Postcard of cricket being played on the Sussex Downs from the 1960’s.
Cuckfield, Sussex born centre forward Tommy Cook joined Brighton & Hove Albion from his local club Cuckfield, signing amateur forms while serving in the Royal Navy during the First World War and turning professional in August 1920, making his Football League debut at Queens Park Rangers in September 1922. He played seven seasons for The Seagulls and developed a record as a consistent goalscorer bagging over 20 goals in three of those seasons. His 28 goals in 1923-24 included 4 goals in a 5-0 win over Bournemouth in December 1923 and further hat-tricks against Aberdare Athletic, Reading, Newport County and most impressively First Division Everton in a 5-2 FA Cup shock in February 1924. He followed these feats with successive hat-tricks against Newport County and Merthyr Town as his 18 goal return again saw him top Brighton’s goalscoring charts.
In February 1925 he was selected to play for England against Wales at The Vetch Field, Swansea in a 2-1 England victory, it proved to be his only England cap. He missed much of the following season but still scored 8 goals in 10 appearances during the late summer and autumn, returning to the top of Brighton’s goalscoring charts in 1926-27 and 1927-28 with 23 and 26 goals respectively (including a hat-trick against Millwall in September 1927), although in the former season he was outscored by Sam Jennings as Brighton recorded successive 4th place League finishes.
He played his last Brighton game of 209 in total, scoring in a win over Walsall in May 1929, and, having scored 123 goals, had a spell at non league Northfleet joining them in September 1930, before returning to League football with Bristol Rovers in October 1931, top scoring with 19 goals during the rest of the season. In two seasons at Eastville he kept up his ratio of at least a goal every other game by scoring 22 in 44 appearances for The Pirates before retiring in 1933 to concentrate on his cricket.
Cook fought during the Second World War with The South African Air Force, rising to the rank of corporal in January 1943. He was seriously injured in an accident at an air school, which hospitalised him for 6 months. He later returned to Brighton becoming their manager from May to November 1947.
He was almost as well known as a first class county cricketer as for his football. Between 1922 and 1937 he played cricket for Sussex making a top score of 278 and averaging over 30 with the bat in first class cricket.
The Cricket Ground
Postcard of the Preston Park Recreation Ground with cricket match in play.
Postcard from circa 1903 showing A.E.Relf, H.Butt and J.Vine.
Gentlemen v. Players, Lord’s, 1899.
Back row: umpire, W. M. Bradley, A. C. MacLaren, C. L. Townsend, umpire.
Middle row: G. MacGregor, K. S. Ranjitsinhji, W. G. Grace, R. M. Poore.
Front row: F. S. Jackson, C. B. Fry, D. L. A. Jephson. Absent: J. R. Mason.
Postcard from 1908 of the Sussex County Cricket Ground.
Hubert Doggart was a hard-hitting middle-order batsman and exceptional close catcher who played 155 matches for Sussex between 1948 and 1961, scoring over 6,700 runs in the process. He was county captain for the 1954 season.
H.W. Parks & J.H. Parks
A.E.R. Gilligan & M.W.Tate
The Relf Brothers
5th August 1933
Record 1st wicket partnership of 490 between John Langridge (195) and Ted Bowley (281 not out).
