When Garnet Morley Lee died on Leap Year Day (29 February) in 1976, at home in Newark aged 88, there passed the last link with one of the most famous days in Nottinghamshire cricket. He was believed to be the sole surviving member of the XI when Ted Alletson scored 189 out of 227 in ninety minutes at Hove in 1911; Lee helped Alletson in an eighth wicket stand of 73 in forty minutes.
Lee had a long and distinguished career as a valuable all-rounder, playing for his native county from 1910-1922 and for neighbours Derbyshire for a further eight seasons from 1925. A sound right-hand batsman who also bowled leg-breaks and googlies, he joined the Nottinghamshire staff in 1905, serving a five-year apprenticeship before making his début against Sussex. In 1913 Lee scored 200 not out in five hours against Leicestershire, adding 333 for the second wicket with Arthur Carr. Although he was the established opening partner for George Gunn, this was the only year in which he reached 1,000 runs for Nottinghamshire and in 1922 he lost his place to ‘Dodge’ Whysall.
He spent two years qualifying for Derbyshire where he was an immediate success, scoring 1,000 runs in his first year, and six times in all. Early in 1928 he toured Jamaica with the Hon. Lionel Tennyson's side and played for North v. South at Bournemouth. In 1931 at Northampton he hit Jupp for eight 6s, three off successive balls, in an innings of 141 not out, and in 1932 added 212 for the sixth wicket with Worthington against Essex, still a club record. He was an umpire from 1935 until 1949 and coached at Repton 1941-45.
Lee's complete first-class record is 373 matches, 623 innings, 47 not outs, 14,846 runs, 200 no highest score, 25.77 average with 22 centuries and 157 catches; he took 397 wickets at 28.04, had 20 five-wicket hauls and once took ten wickets in a match. This latter was for Derbyshire v Northants in his most spectacular career performance; he won the match almost singlehanded, scoring 100no and taking 7-78 in the first innings and 5-65 in the second.
Garnet Lee, who was born in Calverton on 7 June 1887, also played a few football matches for Notts County.