Schooled in Cricket: The Johnny Lawrence Story


by Steve Bindman
Though Johnny Lawrence’s career for his county amounted to one pre-war second eleven game, he was central to so much that was good about Yorkshire cricket in the 20th century. He chauffeured the coach, George Hirst. Herbert Sutcliffe placed Johnny with Somerset for a post-war career as an all-rounder, and bowled the first ball at Johnny’s ‘shed’ at Rothwell outside Leeds. As a coach, or as a league player into his 60s, Johnny touched the lives of generations of players, from Jim Laker and Dickie Bird to Sir Geoffrey Boycott (who contributes a foreword and who called Johnny ‘a personal friend, coach and private tutor’) and Geoff Cope. A craftsman, a Christian and a family man besides, Johnny Lawrence truly had a ‘life in cricket’.