JOHNNERS: the official website

BRIAN JOHNSTON was known as ‘Johnners’ to millions of cricket fans around the world. For nearly fifty years he was the voice of cricket on BBC television and radio. When Brian died in 1994 at the age of eighty-one, the Daily Telegraph described him as ‘the greatest natural broadcaster of them all’ and the Prime Minister John Major paid him the tribute: ‘Summers will never be the same.’

Brian was born at Little Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, the youngest of four children, on 24 June 1912. His father ran E. Johnston & Co., an international coffee business in the City of London, and his grandfather was a Governor of the Bank of England. Brian was educated at Eton and New College, Oxford. He wanted to work in the theatre but he was persuaded to enter the family business instead. After war was declared in 1939 he joined the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards, where he served as a Technical Adjutant and was awarded the Military Cross.

In January 1946 Brian joined the BBC Outside Broadcast Department. His first broadcasts were live radio programmes from music-halls and theatres around the country. In the summer of 1946 he made his debut as a cricket commentator on BBC television and continued for the next twenty-four years, being appointed the BBC’s first cricket correspondent in 1963. After he was dropped by television in 1970 for being too humorous, Brian transferred to radio, where he became a national institution on Test Match Special until his death in 1994.
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Brian Johnston Memorial Trust

The Brian Johnston Memorial Trust was founded in 1995 by Brian’s widow, Pauline Johnston, and it has been administered since 1999 by the Lord’s Taverners. The aims of the charity are: (1) The annual award of Brian Johnston Scholarships to promising young cricketers in need of financial assistance to fulfil their potential at county and national level. (2) The support of cricket for the Visually Impaired and the Blind. (3) Sponsorship of the BJMT/ECB Elite Spin Bowling Programme.

These awards [see Awards] are funded through membership of the Johnners Club, the Johnners Club Dinner held in the Long Room at Lord’s each autumn, and an annual grant from the Lord’s Taverners Foundation.

If you would like more information on how to become a member of the Johnners Club and support the charity, or would like to apply for a Brian Johnston cricket scholarship, please contact Richard Anstey, the trust administrator, at the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust, c/o Lord’s Taverners, 90 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1EU, or email:


News from the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust (BJMT).
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