Daily Express

Jeepers keepers! Knott’s back in town

- By B Mike Mik W Walters lt

EVERY DAY it was the same routine – a pot of tea with Romanian honey at the intervals.

At close of play, when his Kent team- mates refuelled with frothing nectar, the dotty wicketkeep­er polished off a pint of sherry and lemonade.

Alan Knott would also arrive at Canterbury in an ageing Volvo while the other players drove around in top- of- therange sponsored cars.

To minimise the stress on his Achilles, the accelerato­r was modified with the thick end of a croquet mallet so he never needed to step on the gas where a twitch of his toes sufficed. Barmy, but sound.

Knott, above, was not just the most eccentric keeper- batsman in England’s Test history. He was also the finest.

A hermit, if not a recluse, and now living in Cyprus, he will be 74 next month but still looks as fit as a flea.

He rarely makes public app appearance­s but surfaced at an exclusive Q& A ev evening in London ho hosted by Cow Corner Ev Events, a company run by Fabian Cowdrey, the son of former Kent teammate C Chris.

Knott’s landing brought former England colleagues Graham Gooch and John Emburey out to meet their old pal.

“Alan was fabulous behind the stumps, the very best, and he could drive bowlers mad by inventing strokes that nobody else could play,” said former Test skipper Gooch.

Knott was 96 not out, chasing his maiden Test century against Pakistan in Karachi 51 years ago, when the match was abandoned amid a riot.

“We’d better get out of here,” non- striker David Brown told him.

Knott was reluctant to go off, saying: “I only need another four runs”.

Brown replied: “No, we need to get out of here NOW.”

Knott added: “I was sad to get off the field... but it was the right thing to do”.

 ??  ?? TOP MAN: Knott was ‘ the very best’ says Graham Gooch
TOP MAN: Knott was ‘ the very best’ says Graham Gooch

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