1st August 2023
Do feel free to order during the next two weeks. We are on a bit of a holiday ‘go-slow’ but orders will be fufilled and sent out…just a little more slowly! More…
20th July 2023
It’s that time again, when we can hope and dare to dream: that England CAN win the 2023 World Cup in New Zealand and Australia. They have a good chance. It’s a great time for women’s football…and it’s a good time to look back at its history. As we all know, women’s football grew massively […] More…
16th March 2023
We love discovering sports memorabilia with great stories. Recently we acquired one of Just Fontaine’s commemorative watches, which fills exactly that brief. The wristwatch is inscribed to dial “Just Fontaine. World Record 13 goals 1958-1998”. Fontaine, French football legend, presented one of these watches to each of the twenty two members of the French 1958 […] More…
19th January 2023
When we sent out our first New Stock Catalogue of the year, we realised it had been a while – too long! – since our last one in September. We reflected on the sporting legends we had lost just since September – way too many. We thought we’d like to make at least brief mention […] More…
22nd December 2022
10th November 2022
15th September 2022
We have been contemplating the huge job in front of King Charles III. We reminded ourselves what an able man he has shown himself to be over the years. Us being us, we looked to sport for the clues. We all know what a great polo player and general equestrian he was. We’ve seen him […] More…
21st July 2022
How proud would these pioneers of women’s football from 1918 be to see England’s Lionesses perform in the Women’s Euros 2022?! When this Scottish women’s team played in 2018, they would have rightly believed they had already come far. Despite attempts to set up and build up women’s football in the nineteenth century, it was […] More…
4th November 2021
25th April 2019
It’s just not cricket…or is it? Cricket as a sport has always been seen as one steeped in good manners. In recent years, however, we have all lived through incidents of ball tampering and match fixing in recent cricket matches. Is this a recent phenomenon? Or despite cricket’s gentlemanly reputation, has cunning behaviour been a […] More…
21st January 2016
A letter written by David Sheppard, Sussex & England cricketer & Bishop of Woolwich and Liverpool, takes us back to the bleak days of cricket in Apartheid South Africa.
The 2016 England cricket team’s performance in South Africa so far must have cheered the heart of every England cricket fan. We have seen some phenomenal individual performances and a rousing, generally consistent team one, all at the expense of the hitherto World No 1 team: South Africa. Attention has turned very quickly to South Africa’s woes. Observers see South Africa’s struggles against England as symptoms of a demise rather than a blip. South African cricket may well be facing the need for an overhaul. It’s a cyclical pattern in all teams – but let’s not lose sight of how far South Africa have come in the last 25 years. This year will be the 25th Anniversary of the unification of South African cricket and its readmission to the international cricket arena. A journey down memory lane with David Sheppard, the extraordinary combination of clergyman and cricketer, reminds us of South African cricket’s journey.
David Sheppard is the only ordained minister to have played Test cricket. He was both a religious leader and a cricketer at the highest levels. Captain in turn of Cambridge and Sussex, Sheppard was an opening batsman. He scored more than 2,000 runs in each of the three seasons from 1951 to 1953, including 24 centuries in the process. Sheppard was one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year in 1953. He managed, too, to be an integral member of the England cricket team from 1954 to 1963 while pursuing a clerical career, which culminated in his hugely significant and influential role as Bishop of Liverpool in the 1980s.
Throughout Sheppard’s clerical career he was an outspoken supporter of the poor. He was also a strong opponent of South Africa’s then political system of Apartheid. David Sheppard refused to play cricket against the touring South Africans in 1960. He also oppposed the proposed MCC tour to South Africa in 1968-69 in which South Africa would not allow Basil D’Oliveira to play.
As the Bishop of Woolwich, David Sheppard wrote this letter in 1970. Here he sets out clearly his views about England cricket’s relationship with South Africa at the time.
David Sheppard’s letter gives us a fascinating insight into the background, experiences and discussions circling England cricket’s relationship with South Africa at the time. With the benefit of hindsight, we can see how wise Sheppard was in his views. The letter is an important reminder of a great England cricketer and South African’s cricketing history. David Sheppard’s letter should be a reason for celebration. It may have a way to go, but South African cricket has come a long way too.