This Friday, 15th July, England-Pakistan at Lord’s. Legendary umpire John Holder and biographer Andrew Murtagh will be signing copies of Test of Character and chatting to fans in the lunch interval in the first Investec Test Match.


Greatly respected and hugely liked as a player and official throughout cricket, Barbados-born Holder “has done more for race relations than Nelson Mandela,” writes his old friend and former teammate Murtagh. A slight exaggeration, perhaps, but not far off the truth.


At Lord’s book signings take place at the dedicated booth outside the Main Lord's Shop situated by the East Gate of the ground. The timings for lunch interval sessions are 12:45pm – 2:00pm. 


Test of Character shines a light on the job of an international umpire, with all its pressures, vicissitudes, controversies and prejudices – leavened of course with a fair degree of humour:

  • John came to England from Barbados in the early 60s to work on the London Underground.
  • Hampshire signed him up as a fast bowler in 1968, for whom he played until 1972. Successes included taking 13-128 in one match against Gloucestershire in 1972 and a hat-trick against Kent in the same year.
  • Injury and loss of form hastened his retirement, after which he took up umpiring, remaining on the first-class panel for 27 years.
  • He officiated in 11 Test matches and 19 ODIs.
  • First black umpire to officiate in a Test match in England.
  • First ‘neutral’ umpire in a Test series, Pakistan v India.
  • Initiated the first bowl-out in a knock-out match to determine the winner in the event of inclement weather.


Click here for more information, or to read a sample from Test Of Character.