C. B. Fry

(1872—1956) sportsman and journalist

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Charles Burgess Fry personified the all-round amateur ideal of the English gentleman in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Fry played cricket for Oxford University and then England and was the most consistently prolific batsman in England for several years. But he also played for England at association football (playing in an FA Cup Final for the Southampton club), played rugby football at international level, and was joint holder of a junior long-jump record for more than twenty years. Fry was an accomplished Oxford classics scholar: cricket writer H. S. Altham wrote that ‘Fry could…have stepped out of the frieze of the Parthenon’. Yet Fry was also a self-promoting one-man industry, starting Fry's Magazine, producing fiction and an autobiography, and acting as a model for risqué photographic shoots. Dabbling in parliamentary politics, and actually meeting German Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler, Fry tarnished his positive image, but a lifetime of image-management survived these political excesses.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945) — Sport and Leisure.

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