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Denis Compton was born in Hendon, Middlesex on 23rd May 1918. The brother of Leslie Compton, he played football for Hampstead Town and Nunhead before joining Arsenal as an amateur in September 1932.
Compton was also a talented cricketer and played his first county game for Middlesex in 1936.
An outside left, Compton made his debut for Arsenal against Derby County on 26th September 1936. That season he played in 14 league games. For the next three seasons he only rarely played for the first team.
Compton continued to play for Middlesex and in August 1937 played in his first test match for England against New Zealand. In the summer of 1939 he scored 2468 runs, including 120 against the West Indies.
During the Second World War Compton joined the British Army and served in India. At the peak of his form he won two wartime international caps and played in over 120 friendly games.
In the 1946-47 season Compton only played in one game because of a serious leg injury. Jeff Harris argues in Arsenal Who's Who that "many critics thought that Denis Compton was a better footballer than cricketer". However, injuries continued to hamper his football career. However, his cricket career continued to blossom and he during this post-war period he was considered the best batsman in the world. In the 1947 season he scored 3,816 runs at an average of 91 with 18 centuries.
Compton's injury problems meant that he only played in 14 games when Arsenal won the 1947-48 league championship. Another leg injury limited his appearances the following season but he did play in the Arsenal team that beat Liverpool to win the 1950 FA Cup Final.
Compton retired from football at the end of the 1949-50 season. During his time at the club he scored 16 goals in 59 games. He continued to play cricket until 1958. He played in a total of 78 test matches with an average of 50.08. Compton scored 38,954 runs for Middlesex. This total included 123 centuries. After retiring from cricket he reported on the game for the Sunday Express and the BBC.
Denis Compton died in Windsor on 23rd April, 1997.
Denis Compton, 78, Cricketer Who Lifted Britain's Spirits
Denis Compton, a charming and flamboyant athlete who was widely considered one of Britain's greatest cricket players, died on Wednesday in Windsor, England. He was 78.
The cause was complications after hip surgery, friends said.
Throughout a cricketing career of just over 20 years, Compton racked up record after record, including most runs scored -- 3,816 -- and most centuries, or 100-run streaks -- 18 -- in a single season.
But beyond the impressive statistics, Compton seized the public's imagination with an irrepressible personal style that had people lining up overnight for a chance to see him play and eventually led him to be the first British cricketer in history to hire a business agent.
Compton, who reached the pinnacle of his cricket career in the 1947 season, is also credited with bringing a sense of style, joy and excitement to the game during a particularly dark time when Britain was recovering from the horrors of World War II.
In The Guardian, Neville Cardus described it this way:
''Never have I been so deeply touched on a cricket ground as in this heavenly summer of 1947, when I went to Lord's to see a pale-faced crowd, existing on rations, the rocket-bomb still in the ears of most -- and see this worn, dowdy crowd raptly watching Compton.
''The strain of long years of anxiety and affliction passed from all heads and shoulders at the sight of Compton in full sail, sending the ball here, there and everywhere, each stroke a flick of delight, a propulsion of happy, sane healthy life. There were no rations in an innings by Compton.''
Denis Charles Scott Compton was born in north London in 1918, the son of a painter and decorator. His talents as a sportsman were clear from the beginning, and at the age of 18 he was playing cricket for Middlesex -- he scored 1,000 runs in his first season -- and soccer for Arsenal, a north London team.
He was known for his dazzling, often unorthodox play, both in soccer and in cricket. George Allison, the manager of Arsenal when Compton arrived, recalled how when he gave Compton advice, Compton would politely reply ''Yes, sir'' before proceeding to do exactly what he wanted.
Compton continued playing, with great success, for Arsenal until 1950. But it was in cricket -- where he was soon playing on the English national team -- that Compton really excelled. Enhancing his talents as a right-handed batsman and a left-handed bowler (roughly equivalent to a pitcher in baseball) were his handsome appearance and considerable charm, which drew the frenzied attentions of fans and potential sponsors alike.
Many of them wrote to him. But Mr. Compton, highly disorganized and with no nose for business, tended to toss all of his unopened correspondence -- both personal and professional -- into a heavy suitcase, which he carted with him from match to match. Finally, he hired someone to represent him, and among other things negotiated a $1,600-a-year endorsement deal with the hair-product company Brylcreem.
