This film is part of Free

Denis Compton

Denis Compton shows his class as he graduates from the city side street to become the "spirit of the English summer".

1954 14 mins


Class has been fundamental to English cricket throughout its history - the public school graduate facing the working man on the village green or at the home of cricket. The distinction between 'gentlemen' (amateurs) and 'players' (professionals) was maintained until 1963, even on official scorecards. This film stresses the distinction and identifies the greatest batsman of his generation, Denis Compton, as being firmly in the players camp.

A pioneering professional sportsman, Compton also played football for Arsenal and exploited his fame by making adverts for Brylcreem.