Thursday, April 8, 2010

"Bed, sir?"

The Independent [UK]
8 April 2010

Brian Viner: If the best tales are often urban myths, it's best to tell them as if they're true

The grand old man of English cricket, Sir Alec Bedser, died on Sunday. The obituaries have been extensive and properly reverential, so it falls to me to tell one of my all-time favourite stories of misunderstanding, featuring Bedser and his international teammate, the sublimely named Jack Crapp.

In 1948, the pair had played against one another in a county match, so travelled together up to a hotel in Leeds where they were due to join the rest of the England party, prior to a Test match at Headingley. When they got there, the receptionist didn't realise that they were England cricketers, and wondered whether they were checking in for an overnight stay.

"Bed, sir?" she enquired of one of them. "No, Crapp," he replied. The receptionist didn't bat an eyelid. "Through them doors and first on t' left," she said. [...]