How di­vine in­ter­ven­tion helped Lord Hawke make huge im­pact

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - SPORT -

Eleven for the Scar­boro’ Car­ni­val”, as Carter put it, hence Hawke’s se­lec­tion for his first­class de­but in Septem­ber 1881.

As Hawke re­called in his 1924 au­to­bi­og­ra­phy: “I have al­ways re­garded the Rev ES Carter as my fa­ther in York­shire cricket.

“He watched me score at York and it was he who brought me into the county side when he ar­ranged the teams for the Scar­bor­ough Fes­ti­val.

“My de­but was against MCC… It can­not be said that I was in­or­di­nately suc­cess­ful for I only con­trib­uted 4 and 0, each time bowled by Barnes.”

Hawke fared a tad bet­ter in the sub­se­quent match against I Zin­gari, top-scor­ing with 32 in the York­shire sec­ond in­nings.

“Each in­nings I was at the wicket with Par­son Carter. He had been a dou­ble Blue (at Ox­ford) – and a gen­uine one. The good old dou­ble Blue meant you had played for the Eleven (at cricket) and rowed in the Eight.

“Canon Carter never for­got he had in­tro­duced me into the York­shire Eleven and was very proud of the fact.

“Even in my day he still re­tained his bril­liant cut­ting, and was a most ac­tive field.”

The word “ac­tive”, in­deed, seems to sum up Carter per­fectly.

While serv­ing the church in York from 1875, he was in­volved in an as­ton­ish­ing num­ber of lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions and CRICK­ET­ING ROY­ALTY: com­mu­nity projects, which must have made him one of the most recog­nis­able fig­ures in York­shire at that time.

In ad­di­tion to his tal­ent for bat­ting (he was also a skilled fast bowler and wick­et­keeper), Carter was an ac­com­plished mu­si­cian.

He played the pi­ano, wrote hymn tunes and was a solo bass vo­cal­ist in the York Am­a­teur Choral So­ci­ety, his en­ergy matched only by his in­nate good cheer.

While at Ox­ford, Carter suf­fered an at­tack of pleurisy (in­flam­ma­tion of the tis­sue be­tween the lungs and ribcage) after be­ing soaked dur­ing a thun­der­storm while row­ing, and, as part of his con­va­les­cence, he trav­elled to Aus­tralia, where he played one first-class match for Vic­to­ria in 1869.

On his death in 1923, aged 78, one anony­mous let­ter ap­peared in The Aus­tralasian news­pa­per which pro­vided a rare per­sonal rec­ol­lec­tion.

“Carter was an un­com­monly good look­ing man; tall, very up­right, rather slim, but when I knew him pow­er­ful, and with a well trimmed curly beard, fair mous­tache, and curl­ing auburn hair.

“Ev­ery­one liked him and he was ut­terly ‘im­par­son­ish’. You would never have sus­pected from his voice that he was a cler­gy­man.

“He was a pretty bats­man, and a force­ful (one), with ex­cel­lent style and mak­ing full use of his reach.

“He had one par­tic­u­larly charm­ing stroke, push­ing, very pow­er­fully and grace­fully a good length ball on his leg stump for three or four.”

Hawke, who among myr­iad cred­its is fa­mous for de­vis­ing the York­shire play­ers’ white rose badge, re­mem­bered that Carter oc­ca­sion­ally had to make dex­ter­ous ar­range­ments when his church du­ties clashed with those of his cricket.

“When we were en­gaged in York­shire Gen­tle­men matches at York, he and the Rev EB Firth (who also played for York­shire) were of­ten on the side.

“At that time, they were both Mi­nor Canons in the Cathe­dral, and per­haps in the mid­dle of their in­nings one would re­tire to con­duct af­ter­noon ser­vice, and then come back to re­sume his place at the wicket.”

Carter, who al­ways de­nied that he was the crick­et­ing cleric who sup­pos­edly an­nounced, one Sun­day morn­ing from the pul­pit, “Here en­deth the first in­nings”, moved to the ru­ral parish of Th­wing, Driffield, in later life.

At his fu­neral, the Bishop of Hull, the Right Rev­erend Fran­cis Gurdon, spoke warmly of a man whose place in York­shire’s crick­et­ing his­tory is as­sured by his “gift”, in Lord Hawke, of its great­est rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

“Teddy Carter lived a life of self-abase­ment, sink­ing his own am­bi­tions in or­der that he might get the very best out of oth­ers.

“Whether Teddy Carter was at cricket or in the pul­pit he lived the same life – a life of help­ful­ness, and in this he was an ex­am­ple to those peo­ple who are al­ways con­sid­er­ing them­selves.”

York­shire play­ers with Lord Hawke at Wighill Park, Hawke’s fam­ily home, pub­lished in The Tatler in 1901. Hawke, stand­ing, is fourth from the right and Carter, seated, is di­rectly in front of him. In­set, Teddy Carter.

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