It was a shocking event which became one of the most memorable incidents in cricket's greatest rivalry.
But as England and Australia resume hostilities today at the start of the Ashes, a question has been raised - whatever happened to the man whose naked hurdle over the Lords' wicket made history?
On 4 August 1975, the fourth day's play of the Ashes Test was disrupted when Merchant Navy cook Michael Angelow shed his clothes and made a dash across the playing area, vaulting the bails, and raising his fist in triumph at the Nursery End, before being led away by police.
In doing so, Angelow, 24, became Britain's first sporting streaker, inspiring a tradition which has extended to rugby internationals, Wimbledon and even the World Indoor Bowls Championship. Found guilty of outraging public decency, Angelow was fined £20 for his beer-fuelled streak, the same sum which the almost-namesake of the Renaissance artist won in the bet which prompted his spontaneous race across the hallowed turf.
Whilst some MCC members were outraged, Angelow's dash was widely cheered for enlivening a slow day's cricket. Commentating on Test Match Special, John Arlott said: "We have got a freaker [sic] down the wicket now. Not very shapely, and it is masculine… he is being embraced by a blond policeman and this may well be his last public appearance - but what a splendid one!"
His leap now graces the cover of Sticky Wickets, the new album by The Duckworth Lewis Method, the cricket-themed band led by Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy and songwriting colleague, Thomas Walsh.
The duo are hoping to track Angelow down so that he might deliver a repeat performance. "We are rather hoping that Michael Angelow comes out of the woodwork," said Hannon, before playing the first rock gig at the home of cricket earlier this week.
“Can we take this opportunity to make a personal appeal for any information on his whereabouts? We’d definitely have him re-enact his famous leap for our next video.”
Advised by the Marylebone magistrate to “moderate your behaviour”, Angelow kept a low profile afterwards. He left the Merchant Navy and became a chef, running a catering business in Hemel Hempstead.
“I was offered money to do it again at the Grand National and Wimbledon, but I didn’t want to know,” he recalled in 2005. “I also had people offering me parts in porn movies and all sorts of weirdos calling me.”
Angelow, who cooked for Eric Morecambe, when the late comedian was in hospital, didn’t regret his actions. “The match was pretty boring and heading for a draw. There was a lot of banter with some Australians near us, when one of them said: ‘Let’s liven it up’. And that was that.”
The Duckworth Lewis Method said they chose the famous streaker image after a plan to recreate the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers cover failed. “The nudity, the rock star stance, the idiocy, it’s got it all,” Hannon said.
If Angelow does come forward, he will be rewarded. “We’ll provide him with personalised Duckworth Lewis Method cheese,” promised Hannon. “It’s in the shape of a cricket ball.”Reuse content