John Bickley made his Nottinghamshire debut v England in 1847 and appeared in 14 Notts matches, the last being in 1860. In 1856, playing for England against a combined Kent and Sussex he had the remarkable second innings figures of 8-7 (he took 12 in the match)!  In 38 First-Class matches he took 141 wickets at the very impressive average of 11.70 with four ten-wicket games, including that rout of Kent and Sussex.

His last recorded involvement in cricket was as Umpire in the Gentlement of the North v Gentlemen of the South fixture in Augudt 1962, staged at his home ground of Trent Bridge. The Rev William Bury, one of two Notts players in the North team (Augustus Bateman was the other) scored 121 in the second innings.

Although he was born in Keyworth in 1819, John Bickley seems to have moved to Nottingham as a young man, making his cricketing name with the Rancliffe Arms Club. An excellent fast round-arm bowler and sharp short-slip he played one season (1852) with Clarke’s England XI and from 1853 to 1858 was engaged by the Earl of Stamford at Enville Hall.

Having a local reputation as a good sprint-runner, he challenged the great George Moore of Leicester, but failed to beat him. In 1857 he became landlord of the Sawyer’s Arms, Lister Gate, Nottingham, dying there in November 1866 after being seriously ill for some two years.


November 2023

Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 68

See John Bickley's career stats here