Keeper of Style

by Christopher Sandford

Published by Pitch Publishing
A2 Yeoman Gate, Yeoman Way
Worthing, Sussex BN13 3QZ


Pages: 224

MRP: £18.99

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I am sure that many of us will link the name John Murray with one of the most aesthetic wicket-keepers but beyond that, I have to admit that my knowledge of Murray was fairly limited so I welcome Christopher Sandford's latest book.

I have enjoyed Christopher's cricket books and am impressed with the far-ranging subjects of his thirty or so books. It is nice to learn that Murray was his childhood hero and that he has turned his memories of the wicket-keeper into this excellent book, Keeper of Style John Murray: The King of Lord's. I am slightly younger than Christopher but now feel easier about remembering my childhood hero with the same fondness as I did over forty years ago!

Keeper of Style is a happy book and reveals his subject as a warm and modest person. It seems extraordinary that Murray would be in and out of the England team and indeed played in only 21 of the 69 Tests from his debut to the last of his career six years later. He did so with as much grace as he showed on the field.

There is a legion of stories about other wicket-keepers, players and officials of the same general era in which Murray played which I am sure will amuse. After his eventual retirement, Murray was not lost to the game and was a regular visitor to Lord's where he had his long and distinguished with Middlesex. He also served as an England selector.

Keeper of Style is a most generous and interesting read and I wish Christopher every success with it.