Trent Bridge / Players

The world’s third oldest test match venue.

Trent Bridge

George Gunn Snr

Born in Hucknall Torkard on June 13th, 1879, he joined the Trent Bridge staff in 1898 and then in 1900 and 1901 he was professional for the Holloway Sanitorium CC before rejoining the Trent Bridge staff in 1902.

His first-class debut came in 1902 at Trent Bridge v Surrey. In 1903 Gunn obtained a regular place in the Nottinghamshire XI; being a defensive cricketer resulting in innings of 20 to 30 enabled him to average over 20 for the year. 1904 brought his first 100 for the County - 122 v XXII Colts at Trent Bridge and in successive innings in August he hit the first and second first-class three figure totals, namely 106 v Essex and 143 v South Africans.

Throughout his career Gunn took little interest in compiling high scores but in 1928 he overtook Shrewsbury's Nottinghamshire record for the most hundreds made in Nottinghamshire first-class matches and Gunn's total at the close of his career stood at 55.

Against Surrey in 1919 Gunn scored the most runs ever made by a Nottinghamshire player in a single game at the time by scoring 169 and 185*.

He also hit two centuries in a match on two other occasions, namely 132 and 109* v Yorkshire at Trent Bridge in 1913, the first innings taking him six hours and the second one and a half hours, and 100 and 110 v Warwickshire at Trent Bridge in 1927.

Having completed his first 100 in 1904, he reached his next milestone in the following summer when he achieved 1,000 runs in a season for the first time. In 1931 he scored 1,000 runs for the 20th year.

During the great Nottinghamshire year of 1906, Gunn's reliability was astonishing - failing to hit a single 100 he averaged 37.72 in 29 completed innings and came top of the County averages.

Although he is chiefly remembered as an opening batsmen, in fact it was not until his 10th season for Nottinghamshire that he was employed in this capacity except on the odd occasion.

Aged 40 in 1919, George Gunn headed the national batting averages and in the years that followed continued to amaze the cricketing world with his batting. At the close of 1930, the Nottinghamshire committee decided to retire George Gunn and W.R.D. Payton in order to give the members of the groundstaff notably Joe Hardstaff junior and W. W. Keeton, a chance in the first XI.

The new batting line-up failed to produce results and George Gunn was re-instated for the tenth match of the season. So well did he respond that he finished the year at the head of the Nottinghamshire averages.

His first-class career was finally brought to a close as the result of an injury he received whilst batting against Surrey at Trent Bridge in 1932 and his last first-class match was Nottinghamshire v India at Trent Bridge in July of that year.

Outside of county cricket George Gunn's career in first-class matches in England was very limited considering the length of time he was before the public; indeed he played in only 30 additional matches. The most important of these was the Lord's Test of 1909 in which he scored only one run in two innings. This was the only time George Gunn was chosen for his country in England.

In 1906-07 George Gunn went to New Zealand for the winter to improve his health and for the same reason he wintered in Australia in 1907-08. This latter holiday proved to be the highlight of his cricketing career, for due to illness of captain A.O. Jones, Gunn was co-opted into the XI for the first Test at Sydney and scored 119 and 74.

In the last Test of the series at Sydney, Gunn completed a second 100, namely 122* - he virtually carried his bat through England's completed innings, since he came to the wicket after F.L. Fane was out in the first over. Gunn batted for 292 minutes and hit a 6 and seven 4s.

Gunn visited Australia with the MCC side of 1911-12 and again proved worthy of a selection. His scores during the Test series ran 4 and 62, 10 and 43, 29 and 45, 75, 52 and 61 - a lesson in consistency and his innings in the lesser matches of the tour were in the same mould and meant that he only failed to reach double figures once. The obvious ability and these facts convey make it appear almost ludicrous that Gunn was selected only once for England at home.

In 1929-30, at the age of 50, George Gunn made his third overseas tour with the MCC, this time to the West Indies. He played in all four Test matches and again made useful rather than spectacular scores, though v Jamaica he hit 178 and helped Sandham to add 322 for the 1st wicket.

Between 1945 to 1955 he served as a member of the Nottinghamshire Committee and became a Honrary Vice-President in 1955.

In July 1949 he was numbered among the first group of cricketers to be elected honorary life members of the MCC.

George Gunn died in his sleep at his son's house in Tyler's Green, Sussex on July 28th, 1958.

He was the nephew of William Gunn, the brother of John Gunn and the father of George Vernon Gunn.

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