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Biography
Osmond David Colhoun
  • Born 6 June 1938 Sion Mills, Co Tyrone
  • Educated Sion Mills PES
  • Occupation Engineering fitter.
  • Debut 1 July 1959 v Lancashire at College Park
  • Cap Number 489
  • Style Right-hand bat, wicket keeper
  • Teams Sion Mills, RUC, Brigade

Ossie Colhoun is ranked among the very best of Ireland's wicket keepers: many well respected judges would place him first of all. It was not always thus. His initial selection was heavily criticised. He was derided as, "a mere stopper" who "snatched at the ball."It was written that his tenure behind the stumps would not be a long one. Instead he became a brilliant gloveman, spoken of by some in the same breath as his hero Godfrey Evans, whose talent for reviving flagging spirits on a bad day he shared. He ha s been described as "the first of the moderns," geeing up his bowlers in a manner Adam Gilchrist would approve, and never being short of a word or two to say to the batsman. Particularly good on the leg side, he stood up to bowlers of the pace of Roy Torrens and to the difficult medium fast deliveries of Dougie Goodwin. At least one County expressed an interest in him during the 1960s, but, unfortunately, nothing came of it.

He is often seen as having been a negligible batsman, one of nature's numbers 11's. This may have been a self fostered image, for, wrote Clarence Hiles, "He rated his batting far better than he wanted others to know."A successful opener at club level. He had a sound defence, and, though he made a McGrath like 17 ducks for Ireland, was often an obdurate night watchman.

He was "barely out of short trousers," when he made his debut for Sion Mills, for whom he played for 25 seasons, interspersed with a brief sojourn with RUC and a final, strange, decamp to Brigade. Lethal in combination with bowlers such as great left armer John Flood and quality off spinner Ray Moan, he had the ability of the really good keeper to make other, ordinary, bowlers look high class. From his earliest days he was a key part in any Sion Mills success. Thus at 16 in 1955 in the NWCU Cup Final v holders Eglinton, he held a vital catch and made a smart stumping off Flood as his opponents set only 69 to win crashed for 32. Later in 1972, he had 6 victims in the match, including 2 stumpings, as Flood and Moan spun Strabane to a 72 run defeat. He was tactically very astute, being an excellent captain both of his club, and of the North West in the Guinness Cup.

Only 1.76% of the runs conceded by Ireland when he was behind the stumps were byes: a remarkable statistic, particularly when it is remembered that he kept on some sub standard wickets to varied attacks. One of his lasting achievements was to be one of the few wicket keepers to stump Len Hutton in a first class match. The great Sir Leonard believed in playing slow bowlers from the crease. Only 20 of the 723 times he was dismissed were stumpings. The last of all, on a cold September day, in College Park, was by Ossie off the bowling of fellow North Westerner Scott Huey. It was the maestro's last first class innings, depriving him, as he had reached 89, of his 130th hundred.

Even in Ossie's last match v Fred Millet's XI at Ormeau in 1979, after which he went into self imposed retirement from International cricket, he was seen at his best. He made 5 dismissals, including, wrote the late Sean Pender, "A catch and a stumping which for sheer magic matched the best of the 185." His batting for Ireland also had its moments. He shared in a 9th wicket stand of 73 with Ivan Anderson (198*) at Toronto in 1973 and 79 at Lord's, with Simon Corlett in 1973, when he made 36*, his best for Ireland. Coming in as night watchman at 5 v MCC at Castle Avenue in 1970, he helped Gerry Duffy add 105 for the 4th wicket. It was no fault of his that the Leinster all rounder fell 8 short of a much coveted 100 for Ireland. MCC used 9 bowlers in the innings.

Off the cricket field Ossie was a competent footballer, keeping goal for RUC for several seasons. He was also in much demand as an entertainer, his double act with Roy Torrens being much admired. Clarence Hiles has summed him up better than this writer could hope to do, "He was a legend in his time, a wonderful character and an exceptional cricketer."

He is profiled in Siggins and Fitzgerald "Ireland's 100 Cricket Greats" and is the subject of a special section in Clarence Hiles' A History of Senior Cricket in Ulster.

