John Seymour Hodgkins

Born in West Bridgford on 2 January 1916, John Hodgkins was educated at Nottingham High School where he was in the Eleven in 1931 and 1932. A right-hand bat and right-arm fast-medium bowler he was formidable all-rounder in local club cricket for 30 years, appearing mainly for Notts Forest CC. In 1938 he played in three matches for Notts Second XI hitting 154 runs and taking 18 wickets. These excellent performances won him a place in the first team and he made his debut versus Lancashire at Trent Bridge in August 1938. The correspondent for the Nottingham Journal reported: “His first few overs were promising enough. He has a smooth action, is nicely built, possesses the necessary height and strong shoulders for the job, but he was prone to bowl too far outside the off-stump to be effective for a bowler of his pace.”. Hodkins took 1-62 but failed with the bat (1 and 0).

He played in four Second XI games in 1939, but was not seen in the first team. During the war he played in many of the Notts matches; in 1941 he performed the hat-trick for the county versus the RAF and in 1945 had an excellent all-round performance versus Leicestershire, taking 5 for 26 and hitting 51, the best score of the match.

After the war, he played in place of the injured Butler versus Surrey at Trent Bridge in June 1946, scoring 44 and taking 1-55. It was five years before he made his third and last appearance, when again deputising for Butler, he played against Yorkshire at Trent Bridge in July 1951. Coming in at 36 for 7 in the first innings he scored 34 in 50 minutes. It was typical of Hodgkins that he could lay about the strong Yorkshire attack after such a large gap between appearances. His batting partners however were not too happy at the crease with him, for he was very deaf and this made calling for runs a very hazardous occupation. In three first-class matches he had scored 106 runs @21.20 and taken 3 wickets @79.33.

Hodgkins died aged 72 whilst playing golf at Stanton-on-the-Wolds on 16 August 1988

 April 2020