Digging in the Surrey Archive: Top 5 first-class wicket keepers - Kia Oval Skip to main content

Containing the full details of every match every played by the Club, the Surrey Cricket Archive is a true treasure-trove for any devoted Surrey fan.

The site is normally only accessible via a paywall but, thanks to an arrangement between Surrey CCC and Cricket Archive, the Surrey Cricket Archive is freely accessible when visiting it via kiaoval.com.

As well as scorecards for every Surrey First XI match that has ever been played, the site has full details of Surrey Women’s matches, Second XI cricket, Surrey Championship cricket and all other matches the Club has been involved in, ever since Surrey played Kent at The Oval on June 25th 1846!

You can also access complete career histories for all Surrey players (men’s and women’s), games broken down season by season and a huge list of Club statistics.

Click here to view the entire Surrey Cricket Archive

Over the course of the winter, we will taking some deep dives into the Surrey Cricket Archive, highlighting some of the greatest performances in the 176 years of Brown Cap history – and also some of the lesser-known highlights that the site can cast a fresh light onto!

To start with, let’s take a look at the top five first-class wicket keepers in Surrey history.

Herbert ‘Bert’ Strudwick – 1,222 victims

Born in Mitcham in 1880, Herbert Strudwick made his Surrey debut in 1902 and remained behind the stumps for a quarter of a century, eventually retiring in 1927.

During that time, he played 554 matches and had 1,222 victims – 187 stumpings and an incredible 1,035 catches. He also played 29 times for England and 36 for the MCC, with his number of career dismissals eventually totalling an incredible 1,495. At the time, this put him at the top of the list for all wicket keepers in first-class cricket – he now sits third having been passed by Bob Taylor (Derbyshire) and John Murray (Middlesex). Had it not been for the First World War cutting four years out of the peak of his career, it is a record he would likely still hold.

Although Strudwick’s career did not coincide with one of the Club’s most successful periods – the only trophy he was part of was the 1914 County Championship that was awarded by the MCC – Strudwick’s keeping won him thousands of dedicated fans.

To emphasise the love felt for Strudwick around Surrey, no less than the great H.D.G. Leveson-Gower once wrote of him: “when you walk on to a certain cricket ground and you find Strudwick behind the wicket, you feel that you will not only get full value for your money, but you will participate in the cheerfulness that his presence always lends to the day.”

A dedicated Surrey man, after his retirement Strudwick became Club scorer, recording the achievements of the great 1950s teams captained by Stuart Surridge and Peter May. He died aged 90 in 1970, having served Surrey for over 60 years of his life.

Click here to view the entire Surrey Cricket Archive

Edward ‘Ted’ Brooks – 811

Another local south Londoner, Ted Brooks was born in Camberwell in 1898 and took up the gauntlet of succeeding Bert Strudwick behind the Surrey stumps.

A consistent presence in the side for 11 seasons, before the Second World War cut his career short, Brooks was a keen ally of the great Alf Gover, his Wisden obituary specifically stating that he took numerous catches off his seam bowling.

Another who specialised in catches rather than stumpings, Brooks took 714 catches and only 97 stumpings. Similarly to Strudwick, his brilliance sadly didn’t coincide with a golden patch in Club history, with his war enforced retirement coming before he had a chance to win a single trophy in Surrey colours.

Arnold Long – 805

A man of Surrey rather than south London, Arnold Long was born in Cheam and made his Surrey debut against Essex in 1960.

He represented the Club for 15 years before moving to Sussex, where he played a final four years, retiring as Sussex captain in 1980.

A County Championship winner in 1971, Long also played in Surrey’s first successful One Day final, winning the Benson & Hedges Cup in 1974.

Of particular note is Long’s numbers during the 1962 season, where he set a Club record that still stands today for most victims during a summer, as he played a part in sending 91 opposition batsmen back to the dressing room.

On top of Long’s 805 first-class victims, his 114 One Day dismissals give him a total of 919 wickets for the Club.

Click here to view the entire Surrey Cricket Archive

Arthur McIntyre – 752

Born within sight of The Oval in Kennington, Arthur McIntyre was Surrey wicket keeper during the Club’s ultimate purple patch, the seven back-to-back Championships won in the 1950s.

By the time the first Championship of the streak was won in the 1952, ‘Arthur Mac’ had already clocked seven seasons behind the stumps, either side of the Second World War, during which time he was injured in service in north Africa. For the next seven years he was a virtual ever present, playing a vital role in every Championship title.

Originally a leg spinner, he was asked to fill in due to an emergency and was so good he soon became first choice. During the title winning run, he stood up to the notoriously heavy seam bowling of Alec Bedser, taking many memorable dismissals. His lack of England career, due to the brilliance of Godfrey Evans, was a huge benefit for Surrey during this period, enabling him to represent the Club week in week out when others were frequently called away.

After retiring at the end of the 1963 season, he retained his association with Surrey, working as a coach for another 20 years and helping bring through the next few generations of Brown Caps.

Click here to view the entire Surrey Cricket Archive

Henry ‘Harry’ Wood – 615

Making his debut for Surrey in 1876, just 31 years into the Club’s existence, Harry Wood played until the turn of the twentieth century.

Originally a man of Kent, Wood first played for Surrey in 1884 after accepting a job looking after the ground at the Streatham Club made him eligible to move counties. According to Wisden, ‘when he first gained a place in the team, he was certainly not a high-class wicket-keeper, but constant practice in the best company did great things for him.’

In 1891, he was the third Surrey player to be named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year and his career peaked when he made his Test debut at The Oval in 1888, the first of four Tests.

He retired in 1900 with 523 catches and 96 stumpings for Surrey.

Best of the Rest

 Jack Richards – 597

Ted Pooley – 593

Jonathan Batty – 551

Fred Swetman – 299

Roy Swetman – 268

Click here to view the entire Surrey Cricket Archive