Bill Athey

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Bill Athey
Personal information
Full nameCharles William Jeffrey Athey
Born (1957-09-27) 27 September 1957 (age 61)
Middlesbrough, North Riding of Yorkshire, England
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
BattingRight-handed (RHB)
BowlingRight arm medium (RM)
International information
National side
Test debut28 August 1980 v Australia
Last Test26 July 1988 v West Indies
ODI debut20 August 1980 v West Indies
Last ODI16 March 1988 v New Zealand
Career statistics
Competition Tests ODIs
Matches 23 31
Runs scored 919 848
Batting average 22.97 31.40
100s/50s 1/4 2/4
Top score 123 142*
Balls bowled 0 1
Wickets 0 0
Bowling average N/A N/A
5 wickets in innings 0 0
10 wickets in match 0 n/a
Best bowling N/A N/A
Catches/stumpings 13/0 16/0
Source: [1], 12 September 2010

Charles William Jeffrey Athey (born 27 September 1957)[1] is a retired English first-class cricketer, who played for England, and first-class cricket for Gloucestershire, Yorkshire[2] and Sussex; he also played a solitary one-day game for Worcestershire. His bulldog spirit was exemplified by the Union Jack tattooed on his arm. He played in 23 Test matches between 1980 and 1988, but scored more than 50 runs only five times in 41 innings. In 1990, Athey joined the rebel tour to South Africa.[1]

Domestic career[edit]

He made his debut for his native Yorkshire in 1976, before moving to Gloucestershire in 1984.[2] He captained the side in 1989, and scored four hundreds in successive innings while there. In 1993, he moved to Sussex, and passed the increasingly rare landmark of 25,000 first-class runs when he made an unbeaten century against Somerset in 1997.

At the end of that season he joined Worcestershire as coach, having 'retired' from playing, though in spite of his status he did play several times for the Second XI and once (in 1999) in a National League game. He left New Road at the end of 2000. He played 467 first-class matches and batted 784 times with 71 not outs. He scored 25,453 first-class runs, with a best of 184, at an average of 35.69, with 55 centuries and 126 fifties. He took 429 catches, and 2 stumpings on his rare ventures behind the stumps. In 459 List A one-day matches, he scored 13,240 runs, with a top score of 142 not out at an average of 33.86, scoring 12 centuries, 89 fifties, and taking 171 catches and one stumping. He also played Minor Counties cricket for Suffolk.

International career[edit]

He was a middle order batsman by inclination, but found greatest success at Test level as an opener. Selected for the 1986/87 tour of Australia as middle order cover, he ended up opening in all five Tests with Chris Broad. His top score was 96 in Perth. In the 1987 summer, he was initially meant to revert to the middle order, but an injury to Broad meant that he opened in the first Test with Tim Robinson. However, in the second Test he reverted to number three, and made his only Test hundred at Lord's.

He missed only one of twenty Test matches from 1986 to 1988.[1] Nevertheless, his 23 Test appearances were spread over eight years. He made his debut in the Centenary Test at Lord's in 1980, and eight years later appeared in the Bicentennial Test in Sydney, along with fellow survivors John Emburey and Mike Gatting.

Although never thought of as a one-day player, Athey hit two centuries in One Day Internationals, and top-scored for England before being run out in their Cricket World Cup final defeat against Australia at Calcutta in 1987. He was suspended for playing in South Africa in 1990, but the suspension was remitted two years later when South Africa rejoined the world game.

After cricket[edit]

Athey now works at Dulwich College school in South London, as the First XI Cricket Coach. He also takes the Second XI football team, and is house master of Old Blew, one of the four Dulwich College boarding houses.

Athey also played football and was on the books of Brentford Reserves in the early 1980s.[3]

Personal Life[edit]

Politically, Athey is a Conservative, and once appeared on stage at a Conservative Party conference in the 1980s alongside England teammate John Emburey.[4]

International centuries[edit]

Test centuries[edit]

Test centuries of Bill Athey
No Runs Match Against City/Country Venue Start date Result
[1] 123 15  Pakistan England London, England Lord's 18 June 1987 Drawn

ODI centuries[edit]

One Day International centuries of Bill Athey
No Runs Match Against City/Country Venue Date Result
[1] 142* 3  New Zealand New Zealand Manchester, England Old Trafford 18 July 1986 Won
[2] 111 9  Australia Australia Brisbane, Australia The Gabba 18 January 1987 Won

International awards[edit]

One Day International Cricket[edit]

Man of the Match awards[edit]

# Opponent Venue Date Match Performance Result
1 New Zealand Old Trafford, Manchester 18 July 1986 142* (172 balls, 14x4)  England won by 6 wickets.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Bateman, Colin (1993). If The Cap Fits. Tony Williams Publications. p. 16. ISBN 1-869833-21-X.
  2. ^ a b Warner, David (2011). The Yorkshire County Cricket Club: 2011 Yearbook (113th ed.). Ilkley, Yorkshire: Great Northern Books. p. 362. ISBN 978-1-905080-85-4.
  3. ^ Haynes, Graham (1998). A-Z Of Bees: Brentford Encyclopaedia. Yore Publications. ISBN 1 874427 57 7.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "1986 England v New Zealand – 2nd Match – Manchester". Howstat. Retrieved 16 August 2015.