Foxes Flashback - George Dawkes
George Dawkes (born 19th July 1920) - Youngest Leicestershire cricketer to be capped
George Dawkes was one of the finest Leicestershire wicket keepers, who played most of his cricket for Derbyshire. In his career he played 482 matches, scored 11,411 runs and dismissed 1,041 batsmen.
He first played organised cricket on Victoria Park for Sparkenhoe CC, who played in the City League. He made his debut for Leicestershire aged just 16, and by the end of the season he had taken the place of Paddy Corrall and retained it until the outbreak of war. He was capped in 1938, aged just 18, probably the youngest Leicestershire player to receive one. He was still in the RAF during 1946, so Paddy took over. There were many counties clamouring for his services, including Leicestershire, who I think rather thought they had his signature ‘in the bag’ but Derbyshire won the contest.
In early 1939 there was talk in the cricket press that he might be one of the younger players selected to go to Australia in 1940/41, so presumably he might have been a candidate for the tour when it eventually happened in 1946/47. The only problem being he had played no first-class cricket in 1946. He did play a one-day match for an England team against the West Indies at Lord’s in 1945 and he went on the Commonwealth team’s tour of South East Asia. He played in one of the ‘unofficial’ tests, but his career was mainly spent keeping wicket to Derbyshire’s formidable battery of fast bowlers.
He did help make cricketing history in 1958, when Les Jackson took a hat trick against Worcestershire, all three batsmen were caught behind by George.
He retired in 1962, a car accident meaning he did not play at all in his final testimonial season. He had the satisfaction of knowing that standing in the wings was another very great wicket keeper for Derbyshire and England, Stoke on Trent’s Bob Taylor.
Richard Holdridge - Club Historian