On this day in Yorkshire: 18th September 1970 – Darren Gough is born.

Former cricketer and now broadcaster, Darren Gough was born on this day in 1970 in Monk Bretton near Barnsley. At first he was a budding young footballer, who was on the books of Barnsley FC, but turned his hand to cricket instead. He went on to become one of Yorkshire and England’s finest fast bowlers through the 1990s and early 2000s.

Gough joined Yorkshire in 1989 and made his county debut in the same year as an exciting talent with raw pace. His performances for the White Rose caught the eye of the England selectors, who needed to inject fresh blood into an ageing attack. He was a breath of fresh air on his debut against New Zealand at Old Trafford in 1994. He scored a breezy 65 in the first innings and took 4-47 in a drawn test match.

He would go on to become an important test and one day player for England with his fast, skiddy bowling and exuberant batting style, which would often see him score important late order runs. He also gained the respect of the Aussies who would become the victims of perhaps the pinnacle of his career- a hat-trick at the SCG in 1999. Around this time he had formed a formidable opening bowling partnership with Andy Caddick and these two would help start a renaissance in English cricket in the early 2000s, when they won four series in a row. By the middle of the decade injury, loss of form and the emergence of younger fast bowlers saw Gough eventually become a sole one day bowler. He played his last test match against South Africa in 2003 and three years later, his final one day match and international retirement. Gough carried on playing for Yorkshire and Essex until 2008. Off the field he managed to win the 3rd series of Strictly Come Dancing and is now a co-presenter of Talksport’s Dive time show.

Happy birthday Darren!

Cover picture credit: Gus Stephens wikipedia creative commons.