Edward Liddle, May 2007

International Matches
View Match Ireland lost to Lancashire by 9 wickets (2 Day, College Park, 1-2 July 1959)
View Match Ireland drew with Yorkshire (2 Day, Ormeau, 22-23 July 1959)
View Match Leicestershire beat Ireland by 8 wickets (3 Day, Leicester, 12-14 August 1959)
View Match MCC beat Ireland by 3 wickets (2 Day, Lord's, 29-30 August 1959)
View Match Scotland drew with Ireland (2 Day, Paisley, 9-12 July 1960)
View Match Ireland drew with Leicestershire (2 Day, Ormeau, 23-25 July 1960)
View Match Ireland drew with MCC (3 Day, College Park, 3-5 September 1960)
View Match Leicestershire beat Ireland by an innings and 51 runs (3 Day, Leicester, 17-19 May 1961)
View Match Ireland drew with Scotland (3 Day, Cork, 22-24 July 1961)
View Match Ireland beat MCC by 35 runs (3 Day, College Park, 12-15 August 1961)
View Match Ireland drew with Australia (2 Day, Ormeau, 15-16 September 1961)
View Match Ireland drew with Combined Services (3 Day, Ormeau, 23-25 JUne 1962)
View Match Scotland beat Ireland by 5 wickets (3 Day, Greenock, 14-17 July 1962)
View Match Ireland drew with Pakistan (2 Day, College Park, 1-2 August 1962)
View Match MCC drew with Ireland (3 Day, Lord's, 25-26 August 1962)
View Match Ireland drew with West Indies (1 Day, Ormeau, 12 June 1963)
View Match Ireland lost to West Indies by 5 wickets (1 Day, College Park, 13 June 1963)
View Match Ireland lost to Leicestershire by 5 wickets (2 Day, Sydney Parade, 6-7 July 1963)
View Match Ireland beat Scotland by 70 runs (3 Day, Londonderry, 27-29 July 1963)
View Match MCC drew with Ireland (3 Day, Lord's, 21-22 August 1963)
View Match Ireland drew with MCC (3 Day, Clontarf, 5-7 September 1964)
View Match MCC drew with Ireland (3 Day, Lord's, 9-10 June 1965)
View Match Ireland lost to New Zealand by 10 wickets (3 Day, Ormeau, 19-21 July 1965)
View Match Ireland lost to Scotland by an innings and 22 runs (3 Day, Sydney Parade, 14-16 August 1965)
View Match Ireland drew with Hampshire (3 Day, Clontarf, 4-6 September 1965)
View Match Ireland lost to Middlesex by an innings and 21 runs (2 Day, Ormeau, 20-21 July 1966)
View Match Scotland beat Ireland by 6 wickets (2 Day, Edinburgh, 30 July - 2 August 1966)
View Match Ireland lost to MCC by 32 runs (2 Day, Clontarf, 3-5 September 1966)
View Match Ireland drew with Worcestershire (2 Day, Sydney Parade, 10-11 July 1967)
View Match Ireland lost to India by 6 wickets (2 Day, Clontarf, 21-22 July 1967)
View Match MCC beat Ireland by an innings and 62 runs (2 Day, Lord's, 28-29 August 1967)
View Match Combined Services drew with Ireland (2 Day, Aldershot, 30-31 August 1967)
View Match Ireland lost to Australia by 3 wickets (1 Day, Ormeau, 3 July 1968)
View Match Ireland lost to Australia by 121 runs (1 Day, Ormeau, 4 July 1968)
View Match Scotland drew with Ireland (3 Day, Glasgow, 3-5 August 1968)
View Match Ireland beat Combined Services by an innings and 46 runs (2 Day, Shane Park, 23-24 August 1968)
View Match Ireland drew with MCC (3 Day, Clontarf, 7-9 September 1968)
View Match Ireland lost to Scotland by 82 runs (1 Day, Clontarf, 14-16 June 1969)
View Match Ireland beat West Indies by 9 wickets (1 Day, Sion Mills, 2 July 1969)
View Match Ireland drew with West Indies (2 Day, Ormeau, 3-4 July 1969)
View Match Ireland drew with Wilfred Isaacs XI (3 Day, Rathmines, 19-21 July 1969)
View Match Ireland lost to Pakistan International Airways by 7 wickets (3 Day, Sydney Parade, 16-18 August 1969)
View Match Combined Services lost to Ireland by 7 wickets (2 Day, Uxbridge, 30-31 August 1969)
View Match MCC beat Ireland by 36 runs (2 Day, Lord's, 1-2 September 1969)
View Match Scotland drew with Ireland (3 Day, Perth, 20-22 June 1970)
