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Cricket connections

Posted on 8 June 2016  - 08:00

As the current Test series against Sri Lanka nears its conclusion, we take a look at how cricket at various levels has been interwoven into our own history.

Fanny Walden (front, second from left) with Northamptonshire CC in May, 1920.Wally Hardinge (centre) is welcomed to White Hart Lane by trainer George Hardy and the players in January, 1935.

The worlds of football and cricket may seem far apart now but without the summer game there would be no Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

It was during the latter part of August, 1882 - at the end of their third summer - that the boys who were members of Hotspur Cricket Club decided to stick together during the winter months and form a football club.

On September 5 the first payment into the club funds was one of five shillings, 25 pence in today’s money, from J. Anderson (no, not that one!) who was then secretary of Hotspur CC.

Before the days of pre-season tours and the like, cricket formed part of the players preparation for the new campaign. Regular opponents with bat and ball for the Spurs included Tottenham and Edmonton Cricket Clubs and also the Alexandra Park CC.

Former Spurs Director Tony Berry - a Schoolboy champion at several sports - carried the bat for Edmonton CC during the early Sixties.

Below: Goalkeeper John ‘Tony’ Joyce (left) with Chelsea’s cricket captain Jack Whitley at Edmonton in August, 1913

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Such was the vogue for cricket in the Twenties that the London Evening News introduced a cup competition between the local football clubs. On August 26, 1926, we defeated Chelsea in the final at Chiswick.

Jimmy Seed top scored for us with 104 of our 258 runs. V.J. Woodward, our former player and Director, then on the Stamford Bridge Board, played for Chelsea and another former England captain, Arthur Grimsdell, received the trophy.

Two days later we opened our League campaign with a 2-1 home win over Everton.

Several cricketers at county level have turned out for Spurs over the years. Two Essex CCC stalwarts played for us during the 1890s, Percy Perrin and Charlie McGahey.

Perrin, a member of Tottenham CC, kept goal for our first XI in a 2-1 home win over Friars on December 19, 1893, aged 17 - his only recorded senior outing for the club, though he is believed to have played regularly for our Reserve team around that time.

Hackney born, Perrin played 525 matches for Essex between 1896 and 1928 and also for London County in 1902. Described as a middle-order right-hand batsman and slow right-arm bowler he later served as a Test Selector in 1926 and 1931 and in 1939 was Chairman of Selectors.

McGahey was associated with Spurs for much of the 1890s, initially as a player and later as a committee member. A native of Bethnal Green, he played for the amateur club City Ramblers, represented the London FA and turned out on occasion for Millwall and Woolwich Arsenal.

Below: Charlie McGahey

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There are 19 recorded instances of him featuring in our first XI but it was behind the scenes that much of his best work for the club was done. He later played for Clapton.

His cricket career started as a 19-year-old at Romford in 1890 and two years later he joined Leyton CC. From 1893 until 1921 he served Essex CCC, playing in 437 first class matches. The highlight of his career was touring Australia with the MCC in 1902 when he featured in the fourth and fifth tests at Sydney and Melbourne.

Charlie was official scorer to Essex CCC, based at Leyton until 1933, up to his death in January, 1935.

George Leach netted twice on his Southern League debut for us in April, 1906, and added another appearance by the end of the month. They proved to be his only games for us in the senior league during his two year spell at White Hart Lane.

Leach, born in Malta in 1881, played for Brighton & Hove Albion either side of his spell with us. A free hitting, middle-order, right-hand batsman and right-arm fast bowler he played 225 matches for Sussex CCC between 1903 and 1914. He was also a member of Hailsham CC.

The diminutive Fanny Walden was a celebrated sportsman of his time who combined the two pursuits with consummate ease. His footballing career at Northampton Town and Tottenham spanned from 1909 to 1927 and his Northants CCC connections from 1910 until 1929.

An outside-right on the soccer field, he was capped by England while on the cricket pitch he was described as “an attacking middle-order right-hand batsman, right-arm slow bowler and brilliant cover-point fielder.”

Below: Umpire Fanny Walden (far left) takes the opportunity for a cigarette as rain delays the start of the first Test match between England and All India at Lord’s in June, 1936

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He played 258 matches for Northants and later took up umpiring, first at county level and then in Tests. His penultimate Test match as umpire - he officiated at 11 in all - was the famous fifth Test against Australia at The Oval in August, 1938, when Len Hutton scored 364 of England’s 903 runs.

One of Walden’s friends at Northants, Eric Tomkins, guested for us during the First World War, making 34 appearances in our colours. He played 13 matches for Northants during 1920 and 1921 as well as turning out for Northampton Town during their Southern League days.

