Thomas Barker, born in Carlton in November 1798, was a talented all-rounder.
His bowling was extremely fast. ‘So violent was it, that he sometimes ran up to the crease and propelled his instrument of attack as though his head would follow the ball’ commented Denison.
He made his Nottinghamshire debut in 1821 and in 1834 was the first Nottingham professional to appear in the Gentlemen v Players match series. His last match for Notts was in 1845, but in 1843 he fell out of a cab crossing London and the injuries received virtually ended his career.
Famous among fellow cricketers for his joviality, good fellowship and also his ‘whisper’. The best known story occurred when Barker arrived at Lord’s and Dark, the owner at the time, stood in the ground expecting him.
Barker was surprised of Dark’s prior knowledge, but the latter dryly remarked that he had heard Barker the moment he alighted from the train at St Pancras. Barker was engaged at Lord’s, mainly as an umpire and lived in London during the season, but returned to Nottingham each winter and continued his trade as a stockiner.
Barker died in Nottingham in March 1877.