Born in Newstead Colliery on 4 February 1899, Arthur Staples was a right-hand batsman, whose best strokes were on-drives and pulls, and a useful right-arm medium-pace bowler. He joined the staff at Trent Bridge in 1923 and made his First-Class debut for Notts v Worcester at Worcester in August 1924, also appearing in the next match v Glamorgan - the last of season. His elder brother Sam was already a regular in the first eleven. His elevation was due to some good all-round performances for the 2nd XI, which he also represented in all Minor Counties games of 1925; despite a fine season the Minor Counties Championship, Arthur Staples was limited to two first-team appearances.
He was given an extended run in the first team in 1926 but hit only one fifty in 30 innings. 1927 proved very similar and he did little apart from taking 5-25 versus Sussex at Hastings. After being previously considered as a stop-gap player, in 1928 Staples gained a regular place in the county side, making 94 in the Whitsun game with Surrey at Trent Bridge. His bowling improved by leaps and bounds in the championship winning year of 1929 and for Notts he took 80 wickets @21.92, against 37 @39.13 in 1928. He achieved 1,000 runs for the first time too - a feat he would repeat six times - and was regarded as the county’s best all-rounder. Selected for the Players v Gentleman at the Oval in an emergency, he hit 86 and 18 and captured two wickets.
He was very much the utility man of the side in 1930, still batting at 6 or 7 and coming on as second change bowler, scoring 885 runs and taking 63 wickets. In 1931, Notts took the dramatic step of promoting him to open the innings and he made his maiden century, scoring 113 at Taunton. He was then dropped down the order as it was decided to bring back veteran George Gunn. Staples was to hit 12 centuries for Notts, the highest 153* v Cambridge University at Fenner’s in 1936.
He began 1932 in very good form – in the first game he hit unbeaten innings of 100 and 51 versus Sussex at Trent Bridge and in the first dozen games scarcely failed with the bat. It was his most productive year with the bat, scoring 1,531 @38.27 in all games. A.M.Crawley writing in the Sunday Dispatch noted: “What about Arthur Staples for Australia? He is a really good all-round player who might easily take his place as our stock bowler if he got the pace of the wickets there. He is far stronger than his brother Sam and never seems to tire.” Arthur Staples was selected for the Test Trial at Cardiff, but unfortunately the game was all but washed out. It was nearest he got to international cricket.
He kept his form in 1933 and after falling off in the following summer, came back as good as ever in 1935. He did little in 1936 and his major contribution in 1937 was to help Joe Hardstaff junior (243) to add 247 for the fifth wicket versus Middlesex at Trent Bridge and create a new county record. He received £1,212 from his benefit match versus Yorkshire at Trent Bridge.
Losing his place in the county side in 1938 (he had been suffering from sciatica), he left the Notts staff at the end of that season. His final First-Class game was versus Worcester at Trent Bridge on 24, 25 and 26 August 1938. In 353 first-class matches for Notts he scored 12,456 runs @27.80 and took 632 wickets @29.62 and took five wickets in an innings 14 times. His best innings figures were 7-20 versus Derbyshire at Trent Bridge in 1933, where he had match figures of 11-39, the only occasion where he took 10 wickets in the match. He also took 218 catches for Notts.
In the match versus Northants at Kettering in 1932, Staples made nine runs off a single stroke off Nobby Clarke, the batsman running five, followed by a return which resulted in four overthrows.
In 1939 he re-appeared in local club cricket for Cinderhill Colliery. From 1938 to 1957 he was mine host of the Shoulder of Mutton in Basford. He died aged 66 on 9 September 1965 in Redhill, Nottingham. He was also a well-known footballer, keeping goal for Mansfield Town in 13 league games.
Arthur Staples died at Redhill, Nottingham, on 9 September, 1965.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 331