Gerald Howat 1928-2007

An academic take on cricket and its players, he was a respected biographer who was handpicked by Len Hutton to write his book, by David Rayvern Allen

Gerald Howat was an academic historian and cricket enthusiast but the dual roles were often reversed. A graduate of Edinburgh University, with a research degree from Exeter College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Howat gave his name to around 20 books, almost half of which were on the game he loved.

Four of his five acclaimed biographies were on cricket legends – Learie Constantine, whom he had first met when still a student at Glenalmond College (the book won the Cricket Society Literary Award in 1975) and three England captains, Wally Hammond, Plum Warner and Len Hutton, who specifically asked Howat to write it.

At various times he was the Daily Telegraph schools and under-19 cricket correspondent and also performed the same function for the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.

A member of MCC for more than 40 years, he was for a long time on the Arts and Library sub-committee and was an extremely able and industrious chairman of the publishing working party. He also served on the membership committee and many times represented the club on the field of play.

Gerald was never still; he played his last game for Moreton, his Oxfordshire club, as recently as 2005, aged 77. Every moment seemed fully occupied. A phone call before breakfast would find he had already played three sets of tennis, swum 10 lengths of the baths and rendered Bach’s Toccata and Fugue on the church organ at All Saints.

Gerald Malcolm David Howat was born on June 12, 1928 and died on October 10, 2007, aged 79.

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