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John Swann 1927 - 2011



He averaged over 50 in 6 seasons and 40 in 7. If this was not enough, he took 1,668 wickets at a cost of 13.22 runs per wicket. He completed “the double” in 1953, when he scored 1,205 runs and took 106 wickets, a feat that has not been equalled.

Outstanding at cover point in his early career he subsequently became a very capable gully fielder.

The introduction of the Middlesex County Cricket League came right at the end of his career but he still took 59 wickets in 24 matches at an average of 12.14.


In the Final of the National Cup at Lord’s he returned the figures of 8 overs, 5 maidens, for only 7 runs, which included one boundary. Such controlled and effective bowling was a feature of his performances.

He played first class cricket with Middlesex and was capped for the County 2nd XI as well as the Club Cricket Conference. In 4 innings in one season for Middlesex 2nd XI he scored 364 runs. He represented the CCC on many occasions-perhaps the most notable was in the winning side against the Australian tourists in 1961 where he scored 38 n.o. He also captained the side, including against the MCC at Lord’s.

Brentham football also prospered during John’s career with the Club. At the outset, representation was held in the Southern

Olympian League but as the side grew in strength a successful application was made to join the stronger Southern Amateur League. The Club lived up to this new challenge and became a force in this League, maintaining a position in the 1st Division until the end of the 1950s. With the retirement of this team and John in particular the Club never quite achieved the same standard again.

John was the team’s main goal scorer and prolific at that. He was a strong, bustling forward with the ability to shoot with both feet but, most of all, he was strong in the air. His reputation for scoring goals with headers was legion.

John Swann.jpg

John played a major role in Brentham Cricket from 1942 through to the 1973 and Football Club until 1960. His achievements were recognised by being appointed a Life Vice President of the Cricket Club.


John was one of the outstanding club cricketers of his generation and arguably Brentham’s best ever player as he excelled in all the disciplines. Whilst he had great ability, he was also an outstanding leader and was highly regarded by all who met him. Most of all he believed in young people and encouraged their advancement. The Cricket Club made great strides during his career. He was never caught up in personal achievement but always focused on the team and the result in particular.

He was an outstanding left-handed batsmen, first scoring 1,000 runs in only his second season at the age of 17, a right-handed leg break bowler, a brilliant fielder, and an inspiring captain from 1956-61. His first season was in 1942 and he retired (in everyone’s opinion too early) in 1973. He played some 745 innings for the Club scoring over 24,000 runs at an average of 41.17.

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