The Returning Officer

Howzat!

C B Fry was the most famous sportsman of his day, holding the world long-jump record and an FA Cup final loser's medal, while captaining England at cricket six times. He stood for parliament as a Liberal in Brighton, Oxford and Banbury, losing the latter contest (1923) by only 224 votes.

Alfred Lyttleton was a losing FA Cup finalist, England football international and Test cricketer. He was also a Liberal Unionist MP for Warwick and Leamington (1895-1906), who rose to become secretary of state for the colonies. Peter Eckersley led Lancashire to the county championship twice before moving into politics as the Tory MP for Manchester Exchange (1935-40). He was killed in a flying accident while serving in the Fleet Air Arm.

John Arlott managed only one appearance as 12th man for Hampshire, but became the best-known commentator of his day. He stood as a Liberal in Epping in 1955 and 1959, finishing third on both occasions.

This article first appeared in the 24 May 2010 issue of the New Statesman, Greece now, Britain next