Horsham Cricket Ground
Eastbourne Cricket Ground
A.H.H Gilligan & E.H.Bowley
Back Row: E.H. KILLICK, JAMES LANGRIDGE, A.G. TUPPIN, H.W. PARKS, JOHN LANGRIDGE, H.E. HAMMOND, G. COX, C. OAKES
Front Row: J.H. PARKS, R.G.STAINTON, A.H. HOLMES, W.L. CORNFORD, H.T. BARTLETT
Back Row: J.H. PARKS, H.W. PARKS, H.E. HAMMOND, JOHN LANGRIDGE, JAMES LANGRIDGE, J.H. CORNFORD
Front Row: T.E.R. COOK, M.W. TATE, A. MELVILLE, A.F. WENSLEY, W.L. CORNFORD
Back Row: T.E.R. COOK, JOHN LANGRIDGE, JAMES LANGRIDGE, H.W. PARKS, H.E. HAMMOND, A.F. WENSLEY, E.H. KILLICK, S.J. WEBB
Front Row: M.W. TATE, E.H. BOWLEY, K.S. DULEEPSINHJI, G.A.K. COLLINS, W.L. CORNFORD
Back Row: J.H. PARKS, R.A. HOLLINGDALE, H.W. PARKS, M.W. TATE
Front Row: W.L. CORNFORD, JAMES LANGRIDGE, J.K. MATHEWS A.E.R. GILLIGAN, E.H. BOWLEY, G.S. GRIMSTON, A.F. WENSLEY
Back Row: W.L. CORNFORD, E.H. BOWLEY, A.F. WENSLEY, M.W. TATE, T.E.R. COOK, J.H. PARKS, JAMES LANGRIDGE
Front Row: A.H.H. GILLIGAN, A.C. WATSON, A.E.R. GILLIGAN, G.R. COX, C.H. GIBSON
Back Row: E.H. BOWLEY, K.A. HIGGS, A.J. HOLMES, M.W. TATE, J.H. PARKS, H.E. ROBERTS
Front Row: A.H.H. GILLIGAN, G.R.COX, A.E.R. GILLIGAN, A.C. WATSON, R.A. YOUNG, G.B.STREET
Back Row: J.F. BYRNE, J. VINE, A.E. RELF, G.B. STREET, R.R. RELF, G.R.COX
Middle Row: R.A. YOUNG, A.E.R. GILLIGAN, H.L WILSON, N.J. HOLLOWAY, V.W.C. JUPP
Front Row: M.W. TATE, E.H. BOWLEY
Back Row: G.R. COX, J. VINE, H.L. WILSON, J.H. VINCETT
Middle Row: N.I. HOLLOWAY, H.P. CHAPLIN , P.G.H. FENDER
Front Row: V.W.C. JUPP, A.E. RELF, R.R.RELF, G.B. STREET
Back Row: J.H. VINCETT, E.H. KILLICK, A.E RELF, J. VINE, G.R. COX, G. LEACH
Front Row: R.B. HEYGATE, H.R. BUTT, H.P. CHAPLIN, P. CARTWRIGHT, R.R.RELF
Back Row: F.W. TATE, J. VINE, G.R.COX, H.R. BUTT, E.H. KILLICK, A.E. RELF
Front Row: K.S. RANJITSINHJI, G. BRANN, C.B. FRY, C.H.M. EBDEN, C.L.A SMITH
Postcard from circa 1904 showing K.S. Ranjitsinhji and C.B.Fry.
George Cox, son of George (Snr.), was a hard hitting right-hand batsman and right-arm slow medium bowler who played 448 matches between 1931 and 1960.
He scored 22,687 runs including 50 centuries at an average of 33.22 and took 191 wickets at 30.83 runs each including 5 wickets in an innings on three occasions. He scored 1,000 runs in a season on 13 occasions including 2,000 runs once.
He played football for Arsenal, Fulham and Luton Town.
Jack Oakes, brother of Charles, was born in 1916 and was a hard hitting right-hand batsman and off-break bowler who played 128 matches between 1937 and 1951.
He scored 4,410 runs including two centuries average 22.16 and took 166 wickets at 39.20 runs each including five wickets in an innings 6 times and a best performance of 7 for 64.
Alfred Oakes, the father of Charles and Jack, was for many years the groundsman at Horsham. He lived in the cottage on the ground for 60 years where Charles and Jack were born.
Charles Oakes, brother of J.Y., was born in 1912 and was an aggressive right-hand batsman and leg-break bowler who played 285 matches between 1935 and 1954.
