The Oval: Reflections

The Oval: Reflections

Memories from the World's Most Famous Ground


By David Norrie

Foreword by Alec Stewart

RRP: £25.00
Online shop price: £15.99

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ISBN: 190532605X

Format: Hardback

Pages: 240pp

Size: 289mm x 250mm

Weight: 1600grammes

Illustrations: Full colour and black and white throughout

Published: September 2005

No ground in the world can compete with the Oval's illustrious sporting history.

Not just the scene of some of cricket's greatest moments – from the birth of the Ashes to Fred Trueman's 300th wicket – the Oval also hosted the first-ever football and rugby internationals in England, and the first-ever FA Cup Final.

This stunning 240 page coffee table book reflects back on the rich history that has unfolded under the shadow of the world's most famous Gasometer – from Don Bradman's farewell innings to the rock concert by The Who.

Meticulously researched and featuring some of the best sports photographs ever taken, Oval Reflections is a fitting tribute to the past, present and future of 'the people's ground'.


  • Serialisation in a major national paper
  • Features in the major cricket magazines
  • Media launch in September
  • Radio, TV, Magazine and Newspaper PR campaign

David Norrie is the cricket correspondent for the News Of The World and has written numerous books on cricket and rugby.



September 2005

***** (four and a half stars out of five)

Given cricket's new-found popularity, it is likely that the coming weeks will see a plethora of books finding their way to the bookshelves in a bid to milk that market. Few, however, will be as lavish or as well produced as Oval Reflections.

There have been a fair few books about The Oval. While David Mortimer's offering, published at the start of the summer, deals with the history of England's oldest Test ground in depth, its appeal is very much towards the specialist. Oval Reflections, a coffee table book with knobs on, will appeal to the gnarled cricket enthusiast and the convert alike.

Beautifully printed, the real strength of the book is its illustrations. Many will be familiar, but having raided Surrey's archives as well as most picture agencies, David Norrie has been able to find a large number of remarkable images which are not in common circulation. From an early publicity shot of an elephant ambling across the outfield, to the rock concert in 1971 (The Who topping the bill), to the stunning aerial view of the ground as England won the Ashes in 1953, the images provide the wow factor.

Norrie's narrative is interesting, but the text rather jumps around and my own view would be that there should have been more pictures and a little less written word. But that is a minor gripe, and it is worth a read as well as a look.

The ever-present logo of sponsors Brit Assurance might upset some traditionalists, but it is a small price to pay for keeping a book of such size and quality so inexpensive.

Martin Williamson

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