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The bowlers Holding, the batsmans Willey
chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
09 March, 2012 22:00
watching The Bank Job on Channel 4 tonight that old quote about 'The bowlers Holding, The Batsmans Willey came up.

This is always attributed to Brian Johnston, on a radio commentary.

However, in my own mind I'm certain it was on Grandstand one Saturday, when, ofcourse, the cricket had to share with horse racing, motocross, and whatever else was going on. I'm sure the presenter (might have been Frank Bough) handed over to the cricket just as the ball was about to be bowled, which left no time for anything other than 'and as you join us, the bowlers Holding the batsmans Willey' I've no idea where the myth it was Johnners has come from, other than it's the sort of thing he might have said. I'm SURE I saw it live on tv (not radio) but it wasn't Johnners who said it. Any ideas?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/2012 22:12 by chunkyinargyll.

Re: The bowlers Hoding, the batsmans Willey
middle_luke (IP Logged)
09 March, 2012 22:07
I think you're wrong on this one - although Johnners always denied it!

Re: The bowlers Holding, the batsmans Willey
chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
09 March, 2012 22:15
I've got half an idea it was actually Jim Laker, although I agree Wiki seems to be of the opinion it was Brian Johnston.

Re: The bowlers Holding, the batsmans Willey
Jonathan Winsky (IP Logged)
10 March, 2012 00:47
I think the first time I read about this quote was in a book about Test Match Special which I took out from a library near to my boarding school in Cheshire. I remember one of the first matches I watched on Sky after returning home for the summer holidays that year was when one of the commentators was Michael Holding and one of the umpires was Peter Willey. I therefore thought to myself "the commentator's Holding, the umpire's Willey"! However, that would involve longer arms and a longer Willey than if they were bowler and batsman respectively.

I am not sure whether there is any surviving recording of the quote being uttered. If there was, then there wouldn't be such debate about who said it. The quote appears in
">a radio advert for DFS of all things
, but I think the voiceover may have been done at a more recent time. I can't really help much, as I am neither a regular listener to radio nor someone from the era in which the quote was uttered.

Re: The bowlers Holding, the batsmans Willey
10 March, 2012 07:10
There is radio archive of this somewhere,the BBC used it in a radio trail for Test cricket in the last year, the mention of "Aggers you are awful" after the classic statement tells me it was a TMS radio commentary it appeared in as I don't think Aggers was doing TV at the time.

Re: The bowlers Holding, the batsmans Willey
chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
10 March, 2012 07:18
'Aggers, You are awful' was after the Botham legover comment, although ofcourse they could have edited the two things together (for comedic purposes).

Re: The bowlers Holding, the batsmans Willey
10 March, 2012 07:37

Trying to find a link to it,above is the Blofeld article which mentions the comment.

Ewww, I've gone all JW this morning.

Re: The bowlers Holding, the batsmans Willey
Haringey Racer (IP Logged)
10 March, 2012 08:36
I'm not sure Blofeld is the most reliable of witnesses...

Re: The bowlers Holding, the batsmans Willey
10 March, 2012 10:51
I do definitely remember Johnners commentating "Stewart round the corner,legs wide apart, waiting for a tickle" causing fellow commentator Jack Fingleton to explode with mirth (We're talking Mickey Stewart incidentally).

Is the Holding/Willey statement apocryphal?

Re: The bowlers Holding, the batsmans Willey
selincourt (IP Logged)
10 March, 2012 11:21
I definitely heard Johnners say this. Indeed, I was hoping someone would say it as I had noticed that it would be a funny thing to say.

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