View Match Netherlands lost to Ireland by 187 runs (3 Day, Den Haag, 24-26 July 1970)
View Match Ireland drew with Denmark (2 Day, Cork, 15-17 August 1970)
View Match Ireland beat Combined Services by an innings and 46 runs (2 Day, Londonderry, 28-29 August 1970)
View Match Ireland lost to MCC by 5 wickets (3 Day, Clontarf, 5-7 September 1970)
View Match Ireland drew with Scotland (3 Day, Ormeau, 19-21 June 1971)
View Match Ireland beat Wales by 260 runs (3 Day, Cork, 17-19 July 1971)
View Match Ireland beat The Netherlands by 138 runs (3 Day, Clontarf, 21-22 August 1971)
View Match Combined Services drew with Ireland (2 Day, Portsmouth, 21-22 August 1971)
View Match MCC lost to Ireland by 97 runs (2 Day, Lord's, 23-24 August 1971)
View Match Denmark drew with Ireland (3 Day, Aalborg, 27-29 August 1971)
View Match Scotland drew with Ireland (3 Day, Greenock, 24-26 June 1972)
View Match Wales drew with Ireland (3 Day, Swansea, 20-21 August 1972)
View Match Ireland beat Wales by an innings and 93 runs (3 Day, Rathmines, 9-11 June 1973)
View Match Ireland beat Denmark by an innings and 130 runs (3 Day, Clontarf, 23-25 June 1973)
View Match MCC lost to Ireland by 7 wickets (2 Day, Lord's, 30-31 July 1973)
View Match Ireland beat Scotland by 50 runs (3 Day, Cork, 11-13 August 1973)
View Match Canada drew with Ireland (3 Day, Toronto, 14-16 September 1973)
View Match USA beat Ireland by 42 runs (3 Day, Los Angeles, 22-24 September 1973)
View Match Netherlands lost to Ireland by 3 wickets (3 Day, Amstelveen, 21-23 JUne 1974)
View Match Ireland lost to MCC by 49 runs (3 Day, Rathmines, 20-22 July 1974)
View Match Scotland lost to Ireland by 52 runs (3 Day, Ayr, 10-12 August 1974)
View Match Wales drew with Ireland (3 Day, Colwyn Bay, 25-27 August 1974)
View Match MCC beat Ireland by 69 runs (2 Day, Lord's, 11-12 June 1975)
View Match Denmark drew with Ireland (3 Day, Ringsted, 25-27 July 1975)
View Match Ireland beat Scotland by an innings and 41 runs (3 Day, Rathmines, 9-11 August 1975)
View Match Ireland drew with MCC (3 Day, Cork, 12-14 June 1976)
View Match Ireland beat Netherlands by 131 runs (3 Day, Downpatrick, 1-3 July 1976)
View Match Ireland lost to West Indies by 204 runs (2 Day, Rathmines, 14-15 July 1976)
View Match Scotland drew with Ireland (3 Day, Glasgow, 7-9 August 1976)
View Match Ireland drew with Australia (2 Day, Rathmines, 9-10 June 1977)
View Match Ireland lost to Scotland by 74 runs (3 Day, Clontarf, 2-4 July 1977)
View Match Wales drew with Ireland (3 Day, Swansea, 24-26 July 1977)
View Match Sussex lost to Ireland by 3 wickets (3 Day, Pagham, 27-29 July 1977)
View Match MCC drew with Ireland (2 Day, Lord's, 1-2 August 1977)
View Match Ireland drew with Surrey (2 Day, Rathmines, 8-9 June 1978)
View Match Ireland drew with MCC (3 Day, Eglinton, 24-26 June 1978)
View Match Ireland beat Wales by 135 runs (3 Day, Cork, 8-10 July 1978)
View Match Ireland beat Denmark by 81 runs (3 Day, Rathmines, 27-29 July 1978)
View Match Scotland drew with Ireland (3 Day, Glasgow, 12-14 August 1978)
View Match Ireland drew with Surrey (2 Day, Clontarf, 13-14 June 1979)
View Match Ireland drew with Sri Lanka (3 Day, Eglinton, 7-9 July 1979)
View Match Ireland beat FW Millett's XI by 5 wickets (2 Day, Ormeau, 18-19 July 1979)
Articles
Billy Platt's North West Cricket Histories: Ossie Colhoun - the complete wicketkeeper
Ossie Colhoun crouched behind the stumps was a common and feared sight in North West and Irish cricket for many years.
Colhoun's 50th international cap
In September 1971 the Strabane Chronicle celebrated the 50th international cap of Sion Mills' legendary wicketkeeper Ossie Colhoun.