Don’t bother looking at statistics or listening to modern pundits, the best Wicket Keeper that England ever had was Jack Russell. He did play many times, even though he was consistently at the top of his game simply because he wanted to wear his lucky Glouctershire hat and not the England one. As a result we had to have less than impressive keepers for years. What is the story behind this enigmatic eccentric who is also an accomplished painter, which he started on a whim after a match was rained off? He is even a goalkeeping coach.
Robert Charles Russell, better known as Jack, was born in 1963 in Stroud Gloucestershire. He would only ever represent the county in Cricket when he could have gone to more lucrative counties. To begin with he was intending to be a medium fast paced bowler but the combination of seeing an amazing catch by Alan Knott and the passing of his brother drove him to keeping and a professional career, although he is also a qualified accountant.
It was Knott that proved to be his mentor during his England days. The game was changing in the late 80’s, everyone had to bat to some degree, and although Russell did not score highly he did stay in and this allowed the higher order batsman the space to score runs.
His artistic work includes portatirts but als the beautiful Gloucesteshire scenes like those seen by Gloucestershire Park Homes owners at places like http://www.parkhomelife.com/our-parks/orchard-park-homes-gloucester-gloucstershire/.