Justin Parkinson, author of a new biography on Sussex CCC legend Maurice Tate, will be holding an official launch event at the club's museum at the County Ground, Hove on Wednesday, 17th July - the first day of the County Championship game against Middlesex.

 

The BBC Journalist and former Argus reporter will also be signing copies of Then Came Massacre: The Story of Maurice Tate, Cricket's Smiling Destroyer during the lunch and tea intervals.

 

Tate was, for many years, the world's greatest bowler and a firm favourite with the Sussex fans for his huge smile and even bigger feet. He took almost 2,800 first-class wickets and thrilled crowds with rapid-fire sixes and centuries. In 2003 he was voted Sussex's greatest player of all time.

 

The Sussex and England superstar’s story is one of triumph and fame, controversy and tragedy. In the 1920s and 1930s, the all-rounder was the world’s most popular cricketer, the Ian Botham or Freddie Flintoff of his day.

 

Tate was the son of an infamous father, Fred Tate – a Sussex cricketer who, in his only Test match, dropped a vital catch and was blamed for singlehandedly losing the Ashes of 1902. Fred always said his son would “make it up for me...”

 

In his day, Tate’s enormous feet were the subject of a music-hall song, and the extra pace he seemed to gain from the pitch was considered ‘magical’; he’s now recognised as the first proper ‘seam’ bowler, a key figure in cricket’s development.

 

But along the way he suffered a nervous breakdown on the eve of the 1932-33 Bodyline series, and was accused of throwing beer over England skipper Douglas Jardine - and after a bitter sacking by Sussex, Tate became a publican and died in near poverty.

 

Click here for more information on Then Came Massacre.