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

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

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Buyer / Ecommerce Buyer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - CAD Software Solutions Sales

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Brand loyalty: businessmen Stuart Rose (pictured with David Cameron at the Conservative conference in 2010) was among the signatories  

So, the people who always support the Tories... are supporting the Tories? Has the world gone mad?

Mark Steel
Crofter's cottages on Lewis. The island's low population density makes it a good candidate for a spaceport (Alamy)  

My Scottish awakening, helped by horizontal sleet

Simon Kelner
War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police