Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Did Ed fib about his love of Boycott?

Last year Ed made some interesting claims about his love of Geoff Boycott, describing the irascible old Yorkshireman as having the 'Charisma of Imperfection'.

But looking at the claims I fear the imperfection must be in the memory of Ed. It looks to me as if the chap was having his Bahamas moment,

in conversation with Des O'Connor in 1996 that Tony Blair told a yarn about running away from school and smuggling himself aboard a flight to the Bahamas at Newcastle Airport - an anecdote subsequently greeted with blank amazement by Mr Blair's father and the authorities at Newcastle Airport, which has never had a direct flight to the Bahamas.
Ed claims to have seen Boycott's 100th century, which was scored at Headingly in August 1977 in an interview with James Forsyth in the Spectator

Given that Ed was 7 ½ at the time I wonder who took him? After all he was a primary schoolboy at the time. I just cannot see his father, the old Polish, Marxist, emigre intellectual trekking up the M1 on the demands of the youthful Ed to watch a day's cricket in Leeds. It just stretches the envelope of believability. His second claim is equally dubious. He can claim that he "bunked off school" to see Boycott at Lords as that test was on the 2-7 of July in 1981. But, but, you see when Forsyth reprised the tale in a later article he added details, no doubt referring back to his recording of the interview,

"he celebrated the end of his GCSEs by going to watch Boycott’s final first-class innings at Lord’s."
Well it was certainly Boycott's final Test match at Lords but he was playing first class cricket there until 1986, but we can forgive the adoring fan Ed that mistake, but...

I know that Ed was a bright boy, but was he really celebrating his GCSE's when he was 11 ½? In his second term at Haverlock Comprehensive? No.

The whole 'I love cricket and Boycott' schtik stinks from start to finish, capped off by his rejection of an invitation to Test Match Special recently. I think that he has been inventing his past. Boycott is still very popular in his old fastness of South Yorkshire. And Milliband desperately needs working class credibility in Doncaster.


As pointed out by Jim in the comments and as I recognised here last night I suspect I might be entirely unfair about this. Damn that I don't have a Wisden.

My bad


Jim said...

The timing does add up - Ed M was born 24 Dec 1969, which puts him in the academic year ahead of me (born Feb 71). I did my O levels (not GCSEs, they didn't start until 1988) in 1987, so EM must have done his in 1986, which was Boycotts last first class season. According to Wisden, Yorkshire played Middlesex at Lords on June 14th,16th and 17th 1986. Boycott played and made 69 and 31.

So I would say its entirely possible for EM to have finished his O Levels in early June 86, and have watched The Greatest Living Yorkshireman play for the last time at Lords soon after.

Gawain Towler said...

I conceed entirely. I was talking about this eventuality with a cg´hum with Wisden klast night but didn+' t have internet acess to edit.

Still I think the 7 1/2 year old's claims are dubiouis, but I entirely conceed the last first class century point