(John) Brian Bolus - Honorary Life Member of Whitkirk Cricket Club
Born in Whitkirk on January 31st 1934, Brian was a right-hand opening batsman and left-arm medium pace bowler who learned his cricket at our Club. His most notable performance was as a 16 year old playing in the 1950 Hepworth Cup Final at Headingley when he scored 99 not out, before progressing to Leeds CC in 1953 and later to Bradford.
This quickly-developing cricketing success story did not end there; he was awarded his Yorkshire CCC debut shortly after in 1956, earning his full County Cap in 1960. Playing for Yorkshire, he won the County Championship on three occasions: 1959, 1960 & 1962.
In 1963, Brian moved to Nottinghamshire CCC where he played until the end of 1972, and as captain for his last season, in doing so, taking over this mantle from a true great of the game, Sir Garfield Sobers.
During his time at Nottinghamshire CCC, he played seven Test matches for England in 1963-64; two home Test matches versus the West Indies, followed by a five-Test series away in India.
Brian finished with a highly respectable Test batting average of 41.88 and a highest score of 88 runs vs India at Madras (now Chennai).
His England Test career abruptly ended after being oddly omitted from selection for the following series versus Australia in 1964;
one which allowed Geoffrey Boycott & John Edrich to cement their places as England’s Test opening batsmen.
Following his time at Notts, the final three seasons of Brian’s 19-year First-Class career were spent a short distance away at Derbyshire CCC, as Captain throughout. Brian became the third player in history to be capped by three First-Class counties and finished with 25,598 First-Class runs at an average of 34.03, including 39 centuries and a highest score of 202*.
Upon retirement from the County circuit, Brian turned out for Cleckheaton CC, Brighouse CC & Farsley CC, in the Bradford League - captaining the latter to win the Priestley Cup in 1983.
He was elected to the Nottinghamshire CCC Committee in 1993. The following year he was appointed as an England Test selector, and then Chairman of the England Management Advisory Committee at the ECB, from 1998 until 2002.
The culmination of his involvement with cricket was being voted in as President of Nottinghamshire CCC, 2004-2005.
Said to be a touch eccentric by now-commentator David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd, Brian would apparently practise the coin toss in the changing room on a green towel.
In his later career as an after-dinner speaker, Brian opened with the line:
“for those of you who saw me bat, let me apologise…”