Herbert Hopkins


Herbert Oxley Hopkins (6 July 1895–23 February 1972) was an Australian-born English cricketer who played 85 first-class matches between the wars. The bulk of these games were for Worcestershire and Oxford University, though he also appeared once for Harlequins. In minor cricket, he played for both Federated Malay States and Straits Settlements, where he was working as a doctor.

Hopkins was educated at St Peter's College in Adelaide before going to Oxford. He made his first-class debut for the university against Free Foresters at The University Parks in June 1921. He scored 7 and 32 in a game which ended in a Free Foresters win despite an innings of 202 from Oxford captain R.L. Holdsworth. After three more university games Hopkins played the rest of the summer for Worcestershire, though his only substantial score was an unbeaten 60 against Lancashire in August.

During 1922 and 1923, Hopkins divided his playing time between his university and his county. In June 1922, in a 15-run win for Oxford over the Army at Oxford, he scored what was to remain his career-best innings of 142*, though he made only one other half-century that season. In early July 1923 he hit 100* for Oxford against MCC at Lord's, and won his Blue when he appeared in the Varsity Match at the same venue a few days later, making 42 in a crushing innings-and-227-run triumph over Cambridge University. He ended 1923 with 729 first-class runs at 27.00, by some way his highest season's aggregate.

That marked the end of Hopkins' university cricket career, but he continued to appear, albeit somewhat irregularly, for Worcestershire over the next four seasons. In late June 1924, he scored 137 in a losing cause against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, and in the same match picked up three of the only four wickets he ever took: those of John Gunn, Len Richmond and Fred Barratt. (His other wicket, claimed earlier that same summer, had been that of Glamorgan's Jack Mercer.) Hopkins scored just one more century — 122 against his old university in 1925 — although he got a start in a large number of innings without pushing on to fifties or hundreds.

After the 1927 season, Hopkins ceased to play English cricket because of his work as a doctor in the Malay States, although he played minor cricket for Straits Settlements as late as 1938, by which time he was well into his forties. The exception was 1931, when he turned out nine times for Worcestershire in the County Championship during a period of leave.

Hopkins acted once as wicket-keeper, for Worcestershire against Gloucestershire at Clifton College in 1921.

His uncle, Bert Hopkins, played 20 Tests for Australia; while another uncle, Cyril Hopkins, had nine games for Otago.

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