The Cursham brothers – Arthur, Henry and Francis – were all sportsmen in late Victorian Nottingham; Francis, the eldest, played cricket for local clubs and in two representative matches but never at the highest level. Arthur and Henry each played for Nottinghamshire at cricket but were both better known for their football exploits.

Arthur, born in Wilford on 14 March 1853, played football for Notts County between 1876 and 1883, including in the FA Cup semi-final of 1882-3, and made his England footballing debut in March 1876 in a 3–0 home defeat to Scotland. A photograph of this team, believed to be the first of an English team, may have been taken by Cursham as he is not in the team line-up. He made six international footballing appearances in total, four against Scotland and two v Wales.

He made his First-Class cricket debut for Notts v Yorkshire in August 1876 and played a further dozen times, his last appearance being in another August fixture, at home to Middlesex.  He batted right-handed and bowled slow round-arm, this latter only used in two matches for just a single wicket.  His Nottinghamshire batting contained only one innings of note, 67 v Middlesex in 1877, during which he and John Selby added 105 for the third wicket; in total he made 235 runs at just 10.68 and that lone half-century.

Arthur was a resident of Ripley and in 1879 switched cricket allegiance to Derbyshire, making a further nine First-Class appearances without significantly altering his batting record.

Formerly a mines manager, he emigrated to Florida in 1884 and died there on Christmas Eve a year later of yellow fever.

 

May 2020