Seen on the Green - Doug Insole CBE

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is an area centric biography on Doug Insole, one of many famous people to come from Chingford, North-East London. This article was originally published in The Chingford Directory in August 2011.

Submitted: October 23, 2015

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Submitted: October 23, 2015




Seen on the Green

Famous Faces From Chingford

by Thom Goddard


This Month: Doug Insole CBE


When someone has achieved so much in their life they probably do not need another accolade. Doug Insole is truly a star sportsman as he attained national and international fame as a cricket player and then all over again as an ambassador for the game he loves. However, throughout everything Doug achieved he called our little piece of North-East London his home and is still a pillar of the community. So, Doug Insole, should be the first Champion of Chingford. 


Douglas John Insole was born in Clapton on 18th July 1926. The family moved to Chingford when Doug was four and he learnt to play cricket in his back garden with his father bowling to him “endlessly”1. In 1934 he attended Selwyn Avenue Elementary School and 3 years later moved to George Monoux Grammar School, Walthamstow. It was here Doug’s sporting talent was noticed for the first time as at 13 years old he became one of the youngest people to ever play cricket for London Schoolboys, an Under-16 team. The Second World War meant evacuation to Leominster in 1939 but Doug was back soon after playing cricket for Chingford from 1943 - 1945.


After the Second World War Doug Insole went to Cambridge University. He became Captain of the football and cricket teams in 1949, achieving “blue status” in both sports. Doug started playing cricket for Essex County Cricket Club during the war and in 1951 became their Captain. He held the captaincy for over 10 years and scored 20,113 runs making him the eighth highest run scorer in Essex’s history. In 1950 Doug played his first Test match for England, versus the West Indies, and he went on to play 9 times for his country. The year 1956 was particularly successful as Doug became Vice-Captain of the England Cricket team, was voted Wisden “Cricketer of the Year” and he played for Corinthian Casuals Football Club in the FA Amateur Cup Final.


Doug retired from playing first class cricket in 1963 but had already become an England Test-Selector. Many believe Doug Insole’s true gift to cricket was his life after playing as he is credited with bringing a more professional edge to the game. Doug was Chairman of Essex County Cricket Club, President of the MCC, Head of the European Cricket Council and Vice-President for Life of the MCC. Doug was awarded CBE in 1979.


Douglas Insole CBE continued to play cricket for Chingford throughout these years of international success and is still involved with Chingford Cricket Club to this day. Doug’s involvement with the community does not stop there. He has been a Justice of the Peace and is involved with local schools and groups. In fact, anyone can say “Hello” to the ever popular Doug on Station Road, down in the Mount or if he’s seen on the Green!


If you spot anyone contact:


Thank you to residents Mrs R Whitehouse and Mr NRJ Moss for bringing Doug Insole to our attention.

Thank you to Bill Birch and all the members of Chingford Cricket Club, without whom this article could not have been written.

1. Wisden 1957


© Copyright 2018 Thom Goddard. All rights reserved.

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