In seven seasons with Nottinghamshire, Ryan Sidebottom helped the County to Championship titles in 2005 and 2010 and re-booted his own International career.
Ryan Jay Sidebottom was born in Huddersfield on 15 January 1978. His father, Arnold ‘Arnie’ Sidebottom, played cricket for Yorkshire in the 1970s and 80s, featured in one Test match for England and was a professional footballer with Manchester United, Huddersfield Town and Halifax Town.
An accurate left arm seamer, instantly recognisable with his distinctive hairstyle, Ryan began his career with his native Yorkshire. He made his debut as a nineteen year old in 1997, was awarded his County Cap in 2000, won the Championship with Yorkshire in 2001 and the C&G Trophy in 2002. He made his international debut in the first Test of 2001 against Pakistan at Lord’s and he and Arnie became the 10th father and son combination to play Tests for England. Sidebottom went wicketless in that Test and for a while it looked like he might follow his father as a ‘one-cap wonder’.
Sidebottom sustained an ankle injury during 2003 and the found it difficult to force his way back into a side which possessed a fine battery of quick bowlers. When Yorkshire released him, Nottinghamshire were quick to secure his signature ahead of the 2004 season. He took 30 First-Class wickets in his first season with Notts and in the County Championship winning-season of 2005 he claimed 50 First-Class victims, forming a formidable pace attack with Greg Smith, Mark Ealham and AJ Harris.
Another 50-wicket season for Nottinghamshire in 2006 reminded the England hierarchy of his skills. With a new coach, Peter Moores, now in place, he was selected for the 2nd Test of the 2007 summer at his old stomping ground of Headingley and enjoyed a dream return with match figures of 8-86. He would remain a regular in the Test side until 2009, playing a total of 22 Tests and claiming 79 wickets. His performances in 2007 saw him named as one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year for 2008. Sidebottom also featured in 25 One-Day and 18 T20 Internationals for England and was a member of England’s winning side in the 2010 ICC World T20 played in West Indies.
International commitments restricted Sidebottom’s Nottinghamshire appearances from 2007 to 2009 but he returned to play more frequently for the County in 2010, contributing 27 wickets in eight matches in the Championship winning season. Sidebottom was not particularly renowned for his batting but he made a vital contribution to the final County Championship match of the season, combining with Darren Pattinson to eke out 10 runs in a tense last wicket stand and secure a crucial batting point, before claiming one of the three wickets required to secure the draw which brought the pennant to Trent Bridge.
Ryan Sidebottom started in 65 First-Class, 47 List A and 25 T20 matches for Nottinghamshire, taking an overall total of 284 wickets. He was unable to agree terms with Notts for 2011 and re-joined Yorkshire, where he continued a successful County career winning his 4th and 5th Championships in 2014 and 2015.
After over 500 matches and 1,000 wickets in all forms of cricket, Sidebottom brought his 21-year playing career to a close in 2017. He moved into coaching and was involved with another Championship winning side as Surrey’s bowling consultant in 2018. He became known to a wider audience in 2019 through his involvement in the reality TV show ‘Dancing on Ice’, but he will always be remembered by the Trent Bridge faithful as a wholehearted and skilful performer who played a key role in two Championship winning sides.