Greats Gather For 'Gifted Sportsman'
Respected figures from the cricketing world visited a Derbyshire School today (Tuesday April 29) to pay respects to an historic player that John Arlott, BBC cricket broadcaster, described as “perhaps the most variously gifted Englishman of any age.”
MCC Chairman Charles Fry, former English cricketer Richard Hutton and BBC cricket scorer and statistician Bill Frindall were among the guests who gathered at Repton School in Derbyshire for the rededication of Charles Burgess Fry’s grave.
Charles Burgess Fry – or C B Fry as he is better known – was an outstanding cricketer. He captained the England cricket team without losing a Test Match and scored six centuries in successive innings.
He is also recognised as an outstanding all-rounder. In addition to his cricketing achievements he played soccer for England and appeared in an F. A. Cup Final for Southampton. As a student he equalled the world long jump record. He played rugby for Oxford University, Blackheath and the Barbarians.
C. B. Fry (1872 – 1956) was a pupil at Repton School and one of his most frequently recounted stories was that his only ever coach in athletics was his Repton housemaster Mr Arthur Forman.
It is perhaps not surprising, therefore, that when he died his ashes were interred at Repton Parish Church, in the shadow of the School’s Priory building and near the grave of Arthur Forman.
Chairman of the Governors at Repton School and grandson of C.B, Jonathan Fry decided that the very simple headstone on the grave should be made more fitting of one of Repton’s most distinguished sons. This has now been done.
The new stone carries the simple, powerful words:
“1872 C B Fry 1956
Cricketer, Scholar, Athlete, Author
- The Ultimate All Rounder – ”
It was rededicated by the vicar of Repton, Rev Peter Paine, when the MCC played Repton’s First XI.
Speaking at the ceremony Jonathan Fry said: “The previous dedication to my grandfather was minimal and for years the family has been saying we must do something about it. He is one of the School’s most distinguished alumni and we are delighted to be able to honour him in this way.”
Mr Fry also recalled that his grandfather had come to Repton to present the prizes on Speech Day in 1955, Jonathan’s final year as a pupil.
Honoured guests at the rededication included the Bishop of Repton Humphrey Southern, distinguished businessman Tony Wilkinson, Repton Pilgrims President David Carr and the Headmaster of Repton School, Robert Holroyd.
Repton School has a long cricketing tradition. Sussex captain Chris Adams and Surrey opening batsman Jonathan Batty learned their cricket at the South Derbyshire school. Former Middlesex captain John Carr and Richard Hutton are others of the 125 first class cricketers the school can count among its former pupils.
Today, the memory and inspiration of C B Fry lives on in the School. Each year Repton offers C B Fry entrance awards that recognise all-round achievement and potential. They are awarded to boys and girls naturally gifted in a variety of fields.