Harold Butler Daft was yet another member of the great sporting family to achieve success on more than one field of play.  Though he played some 200 First-Class cricket matches, and was an England trialist at Lacrosse, his real fame came on the football pitch.

He played for Notts County, with a brief four-match interlude at rivals Nottingham Forest, in 1885, left for a couple of years and was back at the club for the start of the Football League in 1888.  Harry Daft was a forward with a good goal-scoring record though he did not score in Notts County’s FA Cup final win over Bolton Wanderers in 1891, nor in the defeat to Blackburn Rovers in 1894.  He was capped five times by England, captaining the side in his last appearance against Ireland in 1892.

Son of Richard Daft, who also played for Notts County and for Nottinghamshire, Harry made his First-Class cricket debut in 1885 against the MCC at Lords and his final match – with 190 in between – against Lancashire at Trent Bridge in 1899. Not as accomplished a batsman as his father, Harry’s top score was 92no against Kent but he was a solid defensive player whose resolution was of great value to the rather weakened Nottinghamshire XI of the 1890s.

He scored 4,221 runs at an average of just 16.11, passed fifty 16 times, with one century, 103no in a non-First-Class match against Northants in 1897; his slow bowling brought him 86 wickets in his First-Class career, at a cost of 23.51.

Harry Daft was born in Radcliffe-on-Trent on 5 April 1866 and died at High Cross in Hertfordshire on 12 January 1945.

His brother, Richard Parr Daft and uncle Charles Daft also played cricket for Nottingham; Harry got his middle name from his grandfather and Richard senior's father-in-law, Butler Parr (no relation to another great cricketing family) who played in 23 First-Class matches.


May 2020

Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 185

See Harry Daft's career stats here