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Ken Smales

In the annals of Nottinghamshire cricket Ken Smales’ name will always be associated with his unique bowling feat, Smales took all ten wickets (for 66) in an innings for Notts v Gloucestershire on June 9th, 1956. What made this achievement all the more remarkable was that it occurred on the Erinoid Ground at Stroud during the first Championship game Ever staged at that venue. In addition bowling for some of the innings at the other end to Smales was the prolific wicket-taker, Bruce Dooland. Sad to recall that Notts lost the match inside two days by nine wickets. Up to the present time Smales remains the only bowler to take ‘all ten’ in a Championship match for Nottinghamshire.

Born in Horsforth, Yorkshire on September 15th, 1927, Smales was educated at Aireborough Grammar School. He made his debut for Yorkshire 2nds in 1947 as an off-break bowler and very useful right hand batsman. So successful was he in the Minor Counties matches of 1947, that  he made his first-class debut for Yorkshire on May 12th, 1948 v Northants at Huddersfield. Almost at once it seemed as if he had secured a permanent place in the formidable Yorkshire side of that era. It was noted at the season’s close that ‘ He looks a cricketer to the last inch and his appearances in the Yorkshire First Team have been well deserved.’

For some reason he was not selected for Yorkshire in any games in 1949 despite good all-round performances for the Seconds and an impressive record in club cricket for Bradford. In 1950 he did play in three games for Yorkshire – taking ten wickets for 220 runs, but it was clear that he couldn’t command a regular place in the First Eleven and left Yorkshire to be specially registered for Notts for 1951. He was to command a permanent place in the Notts side from 1951 to his retirement at the end of 1958. Smales best season with the ball was 1955 when he took 117 wickets at a cost of 2823 runs. He never quite achieved his potential with the bat, his highest innings of 64 coming in 1958 and his highest run total being 458 in 1951. Apart from bowling off-spin, he also bowled medium pace seamers. He usually fielded in the covers.

At the close of 1958 he was offered the post of Secretary to Nottm Forest Football Club and remained at the City Ground until retirement in 1988. For several years after leaving county cricket he played local cricket for Bulwell. He is the author of the most detailed book on Nottingham Forest F.C. – Smales spent many tedious hours researching the local press for all the matches played by Forest – a not very satisfactory updated(not by Smales) version of his book was published in 2006.

He was a very keen supporter of rugby league and in 1989 was appointed a Director of the revamped Nottingham City Rugby League Club based at the Harvey Haddon Stadium. Smales now(2012) lives in retirement in Cornwall.                                  

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