St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The Matches St George's Park - 1924 - South Africa beat England for first time at St Georges Park
1924 - South Africa beat England for first time at St Georges Park

It was in the years between the two World Wars that international, and for that matter, all sport took great strides forward. This was due mainly to the publicity it received and also to the new style of journalism aimed at bringing sporting personalities to the very firesides of the public.

Thus the man in the street began to hear of games and contests in places he didn't know even existed.

One of the results of this popularisation of sporting events was the tremendous increase in spectator following, and gates rose sharply. There was a spate of tours and big matches.

So it was not surprising that Solly Joel, a keen cricket enthusiast, decided to sponsor a team of top English amateurs and professionals in a tour of South Africa in 1924. Places were eagerly sought in this side, particularly when it was learned that the captain was to be the Hon. L H Tennyson, one of cricket's spectacular characters. There was always something on the go when "The Lord" was present, and he was generally good for a laugh.

Port Elizabeth learned with keen anticipation that it was to be given a Test - or almost a Test, for this was an unofficial tour. To make things more exciting, club member Campbell Munro was included.

Joel's XI came to St George's Park for the final game one match up. His side was a strong one with Percy Holmes, Ted Bowley, Ernest Tyidesley, Jack Russell, George Geary, Alee Kennedy and Charlie Parker as the stars.

But South Africa, with Jack Siedle, Vie Ling, the venerable Dave Nourse, Herby Taylor, Nummy Deane, Bob Catterall, Buster Nupen and Alfie Hall, were too good and won a well contested match by 21 runs.

Catterall played a fine knock of 86 to clinch the game, while Nupen and Hall dominated the bowling. The great thing was that South Africa had at last won a game of cricket in Port Elizabeth.

It had taken nearly 40 years.

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