It was at the tail end of the 1947 season, his best ever, that Compton injured his knee, an injury that would plague him for the rest of his life and insure that he never could match his earlier achievements. But he continued to play throughout the 1950's, at one point scoring a phenomenal 278 runs in just four hours and 50 minutes against the Pakistan team.
He retired from cricket in 1957, having scored a miraculous 38,635 runs, including 122 centuries, in his career. But he remained a familiar and much-loved figure, not least from the Brylcreem advertisements that continued to appear on billboards and the sides of buses throughout Britain. In later years, he wrote a column for The Sunday Express newspaper, worked in advertising, and was a sports commentator for the BBC.
''There will be a tear in many an eye at the loss of one of the greatest batsmen cricket has ever known,'' Britain's Prime Minister, John Major, said on Wednesday. ''It wasn't just the game he played, it was the way he played it. Those who saw Denis Compton bat have an imperishable memory of the greatest cavalier of cricket. Quite literally, he is irreplaceable and the memory of him and the way he played will last as long as the game of cricket itself.''
Mr. Compton, known among friends for being chronically late and hopelessly chaotic (albeit in a charming way), was married three times and divorced twice. He is survived by his third wife, Christine three sons, Richard, Patrick and Brian, and two daughters, Charlotte and Victoria.
Compton, California (1867- )
Compton is a city in Southern California, located in south Los Angeles County. Compton was settled in 1867 by thirty pioneer families led by Griffith Dickenson Compton, after whom the city was named. The first black families came to the city just before World War II. Throughout the twentieth century, Compton was a middle-class suburb with relatively inexpensive housing.
Prior to World War II, Compton was 95 percent white. The city adopted racially restrictive covenants in 1921 to bar African Americans and other people of color from the municipality. Civic leaders, real-estate agents, and law-enforcement agencies perpetuated this racial exclusion with their own practices.
Compton’s demographics began to change during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Many African Americans in south central Los Angeles were now prosperous enough to move to Compton. They took advantage of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ban on restrictive covenants in 1948 and began to purchase houses in Compton. Some of the first black families entering Compton neighborhoods were met with violence, vandalism, and terror.
By the mid-1950s, white flight—the process of white families rapidly leaving a neighborhood due to changing racial demographics—was spreading in Compton. Real-estate brokers accelerated this process by scaring white families with threats of low property values due to the new racially integrated neighborhoods. The black population in Compton rose from 5 percent in 1940 to 40 percent in 1960. The Watts Riots of 1965 accelerated black flight from Los Angeles and in turn increased white flight from Compton. By 1970, Compton had become 65 percent African American.
In the early 1960s, while whites still controlled politics and law enforcement, blacks began to make political progress. In 1969, Douglas Dollarhide was elected the first black mayor of Compton. By the 1980s, Compton’s “ghetto” image had emerged as unemployment among black men rose to 10 percent, almost twice the national average for all unemployment.
Growing unemployment and poverty led to a rise in crime and black street gangs. The notorious street gang the “Crips” was founded in 1969 in south central Los Angeles. This triggered the creation of the rival gang, the Bloods, in Compton. By the 1980s this territorial gang-banger environment intensified due to the introduction of crack cocaine into black neighborhoods. In 1988, N****s Wit’ Attitude, or NWA, the famous Compton-based rap group, released Straight Outta Compton, which profiled both gang life and police brutality in the city. Soon after the record’s release, Compton became internationally recognized as a city dominated by gangs and violence.
Gang violence peaked shortly after the riots following Rodney King’s infamous arrest and beating by police in 1992. Nonetheless, by this point, middle-class blacks had begun to flee the city. Compton’s overall population dropped dramatically by the year 2000, as the city became mostly Latino.
Although Latinos are the majority of the population in contemporary Compton, they still lack significant political power or representation. Thirty-one–year-old Aja Brown, an African American woman, was elected mayor in 2013 (and reelected in 2017). While there has been a significant decrease in crime, unemployment remains high and the median income continues to fall. Compton continues to struggle.
How A Predatory Real Estate Practice Changed The Face Of Compton
In the 1950s, the city of Compton was nearly all-white. But by the 1970s, it had turned majority Black — in part due to a state-sanctioned predatory real estate practice called blockbusting.
