Northampton

Northamptonshire film of Don Bradman unearthed in attic

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Media captionDon Bradman video uncovered in attic - no sound

Rare footage of Australian cricketer Sir Donald Bradman batting in England in 1934 has been unearthed in an attic.

Bradman, who played for Australia between 1928 and 1948, is regarded as the best batsman in Test history.

A short clip of Bradman playing against Northamptonshire was shot by Belinda Brown's grandfather Dr Basil Laver.

Neil Robinson, curator of collections at the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) Museum, said: "It is a very rare find indeed."

Image caption Belinda Brown said she never met her grandfather but was told he was a keen amateur cameraman

When she found the box at her home in Blisworth, Northamptonshire, Ms Brown initially assumed the label "Australians" referred to footage of her Australian cousins.

She admitted to not being a cricket fan, but said: "Others saw it, got excited and said 'That's Don Bradman!'"

The film, which is two minutes and four seconds long, shows some of the final day's play in a tour match against the county, after the Australians had won the first Ashes test.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Bradman, often referred to as "The Don", is an icon of Australian sport
Image copyright Belinda Brown
Image caption Bradman finished his Test career with an average of 99.94 - but only made 25 against Northamptonshire

Dr Laver was a heart surgeon at Northampton General Hospital.

Ms Brown said: "One of the things that's so lovely about it is that actually my grandfather turns out to be a good film-maker."

She explained the family were not initially sure where the film was made, but recognised a nearby church and placed it at Northamptonshire's County Ground.

Dr Laver died aged 36 in 1934, and Ms Brown said the film was such good quality because no-one had touched it since.

Sir Donald Bradman

Image copyright Getty Images
  • Born: 27 August 1908
  • Died: 25 February 2001
  • Tests: 52 (80 innings)
  • Runs: 6,996 at an average of 99.94
  • 100s: 29
  • 50s: 13
  • High score: 334 versus England, Leeds, 1930

Source: BBC/Wisden

The footage was shown for the first time at the ground it was shot at on Tuesday.

Bradman only made 25 in the innings before losing his wicket to Northants fast bowler Austin Matthews.

After being shown at the County Ground, it is hoped the footage will be used in a museum in future.

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