Frederick ‘Freddie’ Wilfred Stocks died in Sutton on Sea on 23 February 1996 aged 77.

He will always be remembered as the first -  and so far only - First-Class cricketer to score a hundred on his Championship debut and take a wicket with his first ball in Championship cricket.

As it happened, the events took place in two separate matches, the hundred being against Kent and the wicket against Lancashire, both in 1946.

Freddie Stocks first applied for a place on the Trent Bridge staff in 1937, when he was playing for Newstead Colliery, as a very useful left hand batsman and right arm medium pace bowler – his record for the Colliery team up to July 1937 was 2,000 runs, average 37 and 72 wickets at 9 runs each – he was then aged 18.

He had been born in Carcroft, Yorkshire, during the First World War, his family having moved from Nottinghamshire due to his father’s war work. His father was on the staff at Trent Bridge before the war and afterwards played briefly for Northants.

Freddie Stocks first appeared for Notts in wartime matches and his cricket in these games meant that he joined the Trent Bridge staff in September 1945, the only player who had not played in 1939 to be signed at that stage.

His debut hundred was recognised by the national selectors, who chose him for a Test Trial the same summer, but Stocks received no further recognition in that direction and therefore remained for the whole of his career essentially a county cricketer – a very cheerful county cricketer.

His batting varied between stout defence and quite determined attacking shots, his highest innings being 171 against the Australians in 1956, his benefit year. His bowling was usually called upon when the main attack failed and, on occasion, he was very successful. Initially he had bowled medium pace, but latterly sent down some fair off spin.

Stocks reached 1,000 runs five times, his best being 1,396, average 34.04, in 1951.

He succeeded Charlie Harris as a dressing room morale booster, his tour de force being a mining ballad which brought a simile to the most depressed of his companions.

Stocks retired from cricket after the 1957 season and worked as a sales rep for the Steetley Company. He retired to Sutton on Sea in 1986.

He had not been in good health for some time prior to his death.

December 2020

Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 373

See Freddie Stocks's career stats here