In Nottingham’s great Victorian park, The Arboretum, there stands a statue to the Chartist MP and land reform campaigner, Feargus O’Connor, erected in 1856 ‘by his admirers’. It is reasonable conjecture that those ‘admirers’ included the parents of Alfred Anthony, since his middle names were ‘Feargus O’Connor’.
Whilst O’Connor made his name as a political radical – he was elected MP for Nottingham in 1849 – his namesake was a part-time professional cricketer who made four appearances for his home county.
Born in Arnold on 22 May 1843, Alfred Anthony was principally a wicket-keeper but also bowled slow under-arm and medium pace round-arm. Three of his four games for Nottinghamshire were for the XXII Colts between 1862 and 1869 and the fourth, not First-Class, was against that same team in 1876. He appeared in no other First-Class matches and his only known professional engagements were with Mapperley, Bury and Clydesdale.
He played his club cricket with Arnold and Bestwood Park; his most notable cricket performance was against Bestwood when, appearing for an XI of Nottinghamshire he took 11-28. His First-Class record was modest – a highest score of 11, with two catches and two stumpings; despite his record in club cricket, he was not called upon to bowl in the First-Class game.
Alfred Feargus O’Connor Anthony died at Park Hill, Sheffield on 10 June 1900; his two nephews, George and Henry Anthony, each played for Nottinghamshire.
There is no statue to Alfred, in the Arboretum or elsewhere.