Throwback Thursday: Brian Rose
Even though Brian Rose wasn’t born in Somerset, he has played a greater part in the success of the County than most.
Brian Charles Rose was born in Dartford, Kent but moved to Weston-super-Mare when he was only two weeks old. Since then he has been a Somerset man and few have played a bigger part in the history of the Club than him.
His finest moment was when he lifted the Gillette Cup at Lord’s on Saturday September 8th 1979 to become the first ever Somerset captain to win silverware for the trophy cabinet.
However, there was no time for celebration because from Lord’s the team then made their way to Trent Bridge for the last round of the John Player League the following day. There Somerset beat Nottinghamshire by 56 runs to lift the JPL Trophy. It doesn’t get much better than two trophies in two days, but under Brian Rose’s captaincy there were three more one-day trophies to come.
Many thought that they had seen the last of Brian Rose when he departed from the Somerset scene to pursue a career in business. However, the pull of his beloved County Ground proved irresistible and when the Somerset bosses needed somebody to turn around the fortunes of the club in 2005, who did they turn to but Brian Rose. Within weeks of his return the Club had lifted the Twenty20 Cup for the first time, under the captaincy of Graeme Smith.
The appointment of another overseas cricketer, Justin Langer, as skipper in 2007 proved to be another winner for Rose. Under the Australian’s strong captaincy and the guidance of Brian Rose as the Director of Cricket, Somerset won promotion back to Division One and reached numerous one-day finals. By 2010 Langer had departed but, feeding off his legacy Somerset, with Rose at the helm, came within a whisker of winning the County Championship when they tied with Nottinghamshire, only to miss out on the number of matches won.
Looking back over his playing career the stylish left hander represented Somerset at both Under 13 and Under 15 level as well as playing for England Schools at Lord’s in 1968. The following season Brian made his Somerset debut, although he wasn’t an immediate success. It wasn’t until 1975, when he started to open the innings alongside Peter Denning, that his career started to take off. One of his memorable centuries came against Australia at Bath in 1977, where his 110 not out enabled the county to beat the tourists for the first time.
His form was noticed by the England selectors and he was chosen to tour Pakistan and New Zealand. He was also selected to tour the West Indies the following winter but had to return early with an eye injury, that was thankfully cured.
In 1978 Somerset were looking for a new captain and Brian Rose was the man for the job. In his first season he led the young side that his predecessor Brian Close had nurtured to the final of the Gillette Cup where they were beaten by Sussex. That result made Somerset’s new captain and his charges even more determined the following year and they didn’t disappoint.
Brian Rose played in 251 first class games for Somerset in which he scored 12,342 runs at an average of 33.26, with a best of 205 not out against Northants at his native Weston super Mare. He scored 23 centuries and topped 1000 runs in a season on seven occasions.