William Bates played for his native Yorkshire, between 1907 and 1913 before joining Briton Ferry Steel C.C. in 1914 and qualifying for Glamorgan. Bates duly won a regular place in their team and became a most reliable opening batsman. In 1923 he scored a thousand runs for the season, without scoring a century, whilst in 1927 he became the first Glamorgan batsman to record a century in each innings, with 105 and 111 against Essex.
1927 was Bates` most productive season, as he scored 200 against Worcestershire at Kidderminster, as well as centuries against Nottinghamshire and the two at Leyton, to finish the summer with 1645 runs to his name. He also passed the 1500 run mark in 1928, and began a most prolific partnership with fellow Tyke, Arnold Dyson. The pair took great delight in sharing a stand of 233 for the first wicket against Yorkshire at Sheffield in 1930.
Bates was also a useful left-arm spinner, taking 8/93 against Essex in 1928, and was a most reliable fielder close to the wicket. However, Glamorgan had to dispense with his useful services in 1931, as financial problems caused them to prune their professional staff. Bates subsequently played for Cheshire in the Minor County Championship, before becoming a groundsman and coach in Northern Ireland. In his youth, Bates had been a useful footballer, playing for Bolton and Leeds United, and his son Ted Bates both played for, and managed, Southampton.
(Article: Copyright © 2000 Dr.A.K.Hignell)