An excellent right arm bowler, Fred Ridgway made his debut for Kent shortly after World War Two. A small man, he was still able to work up a respectable pace, He took over 1,000 first-class wickets in a career that spanned fifteen years, and is one of the few bowlers to have achieved the "double hat-trick", taking four wickets with consecutive deliveries against Derbyshire in 1951. A useful lower order bat and fine close-to-the wicket fielder he fell just short of achieving a first-class century. He took part in a county record ninth wicket partnership with B.R.Edrich in 1949.
He toured India with what has been described as the weakest England team to tour there. He and Statham shouldered the fast-bowling chores, and in the non-international matches he did well, capturing 41 wickets on the tour at a good average. With many top-players missing Ridgway played all five Tests but laboured on the unforgiving wickets of the sub-continent and against a strong Indian batting line up. His 7 wickets cost over 50 runs apiece and with Statham and Trueman establishing themselves was not given the opportunity to play again.
(Article: Copyright © 2002 Dave Liverman)