As part of our series on American democracy called We Hold These Truths, we've been looking at property ownership in this country and the structural forces that have held back Black homebuyers. For most Americans, the key to building intergenerational wealth is to own a home. But the real estate market often values homes in majority-Black neighborhoods much less than comparable homes in white neighborhoods, robbing Black families of wealth and opportunities like financing a college education. We're going to show you the forces responsible for this by visiting Compton in the 1960s. It's a city just south of downtown LA that was in the midst of transforming from all white to majority Black. Here's producer Jonaki Mehta.
JONAKI MEHTA, BYLINE: There's this day that's been imprinted on Robert Johnson's mind for the past 60 years.
ROBERT JOHNSON: And I'm looking down the street. I see moving vans, trucks and everything, all down the street.
MEHTA: It's 1961 - moving day. Johnson is just 5 years old, and he realizes his family isn't the only one moving into Compton that exact same day. For blocks and blocks, he sees people moving into houses.
JOHNSON: And so I thought it was moving day for everybody - everybody just switch houses (laughter). You know, you're a kid, you know?
CHANG: Another thing he noticed - everyone moving in that day was Black, just like his own family. His new next-door neighbor noticed the same thing.
JUANITA SANCHEZ: There lived a white person with a son.
CHANG: Juanita Sanchez (ph) has lived on this block since the late 1950s. And she says back when she first moved to Compton, almost everyone on her block was white.
SANCHEZ: And then over here was a white family with kids and all (ph). But then.
CHANG: But then she says most of those white families on this block started leaving.
MEHTA: It happened very quickly.
MEHTA: . The white people seemed to have left very quickly?
SANCHEZ: Say, two, three years, everybody was gone.
MEHTA: And then who replaced them?
MEHTA: Why do you think white families moved away?
SANCHEZ: I don't know. They got scared.
CHANG: This perception, that the arrival of Black residents was reason to be scared, this is one of the most powerful forces impeding generations of Black Americans from building wealth through homeownership. You see, perceptions, including racist perceptions, shape the real estate market. Oftentimes, when a neighborhood turns white, property values go up. And when a neighborhood turns Black, property values go down.
MEHTA: This American reality played out starkly in Compton, a city that went from being almost exclusively white to majority Black. And one major mechanism that drove the shift was a predatory real estate practice called blockbusting.
CHANG: Johnson would come to understand only years later how his family, like so many other Black families at the time, were unknowing targets in a scheme that helped a lot of real estate agents make a lot of money.
JOHNSON: So they would approach the white homeowners and basically scare them - the Negroes are coming. Look here, you know, you're going to want to sell your home. And what they were doing was they were panic selling.
MEHTA: That is how blockbusting worked. Real estate agents would tell these white homeowners that their houses were losing value by the day, so the homeowners would panic and sell.
CHANG: Then, those agents would turn around and sell those homes at inflated prices to Black buyers who were eager to make a start in better neighborhoods. And all along, state regulators condoned this practice.
KITTY FELDE: So I remember this flyer that was stuck under the door. And it was from a real estate company.
MEHTA: That's Kitty Felde, who's white. She was in elementary school in Compton during the 1960s when that flyer arrived.
FELDE: They had one very clear message, and it was, sell now because you're never going to be able to get the money you want for your house. And they didn't say this. But it was like, they are moving in - they.
FELDE: It was extremely clear that it meant African Americans. And you know, my folks were really upset. They were like, we are not leaving because quote-unquote, "they" are moving in here. It was a matter of principle. It was a reflection of their religious beliefs, of their social justice beliefs. They weren't going to do it.
MEHTA: So her parents stayed put. But droves of other white residents abandoned Compton during these years, and Black families like Robert Johnson's moved in.
JOHNSON: Oh, man, it felt like, not just a step up but a step into another world. It was your typical suburban dream.
CHANG: To Johnson back then, Compton felt utterly removed from his previous life at Nickerson Gardens, the public housing complex in LA where his family used to live. Compton meant his mother, an X-ray technician, and stepfather, an aerospace engineer, could finally buy something of their own.
JOHNSON: In the backyard, we had an orange tree, a persimmon tree. I didn't know what a persimmon was.
JOHNSON: Well, I learned over the years 'cause I had to clean them up when they fell off the tree - same thing with loquats. I didn't know what a loquat was till I got to Compton.
CHANG: Johnson remembers an idyllic childhood during those first years in Compton, when kids had all kinds of after-school activities. He reminisces about his swim lessons right here in Wilson Park.
JOHNSON: Right here where the skate park is now.
CHANG: Johnson says this park used to be fully staffed with adults who would supervise the kids while they played ball games.
