Tuesday, 10 April 2012


Returning from Spain Fantasy Bob finds his in-box cluttered with messages offering him a deal on a specially commissioned Carlton .  And very handsome it is too with the Carlton crest prominently displayed and the option of a titanium grill.  But FB is of an antiquity that to whom helmets were unknown.  He is of the Brian Close mentality and generation.  Close famously faced a devastating barage from Holding Roberts and Daniel at Old Trafford in 1976 at the age of 45 with none of the protective gear modern Test players don to face even the gentlest spin bowling.  After 80 minutes of teh short stuff he had 1run to his name and bruises covered his body.  

'They were a bit sharpish,' he said some time afterward.'You had a job to do and you just had to take it.''

However FB passed an attractive window of a sports shop in Toledo last week.

Crciket section of Sports Warehouse, Toledo

The sharp eyed among FB's world wide readership will note an attractive display of batting helmets at the bottom of the window.  Might Close have been tempted?  Never.

None of these fine pieces of equipment bore the Carlton crest, so FB did not invest.  And he will therefore continue to  stride out, Brain Close like, bare headed to face the demon bowlers of the lower divisions of the East of Scotland league in the coming weeks.  'You have a job to do........................'


  1. Brian Close would certainly have scorned the ironmongery illustrated, made as he was of Yorkshire gritstone. A teammate once recounted an occasion when Close returned to the pavilion after facing a particularly torrid barrage of pace bowling. Offered a cup of tea as a restorative, he declined and demanded some whisky instead. When asked what he would like with the drink, he said "Just give me the bottle". England players are no longer made like this and more's the pity.

    1. Many thanks - you have spotted where FB and Close differ in their approach. FB would have opted for tea - provided it came with a decent biscuit.