I've had a lot of fun playing cricket. I've even played on the Inner Temple lawn. In fact we recently had a game there for the Peter May Memorial Fund. It was quite a lively wicket, and we raised a bob or two.
The Bar has a cricket club called the Refreshers, and I'm wearing the tie. It has a beer mug on it, and the numbers one, three, six, standing for one pound, three shillings and sixpence, which was the minimum that a member of the bar could earn when the club was founded in 1937.
The Bar used to play at the Oval to raise money for the Barristers' Clerks Benevolent Fund. There was a clerk called Reg Henty who played for Surrey before the war, and if he made runs, the clerks won. We don't play at the Oval any more - fewer and fewer people came to watch, so the Oval not unreasonably said they'd got better things to do with their pitch.
I had a marvellous time up at Cambridge. In those days, we had nothing but test players in the side, and in 1950 we played the West Indies. I wasn't playing because I was doing my exams, but Cambridge made 520-odd for 4 declared at lunch time on the second day. Then the West Indies made 720 for 3, and my replacement as wicket-keeper dropped Weekes, who then made over 300. So it was "Come back Popplewell, all is forgiven".
My son Nigel used to play for Somerset, which was enormously exciting. As a cricketer, you'd give your right eye to bowl with Garner, or to bat with Botham and Richards. Nigel once caught a very good catch in a final against Sussex, and Stuart Surridge got so excited, he started kissing my wife.
Go out to bat with a `Purist Original' from Gunn & Moore, (recommended retail price: pounds 199.99) available at reputable sports shops.Reuse content