Alfred Fewkes had a brief spell with Nottinghamshire and played in only one First-Class match – but his other games included one that has been commemorated and commented on many times since.

In August 1868, he was one of the Eleven players from the Nottingham Commercial Club – at that time Nottingham’s principal amateur club – to play a three-day match against the touring Australian Aboriginals.  A decade before the first official representative side from Australia, an all-white squad, visited the UK, a team of Aboriginal cricketers, who had learned the game while working on cattle stations in the North of Victoria, played 47 matches.  The Nottingham game was one of 19 drawn matches (they lost 14 and won 14), most of which were played against sides which, like Nottingham Commercial, if not county standard were certainly not far below First-Class level.  Indeed, in addition to Fewkes, three others in the Commercials side that day had previously played for the county and two more were to do so in subsequent seasons. 

In the game, Fewkes, a wicket keeper-batsman, was out first ball to the best Aboriginal bowler, Johnny Mullagh, in the first innings but scored 23 when the Commercials batted a second time; he also took one catch.  It is not recorded if Fewkes took any part in the post-match athletics events that included demonstrations of boomerang and spear throwing, running races and long and high jump contests.

In his only First-Class game, Alfred Fewkes played against Cambridgeshire at Lord’s, scoring 9 and 2 and taking one catch and two stumpings. He played for the Commercial Club in the 1860s and three times in the annual Nottingham fixture, Lace v Hosiery.  He also appeared for Harrogate, Arnold, Wirksworth and Radcliffe-on-Trent, though not as a regular member of any side.  He was a player and committee member for Mapperley Park CC between 1866-69. Fewkes travelled to Paris in 1864 as wicket keeper for Sir Robert Clifton’s visiting team.

He was born in Basford, Nottingham, on 31 August 1837 and worked for the family firm, lace manufacturers Fewkes & Sons. Alfred Fewkes, who was a Lieutenant in the Robin Hood Rifles and a player for the RH Rifles' cricket team (1872), died on 1 April 1912 in Sherwood Rise, Nottingham, though he is known to have lived mainly in Bulwell.


June 2020

Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 105

See Alfred Fewkes's career stats here