Born in Bulwell on 10 July 1848, John Tye was a very fast right-arm bowler of the 'bumping order' and a free hitting right-handed batsman who fielded well at short slip. His name first occurred for XXII of Bulwell versus Richard Daft’s XI at Bulwell Hall in October 1870 but for some seasons following this he was rarely seen in local matches in the county. Between 1872 and 1874 he played for Chesterfield CC. He made his First-Class debut for Derbyshire v Lancashire at Old Trafford in June 1874, but was scarcely called upon to bowl, and played in a further two First-Class games for them that season. In 1875 his only First-Class match was for Derbyshire v United North of England XI at Saltergate in Chesterfield.
In 1876 he was engaged by Nottingham Commercial CC and made his debut for his native County v Middlesex at Prince's Cricket Ground, Chelsea, in July 1876. His form with the ball was at once promising and in the second innings he took 5-41. In the next Notts match against Lancashire at Old Trafford, Tye had match figures of 9-101 and he then held a place in the side for the remainder of the matches in the season, obtaining 28 wickets @20.75. He played in six Notts First-Class matches in 1877 but, apart from 4-28 in one innings v Middlesex (Lord’s), he achieved little. In 1878 he appeared in one First-Class fixture. After two year's absence he was recalled during the 1881 strike and played in the home and away games with Gloucestershire, the later in August at Clifton College being his final First-Class game. In 17 First-Class matches for Notts he scored 175 runs @8.75 and took 42 wickets @22.40. He played 24 games in all First-Class cricket scoring 226 runs @7.53 and taking 45 wickets @24.48.
He represented North v South at Prince's in 1877. After leaving Nottingham Commercial, Tye was engaged by following sides: Yeadon (1877-80), Rochdale (1878-79), Skipton (1879), Leeds (1879), Keighley (1880), Bradford (1880), Low Moor (1882) and Cleveland and District (1883).
In 1880 he played no less than four games against the visiting Australians, one, in May, for Keighley, two for Bradford and one for Yeadon, these being consecutive games in August. In four of the seven completed innings, he was the highest scorer, his best being 22 for Bradford, and three times was clean bowled by the great Spofforth. Tye took 13 wickets across those games, including once getting his revenge on Spofforth, with a best return of 6-41, also for Bradford.
In 1891 he umpired the First-Class fixture between Louis Hall's Yorkshire XI and Mordecai Sherwin’s Notts XI at Park Avenue, Bradford.
He was originally a blacksmith by trade residing in Bulwell but moved to Brighouse and became a publican. He played for the local club and created many records. In that busy year of 1880, he became the first Brighouse bowler to take 100 wickets in a season and repeated the feat twice more; he also scored two centuries for the club. In 1881 he recorded perhaps his greatest achievement, taking all 10 wickets in an innings against Lockwood.
Tye remained with Brighouse, playing as both a professional and an amateur, until his retirement in 1897. The Brighouse authorities marked this occasion with the following tribute: ‘This year John Tye retired from the cricket field he had adorned with his presence since 1880. During the 18 seasons he performed feats both with bat and ball….in all he scored over 5,000 runs and secured 823 wickets, 627 of which were clean bowled, which shows very plainly how accurately he bowled for a square arm delivery fast bowler.’
John Tye died in Rastrick on 19 November 1905, aged 57 years.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 148