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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
16th January 1906 Born today: Diana Winyard, London, actress (Cavalcade)
16th January 1794 Edward Gibbon, historian (Decline and Fall), dies in London at 56
16th January 1759 British Museum opens in London
Denis Compton lived here
Legendary cricketer Denis Compton grew up here.
Location: 20 Alexandra Road, Hendon
Description: Legendary Middlesex and England cricketer and Arsenal footballer (!) Denis Compton grew up as a lad here. He was the son of Jessie and Harry Compton, who ran a painting and decorating business here in Hendon.
He had a sister, and his elder brother, Leslie, played centre-half for Arsenal and England, and was wicketkeeper for Middlesex.
Denis was educated at Bell Lane School, and learnt his cricket up against the lamp post in Alexandra Road, Hendon. He already knew that the No 13 bus went from Hendon to Lord's and he made his debut here aged just 14.
His 38,942 runs, including 123 hundreds, were made at a magnificent average of 51.85; his 5,807 Test runs, including 17 hundreds, at 50.
In the late 1940s Compton became a national idol, his Brylcreemed form staring down from posters all over the land.
He was good enough to hold his place at football too - in the great Arsenal sides before and after the war. He collected a League and a Cup winner's medal. He also won 14 wartime international caps for England.
His worn out knee cap, can be seen at Lord's. It's a revolting thing, looks as if rats have been nipping at it. I can't imagine why anyone would want to look at it.
He was appointed CBE in 1958, had a stand named after him at Lord's, and was for the last seven years president of Middlesex County Cricket Club.