One of England’s greatest sports commentators, Henry Blofeld, or Blowers, has an appetite for ornithology, all things cricket and writing, which he continues to do today.
His writing career and essentially his journey into commentating started in 1956 at Eton College, after writing an article, his first, on a second eleven football match. The headmaster had some stern words after he made some colourful comments on the opposing side. At the same time he played cricket for Eton, before moving onto playing for Cambridge where he would play in first class matches and score a first class 100 at Lords.
The Times decided to use Blowers as a freelance cricket writer in 1962. The following year The Guardian decided that they would find a home for his cliches and he remained with them as a freelancer until The Independent set up shop at the start of the eighties. It wasn’t until 10 years later he began his indelible broadcasting career, when he joined the famous Test Match Special team for two one-day matches against the Aussies.
He went on to commentate all over and despite a short stint at Sky, commentated on test match cricket until 2017. He announced his retirement in June and his last test commentary was when England played West Indies at Lord's on 9 September 2017, and rightfully given a standing ovation on a lap of the ground
For around fifteen years he also spent part of each winter in Australia where he wrote a column for The Australian and worked for a network of commercial radio stations led by Radio 2UE in Sydney. They offered an alternative form of commentary for the international games, as opposed to the bog standard government owned broadcasts.
Blowers was awarded an OBE for services to broadcasting in 2003.
Writing, Theatrics and More
Blowers began to write books in 1970 and has gone on to produce fifteen titles, mostly about cricket. The one he wrote about The Kerry Packer invasion of the cricket scene in Australia, The Packer Affair, was a great success and so too was his autobiography, A Thirst for Life. His 2017 autobiography Over & Out was a Sunday Times Best Seller and a top 10 bestselling memoir of 2017, promptly released after his retirement.
He began a theatrical career in 2002 when Dudley Russell, a theatre agent and poet Pam Eyres’ husband, thought he would be able to do a one-man show. He has moved agents a couple of times since until finding a comfortable home at EBP. He has since been on three tours with great friend Peter Baxter, two hugely successful tours with great friend Graeme Swann and his solo tour '78 Retired' was a complete sellout across the UK.
Although cricket inevitably forms a part of these shows, they are really more about the extraordinary life he has led, the fascinating people he has bumped into along the way and the amazing stories and memories of his life.
Everywhere he has gone, on countless cricket tours around the world, and all over the UK, Blowers has truly lived life to the full regarding each day as an orange, squeezing it dry of the last drop of juice before moving onto the next day. Blowers has always been and continues to be outrageous and irresistible fun!
Henry Blofeld is now on the Thrillz website too! The eccentric star is available for personal video messages for fans, and what greater way to surprise a cricket fan than a personal video from one of the sports legends. So whether you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion or just brighten someone’s day, a message from Blowers could be the perfect way.