DAVID FRITH

David Frith was born on 16 March 1937 at Paddington, London but his family emigrated to Sydney, Australia in 1949 just before his twelfth birthday. He returned to England in 1964 but had a brief spell back in Sydney in 1971 and 1972 following the death of his mother.

His writing talent is enormous and he is an avid cricket memorabilia collector whose private collection must be one of the largest in the world. He has been an honorary Vice-President of the Cricket Memorabilia Society since its inception in 1987.

He got his big break in cricket journalism when, in November 1972, he succeeded Tony Pawson as deputy editor of The Cricketer before becoming editor from March 1973 until 1978. He founded Wisden Cricket Monthly and was its hard-working editor from June 1979 to February 1996. As a journalist and author Frith has enjoyed many close relationships with players, most notably Don Bradman with whom he corresponded for many years.

He has written over 30 cricket books and is the only author to have won the coveted Cricket Society Book of the Year 3 times with "My Dear Victorious Stod : a biography of A.E. Stoddart" (1970 - the first year for the award), "Pageant of Cricket" (1987) and "The Ross Gregory Story" (2003). "The Pageant of Cricket" contains over 2,000 illustrations.

As an Anglo-Australian David has a deep love for, and appreciation of, The Ashes. As a schoolboy in Sydney he bumped into Alec Bedser in 1951 which resulted in his first essay on the game. Frith's "England versus Australia : a pictorial history of the test matches since 1877", first published in 1977, has run to several editions and has sold over 100,000 copies. His "Bodyline Autopsy" (the first winner of Wisden Book of the Year - 2003) is considered to be the most authoritative and exhaustive account and analysis of the 1932/33 Bodyline Series.

In association with the National Film and Television Archive, he presented, for many years, an annual archive cricket film evening at the National Film Theatre in London using his own personal collection of historic films. With an imminent Ashes series down under we have asked David to give us a film evening, using his own collection, to give us a visual evening from Ashes' series past with his own commentary. This promises to be a unique occasion for Cheltenham Cricket Society with a chance to see some rare film footage of Ashes' cricket.

Ken Burney

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