He scored 10,728 runs including 14 centuries average 25.07 and took 449 wickets at 31.45 runs each including 5 wickets in an innings 16 times. His highest score was 160 and he reached 1,000 runs in a season on five occasions. His best bowling performance was 8 for 147 against Kent at Tonbridge in 1939.
John Langridge, brother of James, was born in 1910 and was a most consistent right hand opening batsman and occasional right-arm medium pace bowler who played 567 matches between 1928 and 1955.
He scored 34,152 runs including 76 centuries average 37.70 and took 44 wickets at 42.00 runs each. He scored 1,000 runs in a season 17 times, continuing to 2,000 runs 10 times. He made 8 double centuries with a top score of 250 not out against Glamorgan at Hove in 1933. In the same season he shared an opening partnership of 490 with Ted Bowley against Middlesex at Hove which is still a Sussex record for any wicket.
He scored a century in each innings of a match twice. He has scored the most runs and made the most centuries by any player for Sussex. He was capped by Sussex in 1933 and awarded a joint benefit with H.W. Parks in 1948, also a testimonial in 1953, which raised £1,930 each and £3,825 respectively.
After his retirement he stood as a first-class umpire for 25 years including seven Test Matches between 1960 and 1963. He was awarded the M.B.E. for services to cricket in 1979.
James Langridge, brother of John and father of R.J., was a left-hand batsman and slow left-arm bowler who played 622 matches between 1924 and 1953 also 8 Test Matches for England between 1933 and 1946.
He scored 28,894 runs including 39 centuries average 35.54 and took 1,416 wickets at 22.34 runs each including 5 wickets in an innings 88 times and 10 wickets in a match on 14 occasions. He scored 1,000 runs in a season 20 times and took 100 wickets in a season 4 times achieving the double on 4 occasions.
His highest score was 167 against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 1936 and his best bowling was 9 for 34 against Yorkshire at Sheffield in 1934. He also performed the hat-trick on one occasion.
He was awarded his County cap in 1926 and captained Sussex from 1950 to 1952 and after his playing days he was Sussex coach from 1953 to 1959.
Ernest Relf, brother of A.E. and R.R, was a right-hand batsman and right-arm medium pace bowler who played 12 matches between 1912 and 1914.
He scored 232 runs average 11.60 and took 8 wickets for 212 runs at an average of 26.50.
Robert Relf, brother of A.E. and EH., was a consistent right-hand opening batsman and right-arm fast medium bowler who played 283 matches between 1905 and 1924.
He scored 13,533 runs including 22 centuries average 28.31 and took 292 wickets at 27.32 runs each including 5 wickets in an innings 11 times and 10 wickets in a match once. He scored 1,000 runs in a season six times and hit three double centuries with a highest score of 272 not out against Worcestershire at Eastbourne in 1909.
His career with Sussex ended in an unfortunate manner. During the match against Surrey at The Oval in 1924, Percy Fender, the Surrey captain, objected to his playing on the grounds that he had played for Berkshire during the previous season and had thus broken his qualification. After fielding for a short time Relf was withdrawn from the Sussex side and returned to play for Berkshire.
Reginald Heygate, brother of H.J., was a right hand batsman and occasional bowler who played 70 matches between 1902 and 1911.
He scored 2,730 runs including 3 centuries at an average of 28.44 and took 4 wickets for 102 runs. He reached 1,000 runs in a season on two occasions the best being 1,054 average 35.13 in 1909.
Harold Heygate, brother of R.B., was a right hand opening batsman who played 6 matches between 1903 and 1919 scoring 250 runs with a top score of 80 and an average of 25.00.
An unusual incident took place during his short career when he was given out by the umpire when, suffering from arthritis, he did not appear at the crease within two minutes of the fall of the previous wicket, the only example of such a dismissal in first-class cricket. As the scores were level at the time the match between Sussex and Somerset at Taunton in 1919 was tied.
Harold Gilligan, brother of A.E.R. and F.W. of Essex, was a right-hand opening batsman and leg-break bowler who played 289 matches between 1919 and 1931.
