A good story has recently been told of Dr W.G. Grace, the greatest of all cricketers, concerning a two-day game at Chesham, when Mr A. E. Lawton, the ex-captain of Derbyshire and "W.G." were the guests of the Bucks County captain.
On the evening before the match they took a stroll round the beautiful old-world garden of their host, admiring the flowers and fruit. One tree in the garden, heavily laden with enormous plums just ripe, took the Old Man's fancy.
"If I know anything at all about plums, this one will do nicely for me," he said, as he grabbed hold of a real whopper. It did, and he let it go with a deep growl.
Inside the plum was a wasp which, resenting his interference, and regardless of his identity, stung him hard and good on his right thumb.
After a while "W.G." got the sting out of his hand, but it took the sting out of his bowling for that match at least.
[From the Watford Observer of August 1, 1931]
NOSTALGIA NOTE: As far as can be ascertained, the match in question took place on July 18 and 19, 1907, and was between WFL Lowndes XI and London County. Dr Grace, who batted at number five for the latter, scored 65, although there appears to be no record of how the wasp sting affected his bowling, as no bowling figures are available. The match was drawn. Incidentally, records show that among the other games Dr Grace played during his illustrious career, he played at least twice on Chorleywood Common.