This is how you share a Rob Key picture with the world, you bloody idiots

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2 minute read
Photo by Sarah Ansell
Photo by Sarah Ansell

Rob Key has retired. It is a sad day. We’re going to don a black cardigan instead of a beige one by way of mourning. We will wear it for 221 minutes in tribute to the number of runs Rob once made in a single Test innings.

Adam Gilchrist’s highest Test score was 204.

You lose again, Adam Gilchrist.

But the truth is, today we all lose. Adam Gilchrist loses the most, but we all lose a little bit. The sky is greyer; the sun is colder; our wrinkles are deeper; and luxury goods are slightly more expensive. Everything is worse. Even this cup of tea is worse. It has slightly too much milk in it. That never would have happened yesterday.

Yesterday Rob Key was still plying his trade as the greatest cricketer in the history of the planet. Today he is playing golf. That isn’t even a joke. We saw it on Twitter. This might just be the most depressing paragraph ever written.

Speaking of Twitter, every now and again we happen across SimonC’s marvellous Rob Key creation which first appeared on this website back in 2009. People often republish it. Quite often they send it to Rob Key himself. If we were on Facebook, we daresay we’d see it there too.

As magnficient as the work is, it makes us sad that no-one ever gives it a proper build-up any more.

For the full effect, this is how it works…

You read this.

Then this.

Then this.

Then this.

Now you’ve earned it.

That’s how you publish a funny picture.

Even worse, the people thoughtlessly bandying the image about on social media don’t even know that Rob’s astride a capybara because he’s part of the Hindu pantheon and the capybara is his vehicle.


We’re putting this post in the ‘England’ category because Rob did play for England and would have done so again if he could have been bothered. Which he couldn’t.

You may well be tempted to wade into the Rob Key archives of this website in a forlorn bid to soften the pain of this dank event. If you do, this is the hub. Don’t neglect the posts on the old site. We used to write songs about him back then. If you can hold back the tears, we could all have a singalong (separately, without making any actual contact with one another).

Rob Key.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. It’s been emotional. Although some of that emotion has been the emotion of confusion.

  2. After a while it kind of stopped being about Rob Key and started being about how there is a whole ‘thing’ about Rob Key.

    This is how all religion happens of course.

  3. The sun was shining when I arrived at Lord’s this morning; then suddenly the skies darkened. That must have been the moment that Rob Key retired. Dark clouds hung over us like dark cloudy things all day.

    By way of diversion/distraction (which, frankly, we all need) may I sincerely thank those of you who provided etiquette advice to me on today’s earlier KC thread here.

    The sound, sensible and practical advice will no doubt prove invaluable to me when I encounter similar situations in the future.

    On the specific matter, I am delighted to report that I have seen Mr Johnny Friendly several times since the etiquette dilemma incident, without the slightest sign that the goodwill between our clans is in any way impaired.

    He’s a class act, is Mr Friendly, as indeed was the lamented Mr Robert Key.

  4. This is a stupidly sensible question, but why did he retire just now? Why not at the end of the previous season? Or indeed, why at all, surely he had some years in the tank?

      1. I was trying to make a pun out of it but I basically gave up. Joke that almost wrote itself, but not quite.

      2. Indeed, Bailout, your attempt at a joke nearly reached a punchline…

        …but then it tanked.

      3. My joke would like to inform you, Ged, that it did not – as you so unkindly put it – “tank”, but rather it decided to retire prematurely in order to give younger England-qualified jokes a chance.

  5. Apologies oh king, I may have posted the .gif context-less as the second post on today’s county-cricket liveblog. I did immediately follow it up with the context though.

    It’s on three hearts so far.

    1. Pleasingly when people tweet links to the page, it’s the image that’s picked up.

  6. The 221 will be the main focus of a lot of the articles, but my favourite Key innings, nay one of my favourite ever innings, was the 90-odd not out he scored in the same series at Old Trafford to chase down a fairly challenging total. All blood and thunder, funny faces pulled at Fidel Edwards, a battle to win before it pissed it down and a 100+ partnership with Flintoff. Wonderful.

    1. Just read the Wisden report, which of course described it better in 3 words than I did in a short paragraph – “puffed-chest defiance”

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