Born on 28 August 1847 in Eastwood, Frederick Wyld (sometimes presented as Wild, but the former spelling is correct based on his birth, marriage and death certificates) played initially for a great local patron of the game, Squire Walker of Eastwood Hall. Wyld appeared for the XXII Colts v Notts in April 1868, and two useful innings in this trial enabled him to make his First-Class debut for Notts against Surrey at the Oval on 13, 14 and 15 July 1868 scoring 10 and 0. A fast scoring right-hand batsman, who could hit all round the wicket, being particularly noted for his cuts and drives, Wyld gained a regular place in the Notts team of 1869 and retained this, except for an injury in 1876, until 1880.

Most noteworthy of all his innings for Notts was the century (104) he claimed off Gloucestershire at Trent Bridge in 1872. This innings lasted three hours and contained a 6 and fourteen 4s. Not only was it Wyld’s highest score for the County, but it had historical significance as the first century ever made by a Notts player in First-Class cricket on his home ground. Wyld received £13 from a collection on the ground to mark this milestone. In 1872, Wyld hit 321 runs @32.10 in seven First-Class matches for Notts, his best season with the bat. Wyld hit a further seven half-centuries for Notts, the highest being 93 against Derbyshire at Derby in 1875.

At the start of his career, Wyld was a batsman, who could also bowl fast round-arm and a good field at cover point or long leg. Occasionally, in Sam Biddulph's absence, he kept wicket. When, however, Biddulph died suddenly in 1876, Wyld was given the permanent post of wicketkeeper and retained this position until 1880. The move and the subsequent damage to Wyld’s hands had an adverse effect on his batting and from opening the Notts innings, he dropped down the order to number 8 or 9. With the vision of hindsight it is difficult not to criticise the committee for persevering with Wyld in the role of keeper, when it was obvious that his batting ability was being ruined and that he was only a modest success behind the stumps. The Cricket Field noted: "Had his skill as a wicketkeeper been commensurate with his pluck, he would doubtless have taken high honours. It should also be borne in mind that Sherwin made his debut for Notts in 1876, but was held in reserve until Wyld was completely played out.”

Wyld’s county career virtually ceased in 1880, but during the strike of 1881 he was recalled and batted consistently well in eight matches – Sherwin occupying the stumps. Wyld’s last match for Notts was versus Lancashire at Trent Bridge on 11, 12 and 13 August 1881. In 109 First-Class matches for Notts he scored 2,726 runs @16.62 with 107 catches and 25 stumpings. He took 7 wickets @13.28, with best bowling figures of 4-33 versus Gloucestershire at Trent Bridge in 1871, WG Grace amongst his victims.

At the Oval in 1877, Wyld scored 51 for Players v Gentleman, he made a further two appearances in that series of matches in 1873 and 1877, both at Lord’s. He played 15 times for the North and also appeared for the All England Eleven. Outside of county matches he made 34 First-Class appearances for the MCC; whom he was representing when he scored the second of his two First-Class hundreds, 104no versus Cambridge University at Lord’s in 1877. Wyld’s last First-Class match was for the MCC versus Cambridge University at Fenner’s in May 1885. In 180 First-Class matches he scored 3,967 runs @14.32 with 185 catches and 53 stumpings. He took 8 wickets @13.62.

His list of professional engagements is as follows: Newark (1867-68), Burnley (1869), Accrington (1869-70), All England Eleven and Cambridge University (1871-74), MCC (1875-87), Werneth and Oldham (1878), Broughton (1880), Werneth (1880), Cambridge University (1888) and Exeter College, Oxford. Originally he was a collier in Eastwood but then he became the landlord at the Black Bull Inn, Chapel Bar, Nottingham. A match for his benefit was played between Notts and Lancashire at Trent Bridge in June 1890. Wyld acted as umpire in 45 First-Class matches between 1873 and 1890.

Fred Wyld died on 11 February 1893 at Chapel Bar, Nottingham of consumption and dropsy aged 45 years. His son, Frederick appeared in the Notts Colts match in 1899 and his nephew John Atkinson (1878-1951)  represented Notts in seven First-Class games between 1899 and 1901.

July 2020

Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 119

See Fred Wyld's career stats here