Born on 5 February 1868 in Arnold, John Sandford Robinson was known during his lifetime as “Sandford Robinson” as his father was called “John Robinson”. His father founded the successful Home Brewery in Daybrook, Arnold in 1875 and later acquired Worksop Manor and was knighted in 1905. A road in Arnold, “Sir John Robinson Way”, commemorates his contribution to the local area.

Sandford Robinson was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge. At Harrow he did not appear in the major matches, though he did appear in a 12-a-side match versus the MCC in 1886. Although he was selected in the Cambridge Freshmen’s match of 1887 and the Seniors’ match of 1888, he only played in one First-Class game for the University v Gentlemen of England at Fenner’s on 17 and 18 May 1888, making 7 and 1. A very stylish right-hand batsman and useful wicket-keeper, he made his First-Class debut for Notts v MCC at Lord’s in July 1888. He played single games in 1889 and 1890 against Cambridge University; playing for an opposing team was a frequent ploy used by Cambridge when they wanted to try a cricketer out, but in Robinson’s case it led to no further appearances for the Light Blues. He graduated from Cambridge with a BA in 1890.  

In 1891 he represented Notts on six occasions and in 1892 he appeared 12 times. He made his highest score of 72 for Notts v Middlesex at Lord’s in 1892, adding 161 for the fifth wicket with Arthur Shrewsbury. He also captained the side in this match in the absence of John Dixon, a feat he repeated twice more in 1892. A month later, he made his only other First-Class half-century when scoring 71 v Yorkshire at Trent Bridge. In 1893, Robinson was not seen in the County side, but in 1894 he played 12 times. A year later, however, his career on the cricket field was almost finished and the Nottingham Daily Express on 6 July 1895, commented: “J S Robinson, who got a pair for Notts v Surrey at Trent Bridge, was really in no condition to play as he had rheumatic gout and his hands were badly affected.” He played one more game for Notts v Cambridge University at Trent Bridge in June 1896. In 35 First-Class games for Notts he scored 596 runs @12.68 with 30 catches and 1 stumping.

He played occasionally for MCC in First-Class matches. In 1892-93, Robinson toured India and Ceylon with Lord Hawke’s team and in 1894 went to the USA, again with Lord Hawke. His complete record in First-Class cricket in 48 games was 751 runs @11.04 with 41 catches and 3 stumpings. He bowled 0-3.

He resided at Worksop Manor and died there on 21 April 1898, aged 30 years. The direct cause of his death was a fall from his horse two weeks before, but he had been in poor health for some time. A stained glass window was installed in his memory in St Mary’s Church in Arnold; he was also remembered with the building of two sets of Almhouses, one next to St Paul’s Church in Daybrook and another at the corner of Percival and Mansfield Road in Sherwood. Robinson never had a career or profession. He was a captain in the Robin Hood Rifles, a volunteer army unit raised in Notts, and a special train was laid on from Nottingham to Daybrook to convey the Rifles’ Regimental Band and Officers and Men to his funeral, which was attended by 6,000 people.

Sandford Robinson also played football for Worksop Town. He played club cricket for Notts Amateurs and for Skegness and Visitors.

June 2020

Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 204

See Sandford Robinson's career stats here