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Denis Compton | A crowd favourite with his aggressive stroke play, sharp bowling and good looks.

23rd May 1918 saw the birth of a maverick and a style icon who was also a seriously good batsman for England. Denis Compton was always a crowd’s favourite with his aggressive stroke play, sharp bowling and good looks.

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Last updated: 23.05.2019
Denis Compton | Sports Social Blog

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23rd May 1918 saw the birth of a maverick and a style icon who was also a seriously good batsman for England. Denis Compton was always a crowd’s favourite with his aggressive stroke play, sharp bowling and good looks. Although he started his career before the Second World War, the post-war years were crucial and Compton delivered some great performances for his county Middlesex and England to cheer a nation still recovering from the horror of a great war.


Compton played eight test matches before the war and already established himself as one of the best English youth talents. A century on Ashes debut at Nottingham and another 120 against West Indies at Lords’ were his two centuries and he was earmarked by the experts for many more. But the war started and county, as well as international cricket, took a backseat. Compton took part in the war as a Sergeant-Major for the British army and also managed to play few first-class matches in India.

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Once the war was over and Compton came back to the cricket field, that period showed the maximum return from the great man. In 28 test matches during the first four seasons post-war Compton registered 2,664 test runs with11 hundred and boasted of an average of nearly 62. In first-class cricket, he scored almost 15,000 runs in this period with 60 hundred.


Compton was also a competent football player and played as a winger for Arsenal as well as for England national team. He was an FA Cup winner with Arsenal in 1950. But one of the freak injuries affected his knee and that also had a negative impact on his cricket and overall movement. However, he still played test cricket till 1957 and finished with 5,807 runs and 17 test centuries. He also took 25 wickets with his left arm spin.


Compton left a reach legacy in world cricket. He was the first player to do modelling for Brylcream which gave him immense fame. His running between the wickets was not sharp and that also raised many stories about him and his teammates. As a Middlesex player, he played the majority of his cricket at Lords’ where a stand is named after him.

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