Edgar John ("Eddie") Barlow, cricketer, was born on August 12, 1940 and died on December 30, 2005 from a stroke following a long illness. Shortly before his death, and aided by his wife Cally, he completed this autobiography. Eddie Barlow personified those sportsmen who through willpower maximise their ability. There were more talented players than he in the superb South African sides of the late 1960s - Graeme Pollock, Barry Richards, Mike Procter among them - but none exceeded his desire to succeed. No one who played alongside him or under his captaincy during a 21-year career - for his country, his province (he played for Eastern and Western Provinces and Transvaal) or for Derbyshire, whom he led in a forthright manner for two seasons - could fail to be dragged along by his natural competitive instincts. Barlow's uncompromising attitude would go on to inspire future generations of cricketers in this country. He was a chunky, determined figure, an innovative cricketer. Nicknamed "Bunter" because of his round face and glasses, Barlow played in 30 Tests, scoring 2,561 runs at 45.74 and taking 40 wickets with his medium pace.
His highest score of 201 came in the fourth Test of the 1963-64 tour of Australia, in Adelaide, during which he helped in a devastating third wicket stand of 341 in 283 minutes with Graeme Pollock - still a South African record for any wicket against Australia and their third highest against anyone. Born in Pretoria, Transvaal, Barlow had intended to become a teacher, gaining a geography degree at Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg. He made his debut for Transvaal in 1960 and continued playing first-class cricket after South Africa was banned from the international game in 1970. He had a spell with Derbyshire in 1976-78, and he played his last match with Western Province in 1981. He then turned his attention to coaching and had been appointed Bangladesh coach in 1999 before suffering the first of his strokes the following year. Confined to a wheelchair, he went to live in north Wales, but continued coaching until the very end.