The youngest of the three sporting Cursham brothers, Harry made fewer First-Class cricketing appearances than Arthur but had an even more notable football career, setting one record that still stands almost 130 years after he stopped playing.

Born on 27 November 1859 and christened Henry Alfred, Harry Cursham must have one of the longest gaps in his county cricket career of any player, from any era.  He made his First-Class debut v Surrey at Trent Bridge in 1880, scoring 4 and taking one catch and made his second appearance 24 years later against the touring South Africans, also at Trent Bridge in August 1904 when he scored 12 and 25no and bowled three wicketless overs.  He was captain for that match.

He played most of his cricket for Nottingham Amateurs and it was whilst keeping wicket for them against T A Hayward’s XI in 1899 that he was struck in the eye by a bail and seriously injured.

By that time he had finished his football career. Harry Cursham played mainly for Notts County, with brief spells with Corinthians, Grantham Town and Thursday Wanderers, appearing as a left back in some games but more usually as a centre forward.  That was an era of high scoring matches and he featured – and scored – in an 11-1 victory over Wednesbury Strollers in the FA Cup in 1881 and in the Notts County’s record 15-0 win over Basford Rovers in the 1886 tournament.  Such was his scoring prowess that his tally of 49 goals in 44 matches still stands as the all-time FA Cup record, and has remained unchallenged since 1887!

Cursham was selected for the England national football team in 1880, making his international debut in a 3-2 victory over Wales. His first international goal came in his second match, a 13-0 win against Ireland in the 1881-82 season. He scored again in a 5-3 home loss to Wales, and a hat trick against Ireland on 23 February 1884; the latter was his final game for the national side. He finished his international career with eight caps and five goals.

Harry Cursham was an insurance broker by trade; he died on 6 August 1941 at Holme Pierrepont.  His son, Curzon Cursham continued the family sporting tradition and played cricket for a number of teams, including Notts Second XI, Buckingham Town and Notts Amateurs.

 

May 2020