Foxes Flashback - Jack Firth
Jack Firth (b 26 June, 1917, d 6 September 1981)
When Charles Palmer arrived as Secretary/Captain at the end of 1949, he inherited a very ‘senior’ team. Vic Munden apart, the whole side was over the age of 30, three of whom were in their middle forties. Rebuilding was clearly required. The signing of Jack Firth in late 1950 was not a very long-term solution to the imminent wicket keeping problem, but options in this area were limited. The main attacking bowler was Jack Walsh, who bowled three different googlies, so it was no good hoping that a young wicket keeper might learn as he played. A hardened keeper of ebullient personality, who could hold his own with the bat was required.
Jack had first played for Yorkshire 2nd XI in the Minor Counties competition as far back as 1936 and played a handful of games for the full county side in 1949 and 1950. He also played for Salts and Farsley in the Bradford League.
He rapidly became expert in keeping wicket to Jack Walsh’s tricky bowling, and in 1952 helped dismiss 85 batsmen, a record for the county. He batted stubbornly too, scoring over 500 runs in 1951 and 1952. His top score was an unbeaten 90 scored at the Snibston Colliery Ground against Essex in his final summer, with the Leicestershire captain declaring with 7 wickets down and leaving more than a day to bowl out the opposition.
By 1959 it was time to put his gloves away, and he spent that summer playing in the seconds before retiring.
Richard Holdridge - Club Historian