Bob Willis Can Paint Ceilings

There have been many fast bowlers down the years – Holding, Lillee, Hall – with actions graceful enough to set to music, but it’s probably fair to say that Max Walker wouldn’t be among them. Walker had a method which fulfilled the basics of feet, chest and arms all being involved in the business of delivering the ball, but not necessarily at the same time.

The Australian’s death from cancer last month was a reminder that cricket is littered with examples of players who have thrived at the highest level despite being regarded as less than orthodox. Walker was an important foil to a bowler like Lillee, and while they were the aesthetic equivalent of Michelangelo and the bloke at the emulsion counter in B&Q, when it came to getting the ceiling painted, they both – in their different ways – got the job done.


Same with Mike Procter, or Bob Willis. Procter let go of the ball off his right foot, or appeared to, which is fine if you’re a left armer, which he wasn’t, while Willis had a run-up which started in another postcode, and was about as graceful as a World War One Sopwith Camel trying to take off from a potato field.


Aggers Lights The Blue Touch Paper

Jonathan Agnew always was deft at lighting the blue touch paper

This summer marked 25 years of Jonathan Agnew commentating on England Test matches, and a peerless quarter of a century it’s been. Aggers and cricket go together like Dimbleby and Royal Weddings, and he would certainly have enjoyed having Fred sitting next to him when England came out to bat again with a lead of about ten thousand.

“Well, Fred, Sound decision don’t you think? After all, the bowlers must need a rest. Especially poor old Stuart Broad, who’s sent down, oh, a good half a dozen overs today. I guess you’d have been just as tired in the circumstances”. No-one lights blue touch papers with a defter touch, and Aggers might well have signed off his stint with: “and after an explosion from Fred Trueman, it will be Alison Mitchell.”

This is my illustration for the excellent Martin Johnson column

Blofelds Pigeon

A nice little illustration for this weeks ‘The Cricket Paper’, it’s always nice to have a bit of fun when painting your illo and for once I actually enjoyed painting Henry Blofeld and his pigeon!


Henry Blofelds Birdseye Camera

The illustration was in reference to the use of DRS in test cricket and to the increasing use of cameras, not only all over the field but implanted in the stumps, and soon, I’ll wager, to be strapped to the umpire’s head, the spare helmet behind the wicketkeeper, the drinks trolley, and, pecking away in the outfield, one of Henry Blofeld’s pigeons. Giving a whole new meaning to a bird’s eye view.

It’s always nice to get a subject which is more lighthearted as it gives me the opportunity to be a bit daring with the colours and I definitely need to be more Daring.

Baths Rec is a Wreck

This weeks illustration is of the ‘Rabbitohs’ Sam Burgess.  Now, every rugby fan (union and league) has an opinion on the ill conceived and ill fated signing of Sam Burgess to Bath and without wanting to rub it in with the Bath supporters but Burgess must be glad to be back in the South Sydney sun rather than the current mizzly mess that Bath are currently in.


Sam Burgess Detail

The main problem with this illustration was trying to paint the Bath Rec as if it was a ‘wreck’ and falling down, my backgrounds really do need working on!


The Rec is a real wreck NOW!


Geoff Boycotts Mum

It’s not every week that you get to paint Geoff Boycotts mum but the truth is it was fairly easy to stick some hair rollers, rhubarb and high heels on Boycotts fizzog for a light hearted editorial illustration.

Geoff Boycotts Mum

 So here are a few of those wise words written by Martin Johndon for this weeks ‘The Cricket Paper’.

“There are one or two instances in which Wisden’s claim to be cricket’s unimpeachable bible fails to stand up to serious scrutiny, including the long since discredited notion that Sir Donald Bradman was the finest batsman who ever played the game.

 Regular listeners to Test Match Special have no doubt at all that this particular accolade belongs to Geoffrey Boycott’s mum, who not only scored more runs than the Don, but also flayed the world’s finest bowlers to all parts whilst wearing a pinny and wielding a stick of rhubarb.

Unlike Bradman, she was also an all rounder, and while Geoffrey has been slightly less colourful in the analogy department when describing her bowling, we can perhaps take it as read that her bumper crop of ten wicket hauls were all taken whilst running in on a pair of high heels and propelling a mango.

In which case, Sri Lanka’s batsmen can count themselves lucky that Mrs B has long since hung up the heels, and that they’ve only had to face bowlers as ordinary as Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad. On the Boycott scale of one-sided encounters, Jimmy could have run in wearing in a Shirley Bassey evening gown, and bowled them out with something shiny from the greengrocers.”

RIP Tony Crozier

Last week I had the pleasure of painting the great Winston Anthony Lloyd “Tony” Cozier. The last of a breed cricket journalist, writer and a radio commentator on West Indian cricket for over fifty years. Cozier was described as having an “encyclopaedic” knowledge of cricket and apparently held legendary beer and rum parties for those lucky enough to have known him. 

Tony Cozier, last if a breed


As usual because of time restraints the painting is completed in acrylic and gouache as this is proving quicker than using the airbrush (and who likes cleaning them anyway).

Eddie Jones – The Downfall of Aussie Rugby

Eddie Jones has achieved a huge amount of success coaching international teams, guiding Australia to the 2001 Tri Nations title, Bledisloe Cup glory in 2002 and the 2003 World Cup final in Sydney.  Meanwhile on the other side of the world Daryl Gibson’s Waratahs produced a dreadful handling performance in Sunday’s Super Rugby loss to the Melbourne Rebels, leaving the former All Blacks star fuming at the “rubbish” they dished up.

As well as the ‘Tahs, the other five aussie super rugby franchises seem to be playing lack lustre footy, giving Gibson the opportunity to throw his accusations around that this is all Jones fault like a lethal boomerang.