Lancashire player number 1 - Blackstock, Richard
by Don Ambrose


Player:R Blackstock

Lancashire 1865
Born 13.7.1838 Oxton, Birkenhead, Cheshire.
Died 3.2.1893 Oxton, Birkenhead, Cheshire.

The member of a well known Merseyside family, he played regularly for Birkenhead Park in the late 1850s and the early 1860s, keeping wicket when W.P.Lockhart was not available.

On the 28th and 29th June 1858 he was a member of the Birkenhead Park team which defeated Ireland at Phoenix Park, Dublin, scoring 2 not out and 37. On 15th to 17th July 1858 he was at The Oval representing the Gentlemen of the North against the Gentlemen of the South, where he scored 7 not out and 0 and took one wicket for 11 runs.

In 1860 he played his only match for Cheshire against the Free Foresters at Warrington.

It was three years later before he played his next representative match, turning out for the North against Surrey at The Oval on 3rd to 5th August 1863, when he scored 47 and 27 and kept wicket successfully, taking a catch and making a stumping.

On 20th to 22nd August he played in the return fixture at Broughton, Manchester, scoring 7 and 43. He did not bowl or keep wicket in that match.

It is strange that in 1864 he did not play for either Lancashire or Birkenhead Park in either of their matches against each other at Warrington and Birkenhead, in the Lancashire County Cricket Club's first two matches. However, the following year he opened the batting for Lancashire in their match against Middlesex at Old Trafford on 20th to 22nd July, and thus became the player that faced the first first-class ball in the Club's long history. He scored 18, and 5 in the second innings batting at number nine.

On the 16th August 1865 He played for the Gentlemen of Lancashire against the Gentlemen of Yorkshire, at Broughton, Manchester, scoring 33.

On 14th and 16th June 1866 he played for Eighteen of the Manchester Club against the All England Eleven at Old Trafford, scoring 0 and 0. Later that year, on 16th to 18th August, he played for Eighteen of Birkenhead Park against the All England Eleven, scoring 1 and 1.Lillywhite's Companion, 1865, describes him as a good bat and field. Scores & Biographies says that he was 5ft.11ins., and weighed 12 stone, an excellent free hitter who bowled round-arm fast and fieled anywhere. At the time of that description he was living at Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire, and in business in Manchester.

By 1881 he was living at Park House, Fernilee, Derbyshire [but near Stockport], with his wife, Louisa, two sons and three daughters. He was then a builders merchant.


(Article: Copyright © 2004 Don Ambrose)

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