This week marks the hundredth anniversary of the birth of one of Nottinghamshire’s greatest cricketing men.

Reginald Thomas Simpson, born on February 27 1920, was batsman, captain, committee member, President and Vice-President – not to mention policeman, RAF pilot and businessman.

Reg began his cricketing journey at Mountford House Prep School and Nottingham High School, where he was selected for the cricket team at only 13 years of age.

His talents continued to blossom in the local leagues before he made his debut for Nottingham City Police Force in July 1940 against the RAF, who he would later join for war duty.

During the war he made his first-class debut for the Indian province of Sind, before returning home and making his debut for the Notts first team in July 1946.

His impressive batting performances led to his call up for the national team in the winter of 1948, when England toured South Africa.

But without question his finest moment in the national team came during the 1950/51 Ashes series, when England overcame Australia in Melbourne with Simpson playing a crucial role by hitting 156 not out.

More international success would follow with a Test century against South Africa in the familiar surroundings at Trent Bridge, and he is still the only Notts batsman to have reached that landmark on his home ground.

Reg made his highest Notts’ score of 243* against Worcestershire 1950, the same year in which he became one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year.

The following year he became captain of his county and led the team on 249 occasions until the end of the 1960 season. 

A loyal club servant during a relatively disappointing period in Notts’ history, Reg played on until 1963.

By this time he had played 366 first-class matches for Notts – scoring 23,088 runs at an average of 39.26 – and he remains the sixth highest run scorer for the county.

Reg continued his commitment to his home county as an active committee member from 1961 to 1986 and as President from 1991 to 1993, before becoming a Vice-President.

Reg died at the age of 93 on 22 November 2013, and he will forever be remembered as one of the greats in Nottinghamshire’s long history.


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