William Henry Lockwood (1868 - 1932)

 

Picture is a cigarette card, believed to be from the "Cricketers" set published in 1896 or 1898 by W. D. & H. O. Wills Ltd.

William Henry Lockwood was born on 25th March 1868 at Old Radford, Nottinghamshire and died on April 26th 1932 at Old Radford, Nottinghamshire. He was Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1899. The following biography has been reproduced from the website at http://www.cricket.org

A difficult, troubled and awkward character, Bill Lockwood struggled with his demons throughout his career, but at his best was a magnificent fast medium bowler. Unable to gain a place for his native Nottinghamshire, he moved to Surrey, where he learnt much from George Lohmann. By the early 1890s he was one of the finest bowlers in England, bowling at a brisk fast medium, with a high action and pronounced body swing, and clever variation of pace. His speciality was the break-back, often pitching outside off but pounding into the batsman's thigh or passing over leg stump. He also generated speed off the pitch (or appeared to do so), and had a slower ball "of almost sinful deceit". A good bat, with 15 first class hundreds, he tended to ignore his batting in favour of bowling, but did enough to be classed as a genuine all rounder, averaging 21.9 in first-class cricket. Albert Knight, his contemporary, wrote of him "Lockwood would break back and nip a piece of one's thigh away, looking at one the while and wondering why the blind gods should waste such a delivery on mere flesh".

His career started a downslide with a disastrous tour of Australia in 1894-95, where he performed poorly on the field, and was accident prone off it, injuring a shoulder, nearly drowning, and severely cutting a hand when a soda syphon exploded. His miseries were compounded on his return when in a short period both his wife and one of his children died, and he turned to drink. His form suffered badly, and by 1897 he was out of the Surrey side. Surrey persuaded him to pledge temperance and he made a remarkable recovery, taking 134 wickets in1898, and returning to the Test team, playing until the amazing 5th Test in 1902, where, amongst the legendary exploits of Jessop. Hirst, and Rhodes his 5 second innings wickets are nearly forgotten. He had a brief re-acquaintance with his drinking problems in 1901, when again he lost form after his action was questioned, and his benefit was completely rained out. Careful handling by Surrey took him through to his retirement in 1904. He returned to his native Nottinghamshire, and was a common sight at Trent Bridge in his retirement. (DL and JG, 2000).

Career Statistics

Test Debut: England v Australia at Lord's, 1st Test, 1893

Last Test: England v Australia at The Oval, 5th Test, 1902

TESTS - Batting and Fielding 

Matches 12, Innings 16, Not out 3, Runs 231, Highest Score 52 (May 1902 v Australia), Average Runs 17.76, One Hundred runs 0, Fifty runs 1, Caught 4, Stumped 0

TESTS - Bowling

Balls 1973, Runs 883, Average 20.55, Maidens 100, Wickets 43, Best Bowling 7-71 (August 1899 v Australia), Five wickets 5, Ten wickets 1, Score Rate 45.8

FIRST CLASS - Batting and Fielding (1886 - 1904)

Matches 362, Innings 531, Not out 45, Runs 10673, Highest Score 165, Average Runs 21.96, One Hundred runs 15, Fifty runs 48, Caught 140, Stumped 0

FIRST CLASS - Bowling (1886 - 1904)

Balls 52140, Runs 25246, Average 18.34, Maidens 100, Wickets 1376, Best Bowling 9-59, Five wickets 121, Ten wickets 29, Score Rate 37.8

Highlights

In 1892 he took 11 wickets for 40 against Kent at the Oval

In 1898 he took 134 wickets and scored over 100 runs

In 1900 he scored 1367 runs in one season

In 1902 played for England against Australia in 4 of the 5 test matches