Born in Lenton on 7 December 1872, William Walker Henson was a right-hand batsman and right-arm fast-medium bowler.  He represented the XXII Colts v Notts in 1897 and though he achieved little, he was selected to oppose the Yorkshire Colts and took two wickets. His First-Class debut occurred in July 1897 for Notts v Yorkshire at Dewsbury, taking two wickets, and the following week he played versus Gloucestershire at Trent Bridge. During 1898 Henson joined the Notts staff and achieved his only noteworthy feat for Notts, having figures of 6-10 and 3-11 in a two-day innings victory over Staffordshire in a friendly at Stoke. In 11 First-Class matches for Notts in 1898, Henson took 19 wickets @34.89, including a career best 4-82 v Gloucestershire at Trent Bridge. His final First-Class match was v Yorkshire at Trent Bridge in August of that season. In 1899, he remained on the staff but only represented Notts v XXII Colts; shortly after the game he was assaulted whilst leaving the Pavilion and had two teeth knocked out. He also played for Notts Castle CC in 1899.

His complete First-Class record for Notts in 13 matches was 110 runs @10.00 and 24 wickets @34.79. His career best with the bat was 35no v Surrey at the Oval in 1898, adding an unbroken 59 for the last wicket with William Gunn (236 not out) as Notts drew the contest after being made to follow-on.

After leaving Trent Bridge, Henson was engaged by Clydesdale CC for a number of years, taking 100 wickets for them in 1902. In 1901 he represented the West of Scotland v the South Africans, taking five wickets in the match. He gained a Scottish Cap when playing versus the South Africans in a three-day friendly at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh in July 1904. He also played club cricket in Scotland for Dunfermline and Gala.

For the latter he made a favourable impact in 1900, though a report on that year says "In the opinion of some critics, his fastest ball did not conform to the rule that states 'the ball must not be thrown or jerked' and his delivery was challenged on one or two occasions".  No other reports of his action being queried have come to light.  Henson had a remarkable year for Gala, taking 94 wickets at 3.8 - a feat put into perspective by the next best figures of 15 wickets at 6.6.

After retiring from cricket, he became a Motor Works Fitter and died in Dumfries on 7 September 1922, aged 49 years.

July 2020

Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 251

See William Henson's career stats here