JOHNSON: And our parents were involved. You know, your father was out there being the coach. The mothers were out there supporting the team, selling hot dogs and stuff like that.
MEHTA: Albert Camarillo, who also grew up in Compton, is now a professor of history at Stanford University.
ALBERT CAMARILLO: Compton becomes the promised land. If you worked hard, you have the money to be able to move into Compton.
MEHTA: He says industrial jobs further attracted Black residents to Compton.
CAMARILLO: The housing stock was relatively new - three-bedroom, two-bath, suburban tract homes. The streets were paved and the schools - the schools were pretty good.
MEHTA: But while Compton represented social mobility for so many Black Americans, it also came to represent their exploitation. Predatory practices like blockbusting forced families to overpay for homes that would eventually decline in value as more Black residents arrived.
CHANG: Take Johnson's house, for example. According to census data, the median home price in Compton in 1960 was only $12,800. Johnson's family paid $17,500, and their home was smaller than most in the area. Josh Sides, a professor at California State University, Northridge, says those numbers strongly suggest that Johnson's family was the target of blockbusting. And after more Black residents moved in, home prices in Compton languished over the next several generations.
JOSH SIDES: The really evil part of blockbusting, in my view, is that it perpetuated the notion that Black people in your neighborhood diminished value. And because of that perception, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. That is, it became true that a Black person moving to your neighborhood meant your value declined because, of course, property values are largely the function of social decision and social beliefs.
MEHTA: In 1950, one-fifth of 1% of Compton's entire population was non-white. Just 10 years later, the city was 40% Black. And when white people fled Compton, white-owned businesses did too, which was a blow to the city's tax base. And city services suffered.
SIDES: As those white business owners move out, there's no way to recover from that because part of the challenge of a small, independent city like Compton was that it was so thoroughly reliant on the tax base, not only of its property owners but also of the business owners.
CHANG: Not only did that tax base disappear, so did steady manufacturing jobs in South LA. And as unemployment in Compton worsened, Johnson remembers neighbors started having trouble making their home loan payments.
JOHNSON: You know, the first time I really noticed it personally was at school because you're sitting in class, and your classmates are gone. They had moved away. And that was my first indication that something was going on. I mean.
MEHTA: He also noticed that Wilson Park, where he had all those swim lessons, it no longer had the funds to hire adult supervisors to watch the kids there. Meanwhile, tensions between police and residents ramped up as the crack epidemic took hold in Compton in the 1980s.
JOHNSON: People in Compton were put in a very bad position. The legitimate jobs were gone. And then comes this - it was more than a drug. It was almost like a demonic spirit.
CHANG: All of these factors - escalating crime, police violence, a lower tax base and rising unemployment - all of that changed the face of Johnson's neighborhood. He recalls the exact moment when he finally resolved to leave the city he had lived in for almost three decades.
JOHNSON: One day, I'm sitting in front of my house washing my car, and some fool from a block away had got a new rifle, and he starts shooting out the streetlights. And I knew that if something had happened to my son, I knew how I would react. So, you know, I raised my son elsewhere.
MEHTA: When Johnson's family left in 1988, they sold their home for $64,000. It was worth less than what they paid in 1961. If you adjust for inflation, that house lost almost 8% of its value over 27 years.
CHANG: But even though Johnson left Compton, Compton never really left him. He's written a book about the city's history. He's a founding member of the city's historical society. And you can see his face brighten instantly when he spots an old neighbor.
JOHNSON: Mr. Scott (ph). How are you? How's your mom doing? Yeah.
MEHTA: People like Robert Johnson left Compton for a better life, but they lost something along the way. Tomorrow we're going to hear about that from Billy Ross.
BILLY ROSS: And you go elsewhere looking to carve out some economic security. But culturally, now you are diluted. And that was a part of what I called Black flight, you know?
CHANG: We'll follow the flight out of Compton into California's Inland Empire, a region that promised opportunity for Black families but at an unexpected price.
(SOUNDBITE OF COMPTON'S MOST WANTED'S "THIS IS COMPTON")
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Denis Compton - History
Cricket History | 2 min read | 1179
Denis Compton | A crowd favourite with his aggressive stroke play, sharp bowling and good looks.
23rd May 1918 saw the birth of a maverick and a style icon who was also a seriously good batsman for England. Denis Compton was always a crowd’s favourite with his aggressive stroke play, sharp bowling and good looks.
