A biography of one of Yorkshire’s most successful cricketers – with Scarborough connections – has been published.
Brian Sellers: Yorkshire Tyrant by Mark Rowe tells the story of the man who led Yorkshire to a unique six county championships in eight seasons before the 1939-45 war.
After retiring as a player, he chaired the club until he stood down in the controversy after the sacking of Brian Close as captain in 1970 for Geoffrey Boycott.
Like many other Yorkshire players, Sellers played his final first-class match for the county in Scarborough, in 1948.
While he was born and bred and died near Bradford, in 1981, as a keen golfer, he arranged a golf match at Ganton Golf Club during the annual Scarborough Cricket Festival.
Mark, a Staffordshire journalist, got the idea of writing the biography when he found anonymous and hand-written words of an interview with Sellers, in a cardboard box in a second-hand book stall in Manchester.
Mark spoke with old Yorkshire cricketers and members of Sellers’ family, and did research from old newspapers to bring out how Sellers got on with such famous teammates as Herbert Sutcliffe, Hedley Verity and Len Hutton, and the part Sellers played in the sackings of leading players Johnny Wardle and Close.
He says: “Sellers comes across as a fierce man who was not someone you wanted to get on the wrong side of, unless you wanted an earful. That said, when he grew up discipline was given and taken automatically in a way that would be outrageous today.
"As a player and then as an administrator he only wanted the best for the club, and for the game of cricket in general. If his one-man rule wasn’t to people’s taste, surely the decades of bickering at the club after his time were even worse. Having a tyrant in charge is not necessarily bad.”
The paperback, £15, published by the Association of Cricket Statisticians, is for sale online at acscricket.com. Mark is also speaking at cricket societies around Yorkshire in the autumn.