Born on 3 November 1861 in New Eastwood, John (Jack) Carlin served a very long apprenticeship before attaining a regular place in the County XI, for he made his First-Class debut for Notts versus Middlesex at Trent Bridge in August 1887 but did not play frequently for the First Eleven until 1900.
Selected as a Colt in 1886, he appeared again as captain of the Colts in 1887, again in 1889 and again as captain in 1890; furthermore, he represented Notts Colts v Yorkshire Colts in 1886 and 1887. He appeared for the Colts of North v Colts of South at Lord’s in 1887. Principally a wicket-keeper, Carlin was at first excluded from the Notts team by Mordecai Sherwin’s long career and when Sherwin finally retired in 1893 Carlin’s hopes received a set-back, since the wicket-keeper position was given to Arthur Pike. Illness cut short Pike’s career, but for a second time Carlin was passed over, on this occasion the position going to Tom Oates.
Finally given an opportunity in the last three matches of 1899, Carlin showed such useful form with the bat, scoring 68 v Derbyshire (Derby) and 43 v Middlesex (Trent Bridge), that in 1900 he won his place as wicket-keeper/batsman. At the close of 1901, however, he retired. His last game for Notts was against Lancashire at Old Trafford in August 1901, Carlin bowed out of First-Class cricket the following week representing MCC against Yorkshire at Scarborough. His highest First-Class score was 85 for Notts v Sussex at Hove in 1901; his best bowling figures of 3-25 were also obtained in this fixture. In all First-Class cricket, Carlin appeared in 76 matches scoring 1,578 runs @16.85 and had 140 dismissals, including 39 stumpings. He took five wickets @24.00. For Notts he appeared in 58 first-class matches scoring 1,343 runs @18.65 and taking four wickets @24.50. He made 81 catches and 30 stumpings.
He was originally a left-hand bat but having been informed that he would not obtain a place in the County XI with that style, he changed to right-handed. Engaged at Staffordshire High School in 1887, Carlin joined the MCC staff in 1888 and remained there until 1912.
Carlin umpired for the MCC, his first appearance in the white coat coming in 1894. From 1902 to 1921 he was on the umpires list and in total he officiated in 341 First-Class matches including four Test matches between 1905 and 1909; the 1905 England versus Australia match at Trent Bridge being his first. In 1931, a few weeks short of his 70th birthday, he came out of retirement for one last stand as an umpire, officiating in a 12-a-side match between Sir Julien Cahn’s XI (despite being 12 in the team) v the touring New Zealand side at Cahn’s ground in West Bridgford – John Gunn making 101no being the stand-out performance.
A sum of £200 from the Notts receipts of 1905 was set apart for the benefit of Carlin and Harry Daft and in 1912 Middlesex met Sussex at Lord’s for his benefit. In 1924 Carlin became Notts scorer and retired from that post in 1938. In 1936, after 50 years in cricket, he received an inscribed chiming Westminster Clock from Notts CCC in recognition of his valued service to the club. The Committee report for that year stated that Carlin had “proved himself a very good friend and a wise and fatherly counsellor to the members of the County side”.
A miner in his native Eastwood, Carlin died in Mansfield on 28 November 1944 aged 83 years.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 197