THE remarkable life of one of Southend’s most successful ever sportsmen is to celebrated in a book being released next month.

Andy Ducat won the FA Cup with Aston Villa back in 1920, in the same year he was named the Wisden Cricketer of the Year.

And author Jonathan Northall remains eager to increase awareness of Ducat’s remarkable life which tragically ended with him dying on the pitch at Lord’s in 1942.

“As I conducted my research, I found that Andy had achieved so much yet his story had been forgotten,” explained Northall.

“Being one of just 13 individuals to play football and cricket is remarkable enough.

“However, there was so much more to tell.

“He was the FA Cup winning captain in 1920, Wisden Cricketer of the Year in the same year, Fulham’s third ever manager, scored 300 runs in a day for Surrey, was a cricket coach at Eton College and a County Championship winner with Surrey in 1914.

“Despite all of that, many people are only aware of Andy’s tragic death on the pitch at Lord’s in 1942.

“But I wanted to tell his story to celebrate everything he achieved rather than people focusing on his demise and that’s what led to me writing the book.”

And, during his research, Northall became aware of Ducat’s strong links to south-east Essex.

“Andy’s family moved to Southend, from Brixton, in the early 1890s and they were living in Hermitage Road in Prittlewell by the 1901 Census,” said Northall.

“Andy attended Brewery Road School, which is now known as Porters Grange Primary School and Nursery, then Crompton House School.

“At Brewery Road, Andy captained the football team to the schools’ championship in 1900.

“At Crompton, which was in Warrior Square, Andy’s sporting prowess really came to the fore.

“He was head and shoulders above the rest at both football and cricket.

“By the end of 1902, Andy represented Prittlewell at cricket in the Southend and District League, despite being just 16.

“He was already playing football for Westcliff Athletic at this point before moving to Southend Athletic where Woolwich Arsenal would eventually spot him and offer him a professional contract in 1905.

“But Andy kept a presence in the Southend area until the mid-1930s despite sport pulling him away and he opened a sports outfitters shop in London Road in 1922.

‘The Life and Death of Andy Ducat’ is the third book written by Northall and comes after he first began to conduct research during lockdown.

“I was aware of Andy as an Aston Villa player because his surname stuck in my mind,” said Northall.

“However, I did not know too much else about him.

“During lockdown in early 2020, I was looking for a topic to write about for a cricket article and found that Andy had coached cricket in Brisbane where I now live.”

The book is now available online to pre-order from Amazon, Waterstones, and several other sites.

But Northall is keen to keep the Southend link going.

“I’m not sure which bookstores will be physically stocking the book yet, but I’ll be doing my best to ensure that Waterstones in Southend does,” he added.

Publication date is April 25.