23rd May 1918 saw the birth of a maverick and a style icon who was also a seriously good batsman for England. Denis Compton was always a crowd’s favourite with his aggressive stroke play, sharp bowling and good looks. Although he started his career before the Second World War, the post-war years were crucial and Compton delivered some great performances for his county Middlesex and England to cheer a nation still recovering from the horror of a great war.
Compton played eight test matches before the war and already established himself as one of the best English youth talents. A century on Ashes debut at Nottingham and another 120 against West Indies at Lords’ were his two centuries and he was earmarked by the experts for many more. But the war started and county, as well as international cricket, took a backseat. Compton took part in the war as a Sergeant-Major for the British army and also managed to play few first-class matches in India.
Once the war was over and Compton came back to the cricket field, that period showed the maximum return from the great man. In 28 test matches during the first four seasons post-war Compton registered 2,664 test runs with11 hundred and boasted of an average of nearly 62. In first-class cricket, he scored almost 15,000 runs in this period with 60 hundred.
Compton was also a competent football player and played as a winger for Arsenal as well as for England national team. He was an FA Cup winner with Arsenal in 1950. But one of the freak injuries affected his knee and that also had a negative impact on his cricket and overall movement. However, he still played test cricket till 1957 and finished with 5,807 runs and 17 test centuries. He also took 25 wickets with his left arm spin.
Compton left a reach legacy in world cricket. He was the first player to do modelling for Brylcream which gave him immense fame. His running between the wickets was not sharp and that also raised many stories about him and his teammates. As a Middlesex player, he played the majority of his cricket at Lords’ where a stand is named after him.
Before the 1950s, the Whiteness of Compton was Defended Vehemently
Departures is KCET's oral history and interactive documentary project that thoroughly explores neighborhoods through the people that live there. In January, SoCal Focus is taking you through the Richland Farms series one day at a time.
When Ellis Cooke, a white family man, moved to Compton in 1962, it was a time when whites and blacks peacefully coexisted. That, however, was a very unique sandwiched-in period for the city. Before the courts struck down racially restrictive covenants--deeds that prohibited blacks and other races from living on a property--in 1948, Compton was white. Really white.
"It's difficult to overstate how white Compton was in the early 50s and late 40s--exclusively white with an extraordinary web of racially restrictive covenants with a very aggressive policing strategy about keeping black people out," explained historian Josh Sides, the director of the Center for Southern California Studies at CSU Northridge. "There was no more effective tool in 20th America than the racially restrictive covenant in terms of keeping neighborhoods white, and Compton was not unique in its application of covenants. There were very few neighborhoods in Los Angeles or Southern California generally in which there was not a restrictive web of covenants established. So in that regard, Compton is unexceptional, but the virulence and the violence in which the Comptonites protected the whiteness of their neighborhood was much more acute than you would have found in the city of Los Angeles for example."
How Compton's Communicative Arts Academy Rebuilt the City for Artists and Community Life
Compton as the Bellwether for Urban America
Richland Farms: An Introduction
Covenants across the country began in the late 1910s and early 1920s in response to the increasing black population in American cities, namely Northern and Western ones that saw the rise during World War I during the so-called great migration from the South. In Los Angeles, however, the move of African Americans was slow until World War II. Still, that slow growth in the 1920s was enough for white homeowners to become concerned about declining property values because of the black influx.
"There's a curious thing about this and that is this: whites believe then, and I think now, that the arrival of black people in their neighborhood will lower property values," said Sides. "And the really troubling reality is, that that is true. The arrival of black people does usually lower property values, but not, of course, because of any material difference, but simply because real estate is all about perception. In fact, if you looked at the FHA--Federal Housing Administration--studies during World War II, they actually found that blacks defaulted at a lower rate on their mortgage than whites did. But it doesn't really matter."
Denis Compton: Hero of the Kings and Queens and the Working Man
Summer, 1955. He had just walked into the Bull at Gerard’s Cross, Buckinghamshire, and was enjoying his drink. It was then that someone wondered whether he was not supposed to be playing South Africa at Old Trafford the following day.
Suddenly the penny dropped for him. He was also supposed to be at the nets with the team that very afternoon. Draining his glass, Denis Compton left in haste and persuaded a pal to fly him to Manchester on his personal plane. The aircraft was forced to land in Derby because of weather. He reached Manchester just in time for dinner, realising somewhere along the way that he had not carried his kit.
