- Born 4 August 1891, Tamnamore, Moy, Dungannon, Co Tyrone
- Died 23 October 1950, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast
- Educated Armagh Royal School, Portora Royal School, Dublin University
- Occupation Cotton Broker and Rugby Broadcaster
- Debut 20 July 1911 v Scotland at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow
- Cap Number 337
- Style Right hand bat, right arm medium
Dickie Lloyd was a superb all round sportsman. As a cricketer, he was a free scoring front foot player, happiest when opening the innings. He was an effective medium pacer at School, though he mostly forgot his bowling afterwards. On one occasion, he kept wicket for Lancashire in a first class match. As a rugby footballer, he was the first, or one of the first, specialist fly halves, also a fair place kicker, and a drop goal expert: the last attribute important in an era when the drop was worth 4 points.
It is no wonder that his old School, Portora, rate him as one of their most famous former pupils, fit to stand beside fellow Dublin University cricketer, Sam Beckett, who had rather a different subsequent career, and Oscar Wilde, who thought the game's "postures were indecent." At Portora, Lloyd was four years in the XI. He played for the Ulster Schools XI, and in his last two years, for the School, totalled 1249 runs at 40.29. He was seen as "a fine bat with good scoring strokes all round the wicket, times the ball well and drives with power." His main game though was Rugby.
In his final season the XV won all their matches scoring 934 points against 34. Campbell College were beaten 76 - 0 in the Cup Semi Final and St Andrew's, Dublin 90 - 0. The Ulster Schools XV, predominantly Portora defeated Leinster 76 - 0: Lloyd's team also saw off adult sides, for example, NIFC and Lansdowne. Coached by their Headmaster, who had brought Lloyd with him from Armagh Royal, where he had been head, the team has been described by Irish Rugby historian Edmund van Esbeck as "the greatest school side in the history of the game."
Lloyd entered Dublin University in the autumn of 1909 and was quickly into the XI the following summer. He opened the innings throughout the next three seasons, scoring 10 centuries, as well as two in other matches. His opening partners varied. He was often accompanied by fellow halfback, HM Read, a batsman of even more violent inclinations. In 1911, they put on 323 against Co Kilkenny, before Dickie (160*) ran Read out. Later that season they posted 198 in 90 minutes against Cork County, Lloyd making 123.
Sometimes however, Read dropped down the order to 3 and PF Quinlan, a dour Western Australian batsman, who later represented his state in first class cricket, opened instead. Lloyd's highest score was 202 against the Dublin Garrison in College Park, his boundaries being thirty-six 4s and one 6. That season the University were undefeated in all their 17 matches. These performances brought him Irish selection in 1911 and 1912. In the former year, he played against Scotland. As Ireland rattled up 409-4 declared, he made 47, adding 130 for the third wicket with fellow debutant and future Stormont Speaker Harry Mulholland (149).
He also appeared for Ireland against South Africa at Woodbrook the following year. Ireland were routed in this contest, so his scores of 22 and 27, in the middle order, were far from disastrous. The latter was the highest of a total of 118: Dickie adding 43 for the 5th wicket with GJ Meldon. He did not spend a fourth summer in University, but featured, unsuccessfully for the Free Foresters v Cambridge.
Meanwhile, having dominated the Dublin Rugby scene, he and Read were picked at halfback for Ireland against England in the 1909 - 10 seasons. He was to play 19 times, including 2 post war matches. Read was with him for 11 games. They have been credited with being the inventors of modern half back play, the first to specialise with Read at scrum half and Lloyd outside. They were certainly among the first, though at this distance it is impossible to be exact. Lloyd was also a goal kicker, if not in O'Gara or Humphreys class, he was one of the best of his day, and a drop goal specialist. He scored 72 points for Ireland and was on the winning side eight times. He captained Ireland eleven times, continuing in charge for the first post war games against England and Scotland. After that season, he played no more for Ireland, but captained Liverpool and became a leading referee.
After the War, in which he reached the rank of captain in the Liverpool Scottish, he made a brief foray into the newly started Leinster Senior League, which showed how much he was going to be missed in Irish Cricket. He played 3 matches for Phoenix, passing 50 in three of his four innings. He blasted 158 v Railway Union in Phoenix Park in 85 minutes with seven 6s and twenty-one 4s: 79.74% of his runs in boundaries; he then took 5-24. His finale in Irish cricket was 69 v Civil Service. In all, he totalled 330 runs at 82.50 which brought him the Marchant Cup. He worked for his cousins, the Cunninghams, in their Liverpool cotton broking business Cunningham and Hinshaw. He appears to have been used for his name and not to have very onerous duties. He also, later, did some early rugby broadcasting for the BBC.
Returning to cricket, he played for Liverpool CC for several years and made three appearances for Lancashire in 1921/22. His first, at his home ground, was the most successful with scores of 51 and 32 against Gloucestershire in a match his county won by 3 wickets. However, in company with many others that year, including the Test team, he would probably have wished to forget his next match; a pair, both to Ted Macdonald, against the all-powerful Australian tourists. His last outing the following season was also unsuccessful, 17 and 0 v Cambridge.
RA Lloyd appeared in some matches for Denbighshire, the weakest side in the Minor Counties Championship in the late 1920s and early 30. It has been assumed by many, including the writer of this profile, that this was Dickie. He is so recorded on Cricket Archive. However some research, which this writer was unable to complete, suggests otherwise. This RA Lloyd was Secretary of the County Club.
He held a minor administrative post at Rydal School in Colwyn Bay, where he had no part in the coaching of cricket and rugby. He was, in the mid 1980s remembered as "a mild mannered little man with glasses who neither looked like a rugby player or sounded Irish." As many of his performances for Denbighshire were from low in the order and not very successful, it does not sound as though he was the same person. We would, of course, value any definite information on this matter. Whether or not he spent time in North Wales, Lloyd was in Belfast in 1950, when he died in the Royal Victoria Hospital. His obituary, which makes no mention of his spectacular batting at University, or of his having played for Ireland, is in Wisden 1952.
Edward Liddle, April 2007, updated July 2014