Gilly: The Turbulent Life of Roy Gilchrist is the tragic account of a cricket meteor that crashed to earth all too quickly because of his flawed temperament.
Born into grinding poverty in rural Jamaica in 1934, Gilchrist’s prowess as a phenomenal fast bowler quickly gained him international recognition, but the failure to curb his unstable temperament saw him sent him sent home from the West Indies tour of India in 1959 for dangerous bowling.
A victim of the class-ridden clique that ran West Indies cricket, Gilchrist hardly helped his cause by his refusal to curb his aggressive demeanour. Excessive gamesmanship, and constant fights on and off the field, culminating in a prison sentence for attacking his wife with a hot iron not only put paid to any hopes of reviving his Test career, it also tainted the reputation irrevocably of a man who lived out his final years as a pauper afflicted by disease.
After Harrow and Edinburgh where he read History, Mark Peel taught History and Politics at Fettes between 1983-2007.A keen biographer, his first book, England Expects: A Life of Ken Barrington, was published in 1992 and won the Cricket Society's Literary Award for the best cricket book of the year.He followed this with biographies of the England cricketers, Colin Milburn and Colin Cowdrey, the maverick headmaster, Anthony Chevenix Trench, the Methodist minister and pacifist, Donald Soper, and more recently the former Labour minister and co-founder of the SDP, Shirley Williams.
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