Herbert Gamlin

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Herbert Gamlin
Personal information
Full name Herbert Temlett Gamlin
Born (1878-02-12)12 February 1878
West Buckland, Wellington, Somerset, England
Died 12 July 1937(1937-07-12) (aged 59)
Pylford Bridge, Cheam, Surrey, England
Batting Right-handed
Bowling Right-arm off-break
Domestic team information
Years Team
1895–1896 Somerset
Career statistics
Competition FC
Matches 3
Runs scored 7
Batting average 1.16
100s/50s 0/0
Top score 5
Balls bowled 296
Wickets 2
Bowling average 103.50
5 wickets in innings 0
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling 2/100
Catches/stumpings 4/–
Source: CricketArchive, 22 December 2015

Herbert Temlett Gamlin (12 February 1878 – 12 July 1937), known as Octopus Gamlin, played in 15 rugby union internationals for England between 1899 and 1904 as a full-back. He also played first-class cricket for Somerset in 1895 and 1896.[1] He was born at West Buckland, Somerset and died at North Cheam, Surrey.

Gamlin was educated at Wellington School and played both cricket and rugby union for Somerset as a teenager.[2]

Rugby career[edit]

Gamlin played as a full-back and was renowned for the strength of his tackling: an obituary in The Times in 1937 said that he "probably was the most powerful and effective tackler on record".[2] His ability to stop opponents as they ran towards him led to him being nicknamed "The Octopus": "It was no fancy that credited him with the feat of tackling two men more or less at the same time–one in either hand," The Times rugby correspondent wrote.[2] A later letter responding to this memoir identified an incident where Gamlin had indeed tackled two men at once in a match against the Welsh Barbarians team and also noted that his tackling technique was essentially "bear-hugs enveloping both man and ball".[3]

Cricket career[edit]

Gamlin played as a tail-ender right-handed batsman and a right-arm off-break bowler in two consecutive matches in July 1895. In the first, he failed to score a run or take a wicket against Essex at Taunton.[4] Essex's total of 692 was the team's highest first-class score for 95 years until surpassed in 1990.[5] Gamlin's second match, against Lancashire, also at Taunton, was even more difficult; Lancashire scored 801 and captain Archie MacLaren scored 424, the first score of more than 400 runs by an individual batsman in first-class cricket. MacLaren finally fell to Gamlin's off-spin, and Gamlin took the last wicket of the innings as well, perversely turning in the best bowling figures of his short first-class career in this innings by taking two for 100.[6] He failed to score in this match too. After four consecutive scores of 0, he finally made 2 and 5 in his single match in 1896, against Yorkshire, but he failed to take any further wickets, and this was the final first-class match of his career.[7]


  1. ^ "Herbert Gamlin". www.cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  2. ^ a b c "Death of Mr H. T. Gamlin", The Times, London (47736), p. 5, 1937-07-14 
  3. ^ "Letter from Mr J. Rowse Mitchell", The Times, London (47745), p. 8, 1937-07-24 
  4. ^ "Scorecard: Somerset v Essex". www.cricketarchive.com. 1895-07-11. Retrieved 2011-05-11. 
  5. ^ "Highest team totals for Essex". www.cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 2011-05-12. 
  6. ^ "Scorecard: Somerset v Lancashire". www.cricketarchive.com. 1895-07-15. Retrieved 2011-05-11. 
  7. ^ "Scorecard: Somerset v Yorkshire". www.cricketarchive.com. 1896-05-11. Retrieved 2011-05-11.