Monday, 25 June 2012

Sgt Pepper

Fantasy Bob sends his congratulations to Sir Peter Blake who celebrates his 80th birthday today.  45 years ago Blake was devising one of the most iconic images of the 20th Century, the album cover to Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, an image he painstakingly prepared with his then wife Jann Haworth.  A wide range of famous, and infamous, persons are on the image, a collection prepared in close consultation with the Beatles.

A cricket free image
But it is disappointing that there is no cricketer among the 50 and more people featuring in the collage. Indeed there are only 2 sportsmen, Johnny Weismuller, an Olympic swimmer and subsequent movie Tarzan and Albert Stubbins, a footballer who played 159 games for Liverpool between 1946 and 1953 and presumably a boyhood hero of the band. The story has is that when Stubbins signed for Liverpool from Newcastle for a then record fee of 12,500, he had also been approached by Everton and decided which club to go to by tossing a coin. How simple things were before agents were involved in such matters.
David Sheppard on the left -
 opening the batting
with Don Kenyon in 1950
It is a tragedy that cricket is not represented in this familiar work. Blake updated the collage twice - once earlier this year, when again there were no cricketers, and once for the Liverpool City of Culture exhibition in 2008. The latter featured famous Liverpool characters.

FB has been unable to establish whether any cricketers appeared in that version. Indeed, FB is struggling to think of famous cricketers from Liverpool, but there is one cricketer who should certainly be on the revised version. Although he was not a native of Liverpool the Rt Rev David Sheppard was certainly a highly effective advocate of the City and its people. Prior to his prominent role as Bishop of Liverpool, which he assumed in 1975, he played 22 Tests for England and skippered Sussex. He retired in 1997 to enter the House of Lords. He died in 2005.


  1. It must be a great disappointment to FB that he was not included in either the original or updated version of this renowned image. However, all is not lost - a woman named Sam Firth has for the last year been paid £160 an hour from Lottery funds to stand still by a highland loch for a fixed period every day of the year. FB might consider applying for similar funding for his long stints on the boundary rope while on duty for Carlton.

    1. A splendid suggestion, FB will apply immediately.