Sir Frederick Charles 'Fred' Toone (25 June 1868 – 10 June 1930) was a cricket administrator, who in 1929 became the second man ever to be knighted for cricket-related activities. Unusually for a man who achieved such eminence in the game, he never played cricket at first-class level.
He was Secretary of Leicestershire from 1897 to 1902 and of Yorkshire from 1903 until his death. He was a great organiser, a quality that was put to particularly good use in ensuring the success of the benefit seasons of the Yorkshire professionals during his time in office. He died at Harrogate, Yorkshire.
He was a popular manager of three successive England touring teams to Australia: those of 1920-1, 1924-5 and 1928-9. It was following the last of these tours that he was knighted for his work in helping to promote good relations between "the Commonwealth and the Mother Country". In Wisden's report of the 1932-3 tour of Australia, it said: "...the lamented death of Sir Frederick Toone left the M. C. C. without the most capable manager who has ever represented that body on a foreign tour".
The following Definition of Cricket was written by Sir Frederick Toone:
It is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you may exhaust yourself but never your subject. It is a contest, a duel or melee, calling for courage, skill, strategy and self-control.
It is a contest of temper, a trial of honour, a revealer of character. It affords a chance to play the man and act the gentleman.
It means going into God's out-of-doors, getting close to nature, fresh air, exercise, a sweeping away of mental cobwebs, genuine recreation of the tired tissues.
It is a cure for care, an antidote to worry. It includes companionship with friends, social intercourse, opportunities for courtesy, kindliness, and generosity to an opponent. It promotes not only physical health, but mental force.
- Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1934 edition.
- Barclay's World of Cricket - 2nd Edition, 1980, Collins Publishers, ISBN 0-00-216349-7