Arthur Milton : Last of the Double Internationals Hardback
by Mike Vockins
Arthur Milton was surely the last of that rare breed - a man good enough to play cricket and football for England.
Twelve have had that rare distinction but the all-year-round nature of both sports makes it impossible that the feat will happen again. Arthur had played 12 games for Arsenal when he was called up to play against Austria in 1951 because two legends, Stanley Matthews and Tom Finney, were unavailable.
He decided to concentrate on cricket at the relatively young age of 29 in 1955 and Arsenal sold him to his home town club, Bristol City, for whom he made 14 appearances.
He had played 84 times for Arsenal, scoring 21 times. Although he had been picked as 12th man for the series against Australia in 1953 (and again against South Africa in 1955) he did not play his first Test until 1958.
Coincidentally, he opened the innings against New Zealand at Headingley with Mike Smith, who was a double rugby and cricket England international.
Milton scored 104 not out. That performance put him in the squad to visit Australia.
He finished his six-Test career with 204 runs at 25.50.
He was more at home playing for Gloucestershire, which he did from 1948 until 1974. He finished with more than 32,000 runs and 56 hundreds in first-class cricket.
He was also outstanding in the field with 758 catches.
In retirement he became a postman in Bristol and later a paper boy because he still wanted to cycle over the Downs in Bristol in the early morning.
He received an honorary MA from Bristol University and could ask with a chuckle how many universities gave a degree to someone who delivered their papers! He asked former Worcestershire secretary Mike Vockins to work on the book with him but sadly died midway through the project.
Mike finished the book by speaking to many of the people who Arthur met in his long and distinguished career.
As well as being a prominent figure in the world of cricket, having managed England A tours to Australia and Pakistan, Mike Vockins is Rural Dean of Ledbury and as a Prebendary of Hereford Cathedral.
He is also a member of the ECB's Major Match Group responsible for recommending the allocation of Test Matches, One-Day Internationals and the finals of domestic competitions.
He lives with his wife Eileen on the north western slopes of the Malvern Hills in a cottage in which Sir Edward Elgar composed The Dream of Gerontius.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 320 pages, Illustrations
- Publisher: SportsBooks Ltd
- Publication Date: 01/05/2011
- Category: Biography: sport
- ISBN: 9781907524035