Categories: A to Z, Famous Players
Amos Fosdyke was born in the Yorkshire mining village of Paithwaite (pronounced pow-it, but that's Yorkshire) in 1863. The mine owner (Lord Potheridge) was an enlightened individual and insisted that his workers' children should attend school until the age of eleven before starting work underground, and so it was with Amos - a significant part of the curriculum consisted of learning how to play Mornington Crescent.
Amos did not shine at the Game.
In a village where the MC team was noted throughout the West Riding for its aggressiveness, Amos was too cerebral a player, his reactions too considered to be a part of the team. So, when he reached the age of eleven, he went down the mine.
The long periods of darkness underground gave him time to think, and think he did - about Mornington Crescent. He visualised the map, developed theories of movement, plans of attack, and strategies to cripple his opponents.
No one would ever have known about this, had Amos Fosdyke not taken advantage of the Paithwaite Mining Company Sudden Weight Loss Programme and lost a leg in the doors of the pit head lift in April 1880 (19th century lift doors not being big on safety).
While he was convalescing, he had an opportunity to play MC against Lord Potheridge (a remarkable coincidence indeed that the infirmary was hosting an MC exhibition tournament that month). Rather to the astonishment of the onlookers, Fosdyke won. Very, very quickly.
In recognition of this, Amos was given a scholarship to the MC team and a terrifying Crescent competitor was born.
After a time captaining the Paithwaite team (incidentally learning to read in the process), Amos became a noted theorist. His writing on proximity theory were the framework upon which later theorists (including both Grossman and the redoubtable Mrs Trellis) constructed boundary analyses and quantum token dynamic processes. Without Fosdyke's pioneering work on proximity and the formalism of behavioural permissivity these theorems would have been merely wordy discussions.
Sadly, Amos did not live to see the flowering of his contribution to MC theory. He died in a back street podume fight in Shoreditch in January 1907. Never able to resist a challenge, he'd been goaded into a wager by a gang of street players. When he handily beat them, they turned upon him and forced him to eat the pdumes he had won. Colonic irrigation having failed to revive him, he quickly slipped into a coma and died.