Statham, a Modest Model of Accuracy, Dies at 69
Byline: PETER JOHNSON
BRIAN STATHAM was the quiet yet always equal partner in the two greatest fast-bowling partnerships English cricket has produced in the post-war era.
'Gentleman George,' who died at 69 yesterday after a long illness, allowed Fred Trueman and Frank Tyson to take most of the glory from their joint achievements, but he could never be overshadowed or underestimated.
His remorseless accuracy, uncanny for a man bowling at his pace, was the perfect foil for Tyson's searing speed during the Ashes win in Australia in 1954-55, and he and Trueman will live forever in the list that includes Lindwall and Miller, Lillee and Thomson, Roberts and Holding.
The pair could scarcely have been more different in style and temperament; Trueman, swaggering and full of snorting threats and purple phrases; Statham, almost apologetic in his politeness and so reticent in conversation that you sometimes suspected he had fallen asleep.
It was Trueman who earned the reputation as the hell-raiser, yet Statham who quietly did the serious drinking.
When his 18-year Lancashire career ended in 1968, he was too shy to exploit his name or his CBE and suffered both poverty and ill-health. …