Amiss touched on the thinking behind it in a fine little interview with Cricinfo today. 'In a tour game in 1976, I ducked into a bouncer from Michael Holding,' he says. 'I lost my confidence against fast bowling then. I came to the conclusion that there was only one way to play, like Ian Chappell and Kenny Barrington - back and across, and I changed my stance'.
Dennis earned those runs. A year later, fed up with being paid £200 per Test, he was playing World Series cricket. 'There were about a dozen fast bowlers,' he recalls. 'Since I'd been hit recently, I thought about wearing a helmet. I spoke to Tony Greig, Alan Knott and Keith Fletcher, and they said, 'why not?'. So I wore a motorcycle helmet made of fibreglass. It was heavy and hot when I wore it for the first time. My head was thumping and the sweat was pouring down. I thought I was going to pass out. That's how the helmet era started.'
I'd always thought that Brearley's little skull-cap had come first, but perhaps not. Anyhow, Amiss's was far superior. The best thing about it - and something he didn't mention - was the fact it had a bloody great numeral '1' on the front. It looked ace. Numbers on helmets should be resurrected immediately...
NB: Helmets weren't compulsary when I played junior cricket, and I didn't wear one for years, in games or in nets, where we took great pleasure in trying to knock each others' heads off. I never got hit. The third time I wore a helmet, I did. The psychology is strange.