From The Archive: Brian Langford

In conjunction with partners Cooper Associates Somerset County Cricket Club will be looking to fill the current void of cricket by regularly delving into extensive Club Archives to look back on some of our proudest moments.

Former Somerset captain Brian Langford holds two records that are unlikely to ever be beaten.

Between 1953 when he burst onto the county scene and 1974, the off spinner appeared in 504 first class matches for Somerset which was no mean feat when you take into account he was undertaking National Service for two of those seasons.

Brian’s other claim to fame is that in the first season of the 40 over John Player League against Essex at Yeovil he bowled his allotted eight overs without conceding a run, which had never been achieved before or since, and can certainly never be beaten.

Although he was born in  Birmingham at the age of four Brian Langford moved to Bridgwater where he attended Dr Morgan’s School and played for Bridgwater Cricket Club as an opening batsman and seamer.

Somerset recognized his talents and Brian was invited for a trial where it soon became clear that he wasn’t going to make the grade as a fast bowler so he quickly changed his style to develop as an off spinner.

His entry into First Class cricket cannot have been more dramatic, when he was taken to Bath in 1953 to carry out the twelfth man duties only to find himself called into the team at the last minute by skipper Harold Stephenson. The blond haired teenager didn’t disappoint and in three matches at the Rec he took 26 wickets, including 14 in the game against Kent.

Brain’s best bowling came in 1958 when he took nine for 26 against Lancashire at Weston-super-Mare and in that same season he took 116 first class wickets – the most of any season, and one of the five times he topped 100 first class wickets in a season.

Brian captained Somerset between 1969 and 1971 before handing over the reins to Brian Close.

During his 504 match long career Brian scored 7513 runs at an average of 13.58 with a best of 68 not out and took a total of 1390 wickets at 24.89, a number bettered only by Jack White and Arthur Wellard.

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