The following day, at 22 for 2, he grabbed the brand new bat purchased by Fred Titmus without asking and walked out to take strike against Adcock, Heine, Goddard and Tayfield. He got 158 out of a total of 284.
He was at the crease when Titmus joined him with another bat, borrowed out of compulsion. He was out for a duck.
When Compton played most of his magical innings, he did it with an air of casual nonchalance.
Jim Swanton was one of the many who watched mesmerised as Compton hit 278 at Trent Bridge against Pakistan in 1954. On television, he summarised the day’s play saying that through the innings Compton kept looking at the pavilion balcony for instructions. They were, after all, going for quick runs.
David Sheppard was the man leading England during that Test, deputising for the injured Len Hutton. He later recounted: “A television installed in the dressing room was showing the men’s singles final at Wimbledon between Jaroslav Drobný and Ken Rosewall. Denis wanted to know what was going on because he had backed Rosewall. The signals from the balcony were the set scores, nothing whatsoever to do with the Test.”
His best days were perhaps the years just after the Second World War. That was when Terry Lawless, future boxing manager, played truant from school and went to watch him bat for Middlesex against Somerset. Denis Compton hit 252 not out with 37 fours, 3 sixes. He added 424* in four hours with his terrible twin Bill Edrich.
Years later Lawless met Compton again and told him he had seen that innings. Could his hero talk him through it. “Wish I could, old boy,” answered Compton. “But I was too busy scoring runs to note how I was doing it.”
Sometimes he was too busy to know even the basic details of the match. He was sitting caught in traffic on the Thames Embankment in August, 1949, on the way to The Oval where England were playing New Zealand. A taxi driver shouted at him through the open window, “Hey Denis, aren’t you supposed to be at The Oval?” Compton had forgotten that on the last day play started half an hour earlier.
For all his endorsement of Bryclreem, Compton was notoriously careless with his money. Middlesex tried to help him safeguard his record benefit takings (£ 12,200) by investing a great lump of it in the infamous Ground Nuts scheme. A terrible venture that went bust and thousands lost money, including Compton. “One of those things,” the maestro said philosophically. “I wish I’d had the good sense to put it all on the favourite at Kempton. At least I’d have got a run for my money.”
When his knee was operated on, the whole nation winced in pain. The patella finally found its way to the MCC museum at Lord’s.
Great friend Keith Miller said, “Denis could mix comfortably with kings and queens and the working man. Everybody loved Compo.” That was true long after his playing days were over.
In early 1994, more than three and a half decades after his last bit of serious cricket, his biographer Tim Heald met him at the wake held for Brian Johnston at Westminster Abbey. Strangely Compton was without a glass in his hand. That was blasphemy, and hence Heald hastily sought to make it right.
“Can I get you a drink?” he asked.
“No thanks old boy,” replied Compton with an impish grin. “The Prime Minister is getting me one.” Sure enough, seconds later there was John Major approaching them with a glass of red wine for the batting great.
Denis Compton and player memories
by Abhishek Mukherjee
With 114 and 2/5 for Elementary Schools, Denis Compton caught the eye of Plum Warner at 14. He played for Young Professionals by 16, Middlesex 2nd XI by 17, and in the County Championship shortly after his 18th birthday. This incident took place that day.
Sussex scored 185 (Compton took a wicket and a catch). Despite his reputation, Compton was scheduled to bat at 11. He eventually emerged at 162/9. They needed those 24 runs to get the 5 first-innings points.
Middlesex trailed by 23. They needed to go past Sussex’s score to get those 5 points.
Compton greeted Gubby Allen, his captain and non-striker, with the customary "yes, Sir". Tate, who had taken six wickets till then, beat Compton twice, but the debutant responded with a four. He soon reached 14 to help Middlesex secure a 13-run lead.
Now Harry Parks, whom Compton had dimissed earlier, rapped Compton on the pads and Billy Bestwick ruled him out, leg-before.
It was a terrible decision. Allen protested and demanded a reason – an act he would certainly have been penalised for today.
But if Bestwick's explanation was so incredible that Allen did not drag it further. It was an emergency: had he not closed the innings at that point, Bestwick explained, his bladder might have burst.
While the story is certainly true, Compton himself had mentioned Bill Reeves as the umpire in End of Innings. However, while talking to Tim Heald for his authorised biography, Compton mentioned Bestwick. The official scorecard has Bestwick and Ernest Cooke as the umpires.