As already mentioned, our FA Cup winning captain of 1921, Arthur Grimsdell, also enjoyed the summer game. He played for West Herts CC from his teenage years and was wicket-keeper and a middle-order right-hand batsman throughout his cricketing days.

Watford born, from 1922 until 1947 Grimsdell played for Hertfordshire and in 1927 represented the East of England.

Another Spur of the Twenties who excelled at several sports was Frank Hartley. The first Corinthian player to sign professional forms, he represented Oxfordshire at both cricket and hockey and was an England trialist in the latter.

An England amateur cap on the football field, mainly at inside-left, he was with us for eight years from 1923 having previously played for Oxford City. A middle-order right-hand batsman and right-arm bowler, he played for Oxfordshire throughout the Twenties and in 1930 represented the Minor Counties.

Below: Frank Hartley

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Jack Reddish had already served on the Notts CCC groundstaff by the time we signed him from Boots Athletic in March, 1927. He was on our books until 1933 when leaving for Lincoln City.

A middle-order right-hand batsman and leg-break and googly bowler, Reddish played one first class match for Notts in 1930 and later served as a sports master at a Guernsey college.

Probably the best known cricketer ever to pull on a Spurs shirt was Bill Edrich, a member of the famous cricketing dynasty. It was during the early days of his sporting career that he was on our staff, initially signing as an amateur in October, 1934, at the age of 18.

By November, 1935, he had broken through to our Second Division line-up and over the next 16 months clocked up 20 senior appearances, scoring four goals.

In 1937, having played for Norfolk, Minor Counties and MCC during his time with us, Edrich decided to concentrate on cricket although it was not until 1947 that his name was removed from our list of retained players.

In 1938 he took part in the Test match at which Walden officiated, scoring 12 runs and taking one wicket. His cricketing style was summed up as “an aggressive middle-order right-hand batsman and right-arm fast medium bowler. A cricketer of courage and determination his batting was not elegant relying on hooks and pulls. Excellent slip fielder but a controversial figure who was dropped from the England side on occasions.”

Below: Bill Edrich in Middlesex action against Surrey at the Oval in August, 1956

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In all he played 389 matches for Middlesex from 1937 to 1958 and finished his career with a second spell at Norfolk from 1959 to 1970.

Wally Hardinge never played for Spurs but he was on our coaching staff during the mid thirties and took on the role of caretaker manager between the departure of Percy Smith and appointment of Jack Tresadern in 1935.

Hardinge is one of the few dual internationalists for England at both cricket and football. In his case it was a single appearance on each occasion; as a Sheffield United player in 1910 and for the cricket team in 1921.

An opening right-hand batsman and slow leg-arm bowler, he played 606 matches for Kent from 1902 to 1933 and also turned out for Newcastle United and Arsenal. He subsequently was a director of the sports goods and publishing firm John Wisden & Co.

Enfield born Jack Chisholm broke into our senior side during the war years having signed as a 15-year-old amateur in 1939. He made 75 appearances for us, all but two in wartime matches, before joining Brentford. He later played for Sheffield United and Plymouth Argyle.

Jack was still with us when he played his only first class match for Middlesex CCC against Oxford University in 1947. Between 1949 and 1951 he played for Bedfordshire and from 1956 for Devon while with St. Ives CC. A lower order right-hand batsman he was also a right-arm fast bowler.

Other Spurs personalities with cricketing connections include John Over, the groundsman who prepared the first Test match pitch at The Oval, and severed a 20 year connection with Edmonton CC on joining our staff in 1899 to prepare the new White Hart Lane surface. His son Will followed a similar route some years later.

Jack Jones - the first Spur to lift the FA Cup - combined the two games throughout his distinguished footballing career; on the groundstaff at Bramall Lane, as groundsman at Stockton - both in the 1890s - and during the Twenties at Whitburn CC.

He also found time to serve Leinster and a Durban based South African club as cricket professional after his football career.

Arthur King, our goalkeeper of 1913, also served as wicket-keeper for Balmoral CC  and in June, 1923, international ful- back Tommy Clay was invited for trials by Leicestershire CCC. He later coached cricket at several different schools.

Clay’s defensive partner in our 1921 Cup side Charlie Walters played for Oxfordshire CCC in the mid Twenties and later coached the Oxford University CC side. He also played for the Minor Counties from 1930 to 1934 and is not to be confused with CF Walters, the Worcestershire, Glamorgan and England cricketer of the same era.

Another Spur of the twenties to be offered a trial at county level was Baden Herod. Essex CCC invited him in May, 1929. He was termed a medium pace bowler and sound batsman.

From an original article by Andy Porter...