In case you were wondering why write a book about a harmless looking guy with a moustache: This bloke walks into my All-time England XI: he bats at No. 5, and he bowls first change.
He batted like a cross between Len Hutton and Michael Vaughan, and bowled meanly, swiftly for ever. He was probably the best bad wicket batman of his era. As a bowler if there was anything in a wicket he was a batsman’s worst nightmare. Think Richard Hadlee and Glen Mcgrath - at you all the time and capable of suddenly bowling a completely unplayable ball.
Captain of Harrow School, Cambridge University, Yorkshire and England, FS Jackson was the greatest all-rounder of the first golden age of English cricket. By a country mile.
We tend to use the word ‘great’ overmuch these days. His contemporaries were MacLaren, Fry and Ranjitsinhji, but only Jackson scored five centuries against the Australians on home soil, a feat not equalled until the 1980s by a certain D. Gower.
Which makes it all the more remarkable that cricket was a relatively small part of Jackson’s life. Business commitment meant he never toured Australia, and after his retirement from the game in 1905, he went into politics, became Chairman of Conservative Party in the twenties, and later Governor of Bengal.