Former Northamptonshire and England batsman David Steele has been immortalised in a new book, which has been published this past weekend.
Although he made his Northamptonshire debut in 1963 he sprang to prominence as an unlikely hero in the 1975 Ashes, rescuing England after a first Test thrashing to help the team draw the three remaining matches and finishing top of the England batting averages.
This led to Steele winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and as well as facing down the feared pace attacks of both Australia and the West Indies he twice took Northamptonshire to the brink of the County Championship and was named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year.
The new book, ‘The Bank Clerk Who Went To War’, has been co-written by honorary Northamptonshire archivist, Andrew Radd, who remembers his first encounter with Steele well.
“It was my first ever day at the County Ground in 1972 when David turned my request for an autograph down!” he says. “So I’m delighted that he likes the book and gave myself and my co-author Ian Addis so much time over the winter to help us.
“He will always be known for his tussles with some of cricket’s fiercest fast bowlers, the likes of Lillee and Thomson, Holding and Roberts, but there is so much more to his story, which tells of a life devoted to cricket.
“As well as 21 years at the County Ground, aside from three seasons spent at Derbyshire, he coached Stuart Broad at Oakham School and finished his career with exactly 500 First Class appearances.
“A story like David’s is typical of many cricketers of that time – great anecdotes, random and tenuous connections with celebrities and royalty, and memories of some outstanding sport. We had a great time writing it and I hope that people enjoy reading it.”
‘The Bank Clerk Who Went To War’ is published by Chequered Flag Publishing and is available for £17.50 in the Northamptonshire shop at the County Ground.