A total of six cricketers made their first appearances for Yorkshire in 1868. Two were profiled in last week’s Throwback Thursday. Paul Dyson now looks at the remaining four with the help of an image of Ephraim Lockwood, courtesy of Mick Pope.
The first debutant of 1868 was Harry Verelst who was one of the earliest of Yorkshire’s players not to have been born within the county’s boundaries. He came from Claughton, near Birkenhead, which was in Cheshere at the time, being born in 1846. He played as an amateur, having attended Rubgy School where he was in the first eleven for two seasons.
Verelt’s first-class debut was for Gentlemenm of the North in a match at Islington in 1867 and made a promising start for Yorkshire when he scored 33 not out against Surrey at Bramall Lane, Sheffield in the following season. Unfortunately, that remained his highest innings for the county and he appeared in only two further games – one in each of 1868 and 1869.
Verslst appeared in eight first-class matches other than for Yorkshire, the last being in 1878, including three for MCC and two for the Gentlemen. Although he played for Yorkshire only as a middle-order batsman, he often kept wicket for other sides and was with Firbeck Hall for several seasons. A migistrate in Rotherham for 48 years, he lived in Aston Hall, Aston-cum-Aughton, for over 25 years, dying there in 1918.
Making his debut 19 days later was John West. In cotrast with Verelst, he went on to gain a regular place in the Yorkshire team but for just three seasons. Born in Little Sheffield in 1844, he was a useful left-arm round-arm medium-fast bowler who took three five-fors for the county, the best being an amazing five for three in 11.3 overs against Surrey at Bramall Lane in 1870. His best in all first-class cricket was seven for 42 for MCC against Hamsphire at Southampton ten years later.
West’s best season for Yorkshire was in 1872 but, even then, he took only 13 wickets and his final game came four years later. Away from the county game he was on the MCC groundstaff at Lord’s for 20 years and played in 13 games for MCC, his final appearance being in 1883. In all first-class cricket he took 75 wickets in 52 games including 53 in 38 for Yorkshire. From 1872 to 1889 he umpired in 65 first-class matches and these included the Old Trafford Test of 1886 against Australia but the number included only a few inter-county matches. Nevertheless he was rewarded with a benefit match at Lord’s in 1890 – South v North – but he was not to know that having sadly passed away, in Lttle Sheffield, in the January of the same year.
1868’s next Yorkshire debutant made his first appearance in the following month. Charles Ullathorne was one of the first county players to come from the East Rdiing: Hull to be precise, where he was born in 1845. A defensively-minded batsman, he scored only 283 runs in 27 games for the county at an average of a mere 7.44. That he kept making appearances over eight seasons, however irregular, was down to his outstanding fielding. Wonderful at cover-point and generally in the outfield, this part of his game must have been influential in his being chosen to play in four games for teams representing the north of England.
Ullathorne was a founder-player of Hull Town, also played for Hornsea and played professionally in Geneva for two seasons. On his return to England he took up a post at Eccles, Lancashure as the club’s first groundsman and coach. His first act was to lay the turf! He died in Cheetham Hill, Manchester in 1904.
Also making his debut in the August of 1868 but not until the final game of the season, was Ephraim Lockwood. It was worth the wait, however, as he burst onto the scene with an innings of 91 against Surrey at The Oval sharing a first-wicket stand of 176 with John Thewlis, his uncle. Born in Lascelles Hall, Huddersfield, a village which produced several Yorkshire players in the 19th century, he played for the local club then Meltham Mills and Kirheaton before acting as professional for Cheetham Hill, Manchester at the time of his first-class debut.
Lockwood quickly established himself in the Yorkshire side and in 1872 became the first batsman in the Club’s short history to score over 500 runs in a season. Although he played all round the wicket, his cut shot was particularly effective and from 1874 he scored over 900 runs in each of nine out of the next ten seasons. Four times he passed the 1,000-run mark, his best being 1,261 in 1876. The highest of his eight centuries was a knock of 208 against Kent at Gravesend in 1883 – his penultimate season.
Given the county captaincy in 1876, Lockwood’s teams lost more matches than they won and he lasted only two seasons in the post. He remained, though, one of the best batsmen in the country and played in over ten games for various ‘England’ teams as well as representing each of the North and the Players on over 30 occasions. His total of 328 first-class matches produced 12,512 runs, including eight centuries. Six of these were for Yorkshire for whom he scored 7,758 runsn in 213 matches.
Only rarely moving far from his roots (he went to North America in 1879 on a non-first-class tour), Lockwood ran a sports outiftters in Huddersfield for about ten years and died in Tandem, near Lascelles Hall in 1921.
Main source: A Who’s Who of Yorkshire CCC by Tony Woodhouse (pub 1992)