Walter Price’s cricketing career was chiefly associated with MCC. He joined the ground staff at Lord’s in 1868 and, apart from 1876 and 1877 when he was coach at Rugby, remained there until his death. Born in Ruddington on 9 October 1834, he resided in his native village for the whole of his life. He appeared in the first Notts Colts match (1861), but failed to score in either innings; he played again in 1863 and again failed to score. A third trial was accorded to him in the Colts match of September 1863 when he scored 5 not out and 4. His fourth game in April 1867 was more successful for he hit the highest score in the Colts first innings. His First-Class debut for Notts came in July 1869 v Kent at the Angel Ground, Tonbridge, when he scored 29; in the following match, versus Surrey at the Oval, he made his sole First-Class half-century (57) and 14no and hit hard and well. He played in a further three First-Class games for Notts, the last versus Yorkshire at Trent Bridge in June 1870. He scored 165 runs for Notts @23.57, he took no wickets for 26 runs.
Price played First-Class cricket intermittently over 15 seasons, his debut being for MCC v Oxford University at the Magdalen Ground at Oxford in May 1868 and his last game was MCC versus Somerset at Taunton in August 1882. His best season was in 1869 when in 12 First-Class games he made 364 runs @21.41. In 1870 he represented the Players versus Gentlemen, at both The Oval and Lord’s; in neither match, however, were the Players at full strength. Also in 1870 he had the curious experience of playing for England v XVI of Nottinghamshire at Eastwood and played for the Right-handed versus the Left-handed in a First-Class fixture at Lord’s.
In 33 First-Class matches he scored 625 runs @12.25 and took 15 wickets @20.06, taking 5-66 for the MCC v Gloucestershire at Lord’s in 1870.
Walter Price was a right-handed batsman and a fast right-hand round-arm bowler. His engagements prior to going to Lord’s were: 1865 – Fenner’s and Exmouth, 1866 – Exmouth and Eton, 1867 – Fenner’s and Winchester College. He also appeared for the All England XI (1866-1875), United England Eleven (1867) and Devon (1867).
On 30 May 1887 a match, North v South at Lord’s, was played for his benefit. Unfortunately, not only were the two sides exceedingly poor but the match was completed in a single afternoon. He umpired in 72 first-class matches between 1865 and 1893, mostly at Lord’s. A framework knitter in his native village, he died there aged 59 years on 4 September 1894.
He was from a cricketing family, four of his sons playing cricket. Alfred (1862-1942) played three First-Class games for Notts in 1887, plus four other First-Class games in 1884 and 1885; Frederick (1857-1927) played one First-Class game for the North in 1887 and appeared for Staffordshire between 1882-1885 and the MCC between 1885-1887; William (born 1859) played two First-Class games for Liverpool and District in 1889 and Walter jnr played for Notts Colts in 1882 and 1883.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 124