Them: The Story Behind the Supernatural Evils of East Compton
In its eighth episode, Amazon Prime's Them tells the origin of the Black-Hat Man, the spirit tormenting Lucky Emory.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Them, now streaming on Amazon Prime.
Like most malevolent spirits in horror fiction, the entities haunting the Emorys in Amazon's Them have an origin story of their own. Each of the four members of the family are beset by a different being following their move to East Compton, California. And in its black-and-white eighth episode, the series takes time out from the Emorys' story to explain how the Black-Hat Man, the entity tormenting mother Lucky, came to be.
In the 1800s, the Black-Hat Man is known as Hiram Epps, who lives in the small town of Eidolon, in the California desert. As an elder of an all-white community who is believed to speak to God, he enjoys significant authority, even though everyone in the town is considered equal. He is a man of profound faith, but his devotion has recently been shaken by the death of his wife and son. Epps has looked for comfort in the Bible and in his community, but his grief runs too deep for either to help. What he wants is an explanation, directly form God, for the sacrifice of his family. As he prays, he hears whimpering from a nearby bush, where he finds a boy whom he adopts and names Miles. This, he believes, is the answer to his prayer.
Soon afterward, Miles spots a pair of travelers, Grafton and Martha, whose carriage has broken down outside town. Epps welcomes the strangers to the community, something he says the Bible instructs him to do. However, his neighbors are far more wary, mostly because the new arrivals are Black. Nevertheless, Epps ensures the couple's safety.
The newcomers' stay soon stretches to a week, so they offer to help the community with whatever work needs to be done as a way to repay their hospitality. Grafton is asked to settle an argument about where they should dig a new well despite their efforts and prayers, they have yet to find water. But as soon as the question is put to their guest, he identifies a location for their well. Instead of being relieved, however, the community is suspicious. believing this could be the work of black magic.
Using a passage from the Bible as an excuse, the community enslaves the couple. Then one day, Epps, who is starting to lose his sight, believes he sees evil in Martha. Shortly afterward, he loses the cross he regularly carries. and Martha picks it up to return it to him. Instead of being grateful, however, Epps' vision of Martha is once again distorted, and he turns on her. They argue and Martha slaps Epps, so the community locks the couple in the stables. Miles secretly sets them free, and they try to escape on horseback.
They're quickly caught and blinded by the community for stealing. Afterward, Martha curses Epps, calling him a white devil, and his Bible bursts into flame. As punishment, the community hangs Grafton and Martha upside down and burns them alive. As the community watches in what appears to be joy, Epps continues to preach. Soon, the entire community is on fire. Miles then leads Epps into the basement, where he reveals the truth: When Epps believed he was talking to God, he was actually talking to Miles, a demonic presence or perhaps the Devil himself. As Miles shape-shifts, he offers Epps a deal: The man will continue to live as long as he breaks every Black person who sets foot in the area, which will eventually become East Compton. Epps' job will be to make Black residents suffer until they can endure no more. If he fails, his soul will be forfeit. Miles and Epps seal their covenant with a handshake as the burning building crashes down around them.
The episode makes it clear the supernatural threat the Emorys face is rooted in the same racism and bigotry as that perpetrated by their living neighbors. Yet, as he was instructed, the Black-Hat Man seeks to break the Emorys from the inside. Like Miles, he now has the power to shape-shift, devising the perfect form to ensure the suffering of each of the Emorys, just like Miles adopted the perfect form to ensure Epps would bend to his will.
Created by Little Marvin, Them stars Deborah Ayorinde, Ashley Thomas, Alison Pill, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Melody Hurd and Ryan Kwanten. The series is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Denis Charles Scott Compton CBE (23 May 1918 – 23 April 1997) was an English cricketer who played in 78 Test matches and spent his whole cricket career with Middlesex. He was also an accomplished footballer, who played most of his football career at Arsenal. 
A right-handed batsman and left-arm unorthodox spin bowler, Compton is regularly credited as one of England's most remarkable batsmen.  Indeed, Sir Don Bradman said he was one of the greatest cricket players he'd ever seen.  He is one of only twenty-five players to have scored over one hundred centuries in first-class cricket.  In 2009, Compton was posthumously inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.  The Denis Compton Oval and a stand at Lord's Cricket Ground are both named in his honour.