Letters (with a lot of flannel)

Related Topics
From Arthur Tremain

Sir: In all the fuss surrounding the re-emergence of Beatlemania, I am surprised no one has mentioned the fanatical interest that the late John Lennon had in cricket.

It is little realised that he was an obsessive Lancashire supporter, and hated to tour during the summer for fear of missing a Lancashire game or a Test match. During concerts, he would often watch videos of the latest Lancashire game on what fans thought were loudspeakers but were in fact TV monitor screens. If you watch videos of his later concerts, you can sometimes see him jump in the air at moments apparently unconnected with the music. Usually this was because someone had just been called out.

During his later years with Yoko Ono, who showed a sad lack of interest in the game, he would sneak off to play cricket with the Manhattan Minstrels, a New York team of expatriate cricketers drawn partly from British showbiz exiles and partly from West Indian immigrants. I remember standing beside him in the slips one day and watching him put down a difficult left-hand chance. "No one would have got that," I said, to comfort him, "except maybe Paul McCartney."

"Why him?" said John.

"Well, he's left-handed."

"Yes, but Linda McCartney would have got in the way," said John. How we all laughed.

However, the team abruptly lost John Lennon's services when Yoko Ono persuaded him to play naked one day as a protest for peace. He was never picked again.

Yours sincerely ...

From Mr Gary Bunyip

Sir: In all the fuss about the anniversary of the Sun Page Three girls, I am surprised no one has mentioned the cricket team which these gallant girls ran for many years. United by a common love of the game - and a generous subsidy from Mr Murdoch! - these fun-loving fillies often turned out of a Saturday to delight crowds all over the country with their skill as well as their stunning looks. Ignorant commentators have often supposed this buxom bunch played cricket topless, which shows a lamentable depth of ignorance and a degree of sexism on their part. In fact, these leggy lovelies preferred to play in French chambermaids' outfits with short black skirts and lacy cleavage.

Some of them were far from untalented. We had a fast bowler called Leslie Lindquist who could work up a fair head of steam, even though she was amply endowed in the chest region with a bust of more than 40in (or should that be in milligrams these days?).

On one occasion an opposing batsman asked her if she did not find it difficult to get her arm over with such a bountiful bosom. "Look, love," she snapped, "I don't ask if you have trouble walking or running, do I?" How we all laughed!

Yours faithfully ...

From Major-General Sir Norman Fishbolt

Sir: May I put in a word in support of my good friend Nicholas Soames MP? In all this Prince of Wales controversy he has come in for a good deal of flak, with many people unable to decide if he is genuinely paranoid or merely shamelessly trying to play for people's sympathy. Well, let me tell you, there is no one straighter and finer than Nicholas Soames, not least when it comes to cricket, in which game he is one of the stoutest fielders known to man - no pun intended!

I remember when he was a spectator at a cricket match at Windsor Castle, the annual fixture between Old Equerries and the Prince of Wales's Valets Past and Present XI. One of the equerries had to leave and Nicholas was pressed into being a substitute. "Blimey!" quipped one of the valets, as Nicholas strode on to the field. "They've sent on their 12th and 13th man!" How we all laughed.

Yours sincerely ...

From Professor Norman Carew

Sir: It would be a shame if Purcell's tercentenary were allowed to pass without some mention being made of the great composer's fondness for cricket.

I do not know if Purcell played cricket, but the musical world was stunned two years ago at the discovery of his cricketing cantata ("Blest Pair of Stumps") and a collection of cricketing rounds to be sung at sporting parties. Purcell had a weakness for writing rounds with rather risque words, and these cricketing ditties are no exception! I surprised a Wigmore Hall audience recently when, as an encore at a choral concert, I produced 11 men in white flannels who sang:

There was a very courtly lover,

Who quoth, "I need no extra cover

When with my mistress I do lay

And with her fine legs I do play ..."

And so on through all the fielding positions. How we all laughed!

Yours faithfully ...

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...

Recruitment Genius: Photographic Event Crew

£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Solicitor - City

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...

Day In a Page

Read Next

After Savile, we must devote our energies to stopping the child abuse taking place now

Mary Dejevsky
A ‘hugely irritated’ Sir Malcolm Rifkind on his way home from Parliament on Monday  

Before rushing to criticise Malcolm Rifkind, do you know how much being an MP can cost?

Isabel Hardman
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower