ANDY MURTAGH

Andrew Joseph Murtagh was born in Dublin, Ireland on 06 May 1949. He has had 3 careers - one as a professional cricketer, one as a housemaster at Malvern College where he taught English (and became Head of Cricket) and his latest as an author. He is an English graduate of Southampton University.

Andy played for Hampshire from 1973-1977 and for Eastern Province in 1973-74 as a right-handed batsman and right-arm medium bowler. In his first season, 1973, Hampshire won the County Championship for only the second time with Murtagh having made his first-class debut against Gloucestershire. The side was astutely captained by the experienced Richard Gilliat and boasted players such as Barry Richards, Gordon Greenidge, and Trevor Jesty with Andy Roberts soon to spearhead the attack. Murtagh's nephews, Tim and Chris, have both played professional cricket with the former having played for Ireland.

Andy's highest first-class score of 65 (the top score in Hampshire's first innings) was made against Gloucestershire in July 1975 at Bournemouth. Those runs were made against an attack made up of Davey, Shackleton, Knight, Brown and Graveney. Hampshire won the match by 174 runs.

Andy was a Sunday League winner in 1975. He had an A List bowling average of 19.73 and a strike rate of 24.7! His best one day figures of 5/33, off 6.3 overs, were achieved against Yorkshire in May 1977 at Huddersfield in the John Player League. His wickets included those of Boycott and Bairstow in a crushing win by 129 runs.

In 2012 Andy wrote his first biography, that of George Chesterton MBE, a fellow master at Malvern College and an ex cricketer. The book was called ‘A Remarkable Man : The Story of George Chesterton’. It was well-received and was shortlisted for the Cricket Society/ M.C.C. Book of the Year Award for 2013. Subsequently, Andy has written biographies of Tom Graveney, Barry Richards, John Holder and Colin Cowdrey. All of these books have also been well regarded.

In 2020, Andy has written his latest biography. This is called ‘If Not Me, Who? The Story of Tony Greig, the Reluctant Rebel’, published by Pitch Publishing in July 2020. Andy will be talking to us about Tony Greig, about whom opinions seem to have softened since his death in 2012.

Ken Burney

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