Charles Burgess Fry
Born: 25th April 1872, Croydon, Surrey
Died: 7th September 1956, Hampstead, London aged 84
Positions whilst with England: Right Back
Clubs whilst with England: Corinthians
- Probably the greatest sporting all-rounder of all time.
Not only a first class scholar at Oxford, he won Blues for his athletic prowess at high jump, 100 yards, hurdles, ice-skate racing and equalled the world record for the long jump. He was also a decent golfer too. His sporting talents didn't stop there. He played rugby for Oxford Univeristy and The Barbarians and his footballing career saw him play for Corinthians before turning professional with Southampton in 1900. However his commitments to other causes (see above and below!) meant that he only made 16 appearances, mostly in FA Cup matches. He reverted back to being an amateur in 1902 and joined Portsmouth were he only managed two appearances before retiring through injury. However, it is cricket he excelled at the most. He played for Sussex (captained the side as well), Hampshire and played in 26 Test Matches for England (as captain for the final six). On retirement his first-class batting average was over 50.
After his sporting career was over he dabbled in politics as a Liberal. He stood for election as an MP on three occasions but was not successful and he claimed, whilst working at the League of Nations in Geneva to have been offered the throne to Albania but had to decline the position because he did not have the required annual income of £10,000. He also made several trips to Germany in the 30s. He was impressed by Hitler when they met in 1934 and tried to pursuade the Germans to take up test cricket. He also published his own sporting publication "Fry's Magazine" and wrote cricketing books, an autobiography and a best-selling novel. Sadly in the 1920s his mental health declined and he became very paranoid and suffered a breakdown. He died in 1956.
- An English Football Internationals' Who's Who by Douglas Lamming (Hutton Press 1990)
- England's Who's Who by Tony Matthews (Pitch Publishing 2013)