50th anniversary of club’s first championship win

The full 1961 squad with the captain Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie
The full 1961 squad with the captain Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie

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Here’s something to cheer up Hampshire cricket fans as they ponder next season in the county championship’s second tier.

It was 50 years ago this month that Hampshire won the championship for the first time.

The balcony at Bournemouth shortly after Hampshire beat Derbyshire on September 1, 1961, to clinch the county championship

The balcony at Bournemouth shortly after Hampshire beat Derbyshire on September 1, 1961, to clinch the county championship

In the previous nine years only Surrey and Yorkshire had won it and the smaller sides (Essex, Gloucester, Leicester, Northants, Sussex, Somerset, Worcester) had never won. Neither had Hampshire, so it was a remarkable achievement.

In 1961 Hampshire played each of the other 16 sides home and away and they won 19 to pip Yorkshire.

I’m grateful to Hampshire’s archivist Dave Allen for these three reminders of that glorious summer.

He says eight of the side in the photograph are still alive including Alan Wassell in Fareham and Mike Barnard, who was born in Portsmouth and now lives in Southampton. Seven of them still live in the county.

In those intervening five decades, Hampshire have won it only once more, in 1973.