He scored 7,829 runs including one century at an average of 17.51 and took 114 wickets at 33.44 runs each. He captained M.C.C. on the tour to New Zealand in 1929-30 and played in four Test Matches. He scored 1,000 runs in a season three times and captained Sussex in 1930.
He was awarded the A.F.C. during the First World War.
Arthur Gilligan, brother of A.H.H, and EW. of Essex, was a right-hand batsman and right-arm fast medium bowler who played 227 matches between 1920 and 1932.
He won a blue at Cambridge University in 1919 and 1920. He scored 6,712 runs including 8 centuries at an average of 20.28 and took 637 wickets at 21.02 runs each including 5 wickets in an innings on 32 occasions and 10 wickets in a match 3 times. He reached 100 wickets in a season twice. He took a hat-trick against Surrey at The Oval in 1923
He played 11 Test Matches from 1922-23 to 1924-25 and captained England in nine of them including the tour to Australia in 1924-25. He was captain of Sussex from 1922 to 1929 and was one of the most inspiring leaders who set new fielding standards.
Fred Tate was a right-hand batsman and right arm medium pace bowler who played 312 marches between 1887 and 1905 and also one Test Match for England against Australia in 1902.
He scored 2,876 runs with a top score of 84 and an average of 9.59. He took 1,306 wickets at an average of 21.48 runs each including 5 wickets in an innings 103 times and 10 wickets in a match on 29 occasions.
His best bowling performance was 9 for 73 against Leicestershire at Leicester in 1902 and he took 100 wickets in a season five times. He took a hat-trick against Surrey at The Oval in 1901 the same year he was awarded a benefit which raised £1,051. He bore the brunt of the Sussex bowling for many years. In 1902 against Middlesex at Lord’s he took 15 for 68 in a day.
Jim Wood was a right-hand batsman and left-arm fast medium bowler who played 213 matches between 1936 and 1955.
He scored 1,304 runs average 7.33 and took 585 wickets at 30.91 runs each including 5 wickets in an innings 21 times and 10 wickets in a match once. He took 100 wickets in a season once. His best performance was 7 for 24 against Middlesex at Hove in 1949.
After his playing days he stood as a first-class umpire from 1957 to 1962. He then became coach and groundsman at Ardingly College.
Hugh Bartlett was a forcing left-hand batsman who played 152 matches between 1937 and 1949 scoring 7,074 runs including nine centuries at an average of 31.72. He scored 1,000 runs in a season four times.
He played for Cambridge Universitv from 1934 to 1936 and gained a blue in all three years, captaining the side in 1936. At Hove in 1938 he won the Lawrence Trophy for the fastest century of the season when against the touring Australians his hundred came in 57 minutes. In that season he struck forty sixes and amongst his best innings was 175 not out for the Gentlemen against the Players at Lord’s.
He toured South Africa with M.C.C. in 1938-39 and was selected for the M.C.C. tour to India in 1939-40 which was cancelled. During the War he won the D.F.C. and returned to captain Sussex from 1947 to 1949.
He was capped by Sussex in 1938 and was President from 1977 to 1979.
Alf Tuppin was born in 1911 and was a right-hand batsman and right-arm medium pace bowler who played 23 matches between 1935 and 1939.
He scored 294 runs average 11.76 and took 56 wickets at 29.03 runs each including 5 wickets in an innings on four occasions.
Born in 1910 Robert Stanton was a right-hand batsman who played 45 matches between 1936 and 1947 scoring 1,766 runs at an average of 24.53.
He played for Oxford University in 1932, 1933 and 1934 and was awarded his blue in 1933.
“Jack” Nye was born in 1914 at Isfield and emigrated to Australia in 1926 before returning to Sussex after several years. He was a right-hand batsman and right-arm fast bowler who played 99 matches between 1934 and 1947.
He scored 885 runs average 8.59 and took 304 wickets at 34.23 runs each including 5 wickets in an innings 10 times. His best season was 1939 when he took 110 wickets.