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Tommy Cook – a man for all seasons

Tommy Cook – a man for all seasons

Throwback Thursday


The days of dual sportsman, who played football in the winter before switching to cricket in the summer, have long gone.

These days football continues well into the season when our summer game should be holding sway and it’s not just cricket fans that regret the intrusion.

Sussex’s most famous dual sportsman was almost certainly Cuckfield-born TE ‘Tommy’ Cook, who was good enough to represent England against Wales in 1925 whilst still playing with Third Division Brighton & Hove Albion. He scored 123 goals for the Seagulls in 209 games and also had a prolific spell with Bristol Rovers.

As a powerful right-handed batsman for Sussex, he played throughout the 1930s, scoring more than 20,000 runs. A mainstay of the side that finished runner-up in the County Championship in 1933 and 1934 he made back to back double hundreds against Worcestershire, the county who are the first visitors of the new season to Hove this Sunday.

In 1933 at Eastbourne he scored 214 and a year later at Worcester trumped that with 220. In total, he made 32 centuries in 460 first-class games.

There was certainly a lustre to Cook’s life, despite his quiet modesty. He was a hero in both world wars, first in the Royal Navy, where he was decorated, then in the South African Air Force, where he sustained serious injuries in 1943.

At the end of the war he returned to England and briefly managed the Seagulls, but the end for Cook was extremely sad. Physically and mentally ill, and separated from his wife, he committed suicide a month before his 49th birthday in 1950.

These days he is immortalised on the 623 bus around Brighton and Hove.

Sussex CCC at the Cricket World Cup


Sussex CCC stars got off to a flying start at the Cricket World Cup, with Ed Joyce leading the charge in a magnificent Irish victory over West Indies.

Ireland successfully chased the Windies’ 304-7, only the fifth successful chase in excess of 300 in World Cup history, with Joyce hitting 84 from 67 balls to take Ireland within 32 runs of their target.

Joyce drew praise from former England spinner Graeme Swann on the BBC’s Test Match Special, who said, “Ed Joyce looked on a different planet, he was a joy to watch, I would love to have seen him bat to the end he was that good.”

Meanwhile, Matt Machan continued his pre-tournament form as he starred for Scotland in their opening fixture against co-hosts New Zealand. Machan led the way with 103 when Scotland beat Ireland in their penultimate World Cup warm-up match, and he top-scored again with an assured 56 to lead a stirring fight back from 12 for 4 as Scotland were narrowly beaten in Dunedin.

Ireland built on their good start to the tournament with a narrow win over the United Arab Emirates this morning, with Joyce providing 37 runs to as the Gabba successfully chased down 279 to claim victory by two wickets with just four balls to spare.

Keep an eye on official Sussex CCC social media channels for the latest on all our players Down Under.

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