- Born 13 September 1858, Booterstown, Dublin
- Died 24 May 1917, Dublin
- Educated Portora Royal School, Dublin University
- Occupation Church of Ireland Clergyman
- Debut 27 August 1883 v I Zingari at Phoenix Park
- Cap Number 183
- Style Right-hand bat; wicket keeper.
- Teams Dublin University
John Lombard, the son of a similarly named clergyman, was at Portora, on the shores of Lough Erne, where the game had now developed after a rather shaky start. Among the older boys at the school, when young John entered it was a certain Oscar Wilde, three years his senior. Wilde considered that cricket had "indecent postures" and there is no record of him having played at Portora.
Lombard was already seen as a good wicket keeper when he entered Dublin University in 1877, though he did not become a regular in the First XI until 1880. He was then ever present until 1883, being captain in his penultimate year.
His reputation behind the stumps was high and it can have been no surprise when he was selected for the I Zingari match at the end of the summer of 1883. He might, in fact, have played earlier as Ireland had made a short tour of England earlier in the season. However the make up of that party had favoured some English based players, the Cambridge lawyer turned scientist JF Adair, himself a former Dublin University captain, kept wicket.
The IZ team of 1883 was one of the strongest to come to Ireland in the 27 match series. Led by the former Oxford captain and legendary Eton cricket master, RAH Mitchell, it included The Hon Arthur Lyttleton, the only British Cabinet Minister to have played Test Cricket, the brothers CT and GB Studd, both Test men, and both about to abandon cricket for missionary work, and AG Steel, who captained England in 1886 and was one of the best all rounders in the game. Unsurprisingly, they won by 8 wickets, Lombard having a somewhat mixed match.
In Ireland's first innings he went in at 9, perhaps rather high, but finished on 14*, managing not to fall to Charlie Studd, 8-110. His keeping, however left something to be desired. He allowed 12 byes and, though he eventually deprived Studd of a century by catching him for 86, when 'CT' skied a ball from CD Barry, he had already dropped him, a simple chance off Archie Penny. It was in Ireland's second innings that Lombard justified his place, or would have, had Duncan Fletcher been in charge of the Irish side! His poor keeping was put to one side as he surprised the crowd, and probably himself, by making an excellent 31 at 10. It was Ireland's second highest score and was ended when he was stumped by Lyttleton, going down the track to Steel who bowled leg and off breaks with equal facility at a slow medium pace, though he could operate in a faster style.
In 1884, IZ won again, this time by 10 wickets which was a shock to a strong Irish side. Lambert again allowed 12 byes but could not repeat his batting success of the previous year. He bagged a pair, being bowled by Old Harrovian stockbroker Clement Cottrell in the first innings and falling lbw to slow left armer Henry Bruen, who, as a leading Carlow player might well have been in the Irish side, in the second.
Lombard never played for Ireland again, indeed he did not play much more serious cricket; though after his ordination, he did score a hundred for the University Long Vacation XI.
Edward Liddle, November 2007