DURHAM may have only been a minor cricket county 56 years ago but, according to the Mail, it had already produced “stars who shone in the game, whatever the company”.
Few shone so brightly or for so long as Jack Carr.
But his biggest hit came very early in his career, just a year after he began playing the game aged 14.
Representing the Leadgate Club, near Consett, he slammed a loose ball out of the ground, which landed on a passing railway truck and was carried all the way to the Tyne Dock.
That was a tough act to follow but Jack, who survived service in World War One with the Irish Guards, did his best on his debut for Durham county – hitting a six off his first ball against South Africa.
Even more remarkable, he had been picked for his bowling!
He was pictured in the Mail with a cup presented after he scored 3,000 runs and took 300 wickets for the county, but before he retired Jack notched 4,000 runs and took 400 wickets.
In 1930 Jack joined Blackhall as professional, staying for 17 years before becoming landlord of the Hardwick Hotel.
After several years he moved on to the Black Bull, in Old Shotton, and it was his retirement from behind the bar there, aged 64, that prompted the Mail’s profile in April 1959.
Along with his trophies, Jack was also taking plenty of great memories with him to his new home in Peterlee.
Among them were six appearances against Australian touring sides. In one match, in 1926, Durham were struggling for runs against the wily spinner Clarrie Grimmett – before Jack hit him for two sixes and three fours in one over.
Grimmett wasn’t the only great of the game Jack enjoyed success against either, as in one match he bowled Jack Hobbs first ball, then took his wicket in the second innings as well.
Jack was looking forward to watching more cricket during his retirement, though he felt the modern game was “too defensive”.
He survived until 1967, passing away too early to see his beloved Durham’s transition to a first-class county, lifting the title three times between 2008 and 2013.
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