In Fantasy Bob's opinion, there is no better cricket book that has been written for many years than Duncan Hamilton's biography of the great fast bowler, published in 2009. FB defies anyone to read it without a lump coming to their throat as it describes how after many years of obdurate shunning the limelight, recognition and applause comes to him late in life in his adopted Australia. He was eventually awarded the MBE in 1993, 2 years before he died. This medal may well have been treasured, but not so much as the famous ashtray with the engraved message from his skipper of the bodyline series 'To Harold for the Ashes - 1932-33 From a grateful Skipper.' Whether Jardine could have done more to help Larwood in the aftermath of the bodyline tour, beyond giving him an engraved ashtray, is one of the unresolved issues of the story.
Cricketers will also know that the great fast bowler shares his birthday with Adam Gilchrist, born in 1971, and in amongst all his other achievements the only player to hit 100 6s in Test cricket. He probably has lots of ashtrays from Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting.
Like Harold Larwood, Ludwig and Wolfgang both fell out in various ways with the aristocratic establishments of their day who were just as nervous about artistic flair and individualism from those conventionally deemed as servants, as the authorities at the MCC were at the extreme stubbornness of a Nottinghamshire pace bowler. Posterity has reached the appropriate judgement, but biographies are short on information about their ashtrays.