Sir Jack Hobbs - The Oval Cricket Ground, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 28.975 W 000° 06.815
30U E 700410 N 5707480
Quick Description: Jack Hobbs was a magnificent cricketer who played for Surrey and England. In his memory, a pair of gates, at the entrance in front of the main pavillion, have been erected.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 7/10/2013 5:24:34 AM
Waymark Code: WMHGY9
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member NCDaywalker
Views: 2

Long Description:

The black gates have wrought ironwork above in silver and between the two is lettering that reads:

The Hobbs Gates
In Honour of a Great Surrey & England Cricketer

The ESPN CricInfo website tells us about Hobbs:

Jack Hobbs was cricket's most prolific batsman. He finished with 61,237 first-class runs and 197 centuries*, most of them stylishly made from the top of the Surrey or England batting orders. And he might have scored many more had the Great War not intervened, or if he hadn't been inclined to get out shortly after reaching 100 to let someone else have a go. Hobbs was known as "The Master", and scored consistently throughout a long career that didn't end till he was past 50. Half his hundreds came when he was over 40, and he remains, at 46 in 1928-29, the oldest man to score a Test century. His opening partnerships with Yorkshire's Herbert Sutcliffe are part of the game's rich folklore. Hobbs was also a charming man, and the world of cricket rejoiced in 1953 when he became the first professional cricketer to be knighted. Steven Lynch

* Two further centuries made on a private tour to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) were subsequently deemed first-class by the Association of Cricket Statisticans.

The Alpha Rail website tells us about the restoration of the gates:

Kirkby in Ashfield based metal railings and gates manufacturer, Alpha Rail, have been appointed to restore the original Jack Hobbs Gates at the Kia Oval in London.

Significant changes were being made to the Hobbs Gate entrance to improve access at this historic entrance. Alpha Rail were appointed to remove the original Hobbs Gates and to restore them to their former glory. This involved transportation of the old gates back to Alpha Rail’s workshops to carry out the refurbishments and add the bespoke metalwork modifications required to re-fit the gates into their new location. The company also supplied additional railings for the perimeter wall running either side of the new entrance.

The Kennington area has a long history with cricket, the first reference being in 1730 when Surrey and Middlesex played on Kennington Common, now Kennington Park.

In 1835 a ten acre plot of land called the ‘Oval’ was leased to the Otter family. Ten years later a new sub-lease was agreed which allowed the land to be converted into a cricket ground, and later in 1845 the Surrey County Cricket Club was formed. The first county match was played in 1846 against the MCC.

In 1934 Jack Hobbs retired as the leading batsman in the world and the ‘Jack Hobbs Gates’ opened and became one of the major ground entrances at the Oval.

Phil Ball, sales director at Alpha Rail said, “The Jack Hobbs Gates are an important and iconic feature of the Kia Oval Cricket Ground. It was important to ensure that the gates retained their heritage but also ensure the new railings fitted in well with the new building work. We hope that Cricket fans will still think that the finished effect is still a fitting tribute to great player!”

Website with more information on either the memorial or the person(s) it is dedicated to: [Web Link]

Location: Kennington Oval

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