Sir John Berry Hobbs (1882-1963) is recognised as the leading English batsman of his generation. Playing for Surrey (1905-1934), touring with the M.C.C. (1907-1929) and playing in 61 Test matches for England (1907-1930), his all-round batting ability earned him the nickname, 'The Master'. By the end of his career Hobbs had scored 197 centuries and 61,237 runs. In 1925 Hobbs broke W.G. Grace's record of 126 centuries. Five years later he did the same to Grace's aggregate runs record.
On August 9 1930 Surrey played a three-day friendly match against Middlesex at the Kennington Oval. On the first day, Hobbs opened the batting with his regular partner, Andrew Sandham. When Hobbs registered his sixteenth run he broke W.G. Grace's aggregate runs record of 54,896. He was later bowled by Haig for 40, but Sandham continued with an impressive 158 not out and Surrey defeated Middlesex by an innings and 171 runs.