Mansfield-born John Gilbert was, for sixteen years, the record scorer for  Nottinghamshire after he made 91 in a remarkable debut against Sussex in 1843.

One of the Sussex players noted ‘Gilbert played the bowling as easily as shelling peas and quite astonished both the Sussex players and his own side. Sussex were at their wit’s end before Box finally stumped Gilbert off Lillywhite’s bowling for 91.’ Despite this initial success, he was selected in just two more major Notts games and achieved little; his other First-Class appearance, for the 'Players of Nottinghamshire' was equally unmemorable.

John Gilbert was a silk framework knitter in his native town of Mansfield, where most of his cricket was played and where he died in 1887.

April 2020