HANGING in the famous Long Room in Lord’s, Kent vs Lancashire at Canterbury, is arguably the most famous painting to depict the sport of cricket.

Completed in 1907, Albert Chevallier Tayler’s painting shows the view from the boundary of the Nackington Road end of the St. Lawrence Ground with Kent’s Colin Blythe bowling from the Pavilion End to Lancashire’s Worsley-born Johnny Tyldesley.

“It was the first painting which tried to show a real moment in a real match,” said Jonathan Rice, who has written a newly-published book about the work called The Stories of Cricket’s Finest Painting. “Kent wanted a memorial to their first ever Championship win and it was decided to depict the Lancashire game because the Kent chairman Lord Harris had huge respect for Lancashire who had almost won the title that year and beaten Kent earlier in the season when Tyldesley had scored 295 not out which remains the highest score ever made against Kent in the County Championship.”

Tyldesley was born at Roe Green, Worsley on November 22, 1873, and played for Worsley Cricket Club in 1892 and 1893 before joining the Lancashire Second XI in 1894. He made his Red Rose debut in 1895 and won the title with Lancs before making his England debut in 1899 against South Africa. By the time of the painting he was famous as one of the country’s finest batsmen, seldom failing to be near the top of the batting averages and going on to play for England 31 times.

“If you look at 1906 it was probably the very height of England’s imperial glory,” said Jonathan. “From then on it was really a countdown to to the outbreak of war and if you look at the players in the painting both Blyth and Ken Hutchins would die in the conflict.”

Tyldesley would retire in 1919 and opened a sports shop on Deansgate. He died at his home in Monton on the morning of November 27, 1930 after he collapsed whilst putting on his boots before going to work. He was buried at Worsley Parish Church.