Hendren appears in last first-class match at Lord's

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One of the game’s most prolific run-scorers whose swift footwork made him particularly adept against spin, ‘Patsy’ Hendren is a true legend of Lord’s.

Third on the all-time list for first-class runs worldwide and behind only Jack Hobbs in number of centuries, Hendren amassed 25,597 runs and 74 centuries at Lord’s alone. No-one else has scored anything like as many runs at the Home of Cricket. Born in London, Hendren joined the Lord’s groundstaff as a 16 year-old in 1905 and made his debut for Middlesex four years later. But it was after the First World War that he really made an impact, passing 2,000 runs for the season no fewer than 15 times between 1920 and 1936. Hendren announced his arrival as a leading batsman in 1919, recording 1655 runs at over 60, with five hundreds (including two doubles) in a summer when County Championship matches were restricted to two days. The following year, the five centuries he made at Lord’s – all over 150 – helped Middlesex to the County Championship title.

His record for England was equally impressive. On the 1930 tour of West Indies he scored 693 runs in four Tests. In total, his 51 Test Matches for England brought him seven hundreds and 21 fifties at an average of 47.63.

Hendren was also the first batsman to wear protective headgear, at the instigation of his wife, it is said. This came in the summer of 1933 when the touring West Indies adopted the ‘Bodyline’ tactics of England captain Douglas Jardine, resulting in a barrage of short-pitched bowling from both teams. Hendren played his last Test on England’s tour of West Indies in early 1935, but he played on for Middlesex for the next three seasons, adding another 19 first-class centuries. His 377th and final first-class appearance at Lord’s came against Surrey at the end of August 1937, at the age of 48. Coming in between rising stars Bill Edrich and Denis Compton, Hendren made 103 in the first innings. It was the 170th century of his career.