Bill Farrimond

FARRIMOND, WILLIAM, who died at home at Westhoughton, near Bolton, on November 14, 1979, aged 76, had the rare experience of being an England wicket-keeper who had been playing for fourteen years for his county before getting a regular place in the side. This was the more exasperating as for 35 years Lancashire had hardly had a reliable professional 'keeper, merely a succession of men who had to give way when a competent amateur was available.

In 1923 they found that great 'keeper, Duckworth, and in 1924 Farrimond appeared. It was only Duckworth's premature retirement at the end of 1937 that gave him an assured place, and after two seasons his career was ended by the war. It speaks volumes for Farrimond's loyalty that during this long period he never accepted any of the offers he received to qualify for another county.

Meanwhile he had kept four times for England, twice in South Africa in 1931, when Duckworth fell ill, once in the West Indies in 1935 and again later that year v South Africa at Lord's. On the last two occasions Ames was playing as a batsman and fielder. In technique Duckworth and Farrimond were poles apart. Duckworth was flamboyant, spectacular and a shrill and tireless appealer. Farrimond was quiet and unobtrusive, but immensely sound and particularly good on the leg.

Against Kent at Old Trafford in 1930 he equalled what was then the world's record by claiming seven victims in an innings. He was a considerably better batsman than Duckworth. He scored heavily for the Second XI, and though he never made a century for the county, in 1934 he hit 174 for the Minor Counties against Oxford University. On his tour to South Africa he averaged 30.70. His long and useful service was recognized by a benefit in 1939.

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