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Leeds nostalgia: Cricketing legend ‘Long John’ Tunnicliffe dead at 82

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This week 70 years ago came news that one of cricket’s greatest names, ‘Long John of Pudsey’, real name John Tunnicliffe (August 26, 1886-July 11, 1948), was dead.

He was 82 and had been ill for about a fortnight. He scored over 20,000 runs in first class cricket, including 22 centuries. His opening stand of 554 with J T Brown - against Derbyshire in 1898 - stood until 1932, when it was broken by Holmes and Sutcliffe. His score of 243 in that 1898 match was Tunnicliffe’s highest ever. He was regarded as one of the best slip fielders of all time and made 678 catches in that position.

He went to Bristol as a coach for Clifford College but was a regular visitor to Scarborough Cricket College.

In an air raid on Bristol in 1940, he ended up buried in the debris of his own house for almost four hours. His daughter, Maud, worked with bare hands to scoop away the debris so that he could breath.He earned his nickname on account of his long arms, which enabled him to pull of catches which many others would not even attempt.

A report in the YEP from August 10 noted there were 230 anglers waiting for fish at Kirkstall, ranging in age from four to 15. The report went on: “Fish in this water are never large but with rod and line, hook, worm, creel, gaff and basket, the youngsters were ready for anything.”

The reason for the gathering of so many anglers was the annual juvenile competition of the Leeds Amalgamation of Anglers.

And finally, trouble with Russia is not a modern phenomenon. Back in 1948, the UK and the US were having differences with the Soviet Union over border controls in Berlin after it introduced strict new rules about the movement of vehicles at checkpoints.