of this magnificent emperor with the willow.
Herbert Sutcliffe channeled his early deprivations into a savage determination. A determination which not only ensured that his exalted place was forever secured in the hallowed annals of International Cricket, but also paved the path for a generation of eager and aspiring cricketers seeking to emulate their idol.
Alan Hill, in turn has done the cricketing world an immeasurable service by bringing to light the exploits of this cricketing phenom.