Hampshire Cricket History

In Reserve
April 24, 2016, 3:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Why did they used to call football’s reserve sides ‘The Stiffs’? I’ve no idea.

Tomorrow our 2nd XI play the first of a three-day match v Somerset at home – and I think it’s on the main ground. Bob Elliott has spotted that Tino Best is likely to play for Hampshire. On Thursday there will be a T20 ‘double header’ – and Tom Barber is expected to play for Somerset.

I’ve spent this afternoon at the Portsmouth Area Supporters lunch. We had two guests today, Jo Weatherley and Brad Wheal and they were delightful, with a range of stories about their early years, becoming professional cricketers, their current procedures and ambitions. They were not sure about the whole side tomorrow but certainly Craig Young (see below) and Tino Best are likely to compete with Brad for the new ball, while Brad Taylor, Mason Crane and Joe can bowl spin. Lewis McManus will keep wicket and Jimmy Adams will open with Joe.

That’s eight names, and Ryan Stevenson will probably play again as a batter after which it depends whether anyone from the first team will have a run out in search of some batting form. Otherwise I imagine they will turn to the Academy players.


5 Comments so far
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I am not a football historian but I think you’ll find the a ‘Stiff’ was a Victorian slang term not only for a corpse but for any person thought to be lacking vitality, particularly an unskilled labourer or honest plodder.
Therefore, applied to footballers that couldn’t quite make the first team, it became a term for the ‘Reserves’, a nomenclature that has outlasted it’s origins,
Incidentally I believe “Stiff” was also a term used for a Goalkeeper following an Edwardian Music Hall sketch by Harry Weldon in which a goalkeeper named “Stiffy” was featured.

Comment by Terry Crump

Very good Terry! Cheers

Comment by pompeypop

How do I know about Harry Weldon?My Grandfather always told me that my Dad (a pretty good goalkeeper in his time) was the best local ‘Stiffie’ playing as a 16 year old. Asked what a Stiffie was he told me about Harry Weldon’s sketch.

Comment by Terry Crump

Lewis McManus scored a century today for Dorset who beat Berks in a limited-overs game

Comment by pompeypop

Just Google Tino Best.

I think he also might be too exhausted for cricket by his own revelations with the opposite sex…..

Lock up the Vipers !!!

Comment by John Cottrell

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