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George Macaulay & Brian Sellers Yorkshire: Package B
In George Macaulay: The Road to Sullom Voe, Giles Wilcock tells the story of a complex and difficult man who made a significant contribution to inter-war cricket but remained an outsider throughout his career.
Yorkshire’s fourth-highest first-class wicket-taker, Macaulay took a wicket with his first ball on Test debut in 1923, returned figures of 5-64, and hit the winning runs in a tense one-wicket victory. But his caustic sense of humour and aggressive on-field demeanour limited his opportunities for England, while his battles with the Yorkshire committee and a careless attitude to money led ultimately to his financial ruin.
The first full-length biography of Macaulay examines his upbringing in the North Yorkshire town of Thirsk, the trauma of the First World War, his emergence as a key player in the great Yorkshire side of the 1920s, and his death on active service in Shetland in 1940, not from pneumonia, as often reported, but from the effects of long-term alcoholism.
In his final years with Yorkshire, Macaulay played under the captaincy of Brian Sellers, whose life is explored by Mark Rowe in Brian Sellers: Yorkshire Tyrant.
The ‘most successful county captain of all time’ (Wisden 1940), Sellers led a great Yorkshire team: among those who played under him were Herbert Sutcliffe, Bill Bowes, Hedley Verity and later Leonard Hutton. Having established his authority, he urged his men to win matches. That led to six Championships in eight seasons to 1939, and the first post-war Championship in 1946.
Sellers went on to serve in Yorkshire and MCC administration and helped make decisions – Yorkshire’s sacking of Johnny Wardle in 1958, the start of one-day county cricket in 1963. Did he turn dangerously tyrannical? The outcry after the sacking of Brian Close in 1970 – and the equally fateful choice of Geoffrey Boycott as captain – suggested he did. Sellers, feared and foul-mouthed, gave his life to Yorkshire cricket, and his body to Leeds Medical School.
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