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Biography
Charles Joseph Henry O'Hara Moore
  • Born 20 November 1880 Moorsfort, Lattin, Co Tipperary
  • Died 25 April 1965 Moorsfort, Lattin, Co Tipperary
  • Educated Beaumont College, Berkshire
  • Occupation Irish Guards Officer, Royal Equerry, Manager Thoroughbred Stud of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II
  • Debut 31 July 1930 v MCC at The Mardyke
  • Cap Number381 5
  • Style Right-hand bat, slow right arm.
  • Teams Cork County.

Charles O'Hara Moore was a useful batsman, who holds two Irish records which seem unlikely to be taken from him. At 49 years and 254 days he is the oldest player to have made his debut for Ireland, unless some of the earliest cricketers whose details have not been discovered were older. This seems unlikely. Further Charles is the only Papal Count to have represented Ireland, and possibly any other country, at cricket. He hailed from a Tipperary landed family, his grandfather and father had both been the local Member of Parliament in the Conservative/Unionist interest. The latter had also been created a Count by the Pope. Charles learned his cricket at Beaumont College, a small Jesuit run public school near Windsor. Perhaps he was, even then, by proximity at least, establishing his royal connections.

Beaumont is no more but was a fine cricket school, providing the brothers PA and WW Meldon for Irish Cricket as well as GWF Kelly, though he was educated in at least two other school also.

Charles was never totally devoted to cricket, his only appearances in Ireland, of which scores have been seen - apart his one match for the national side - being for Cork County between 1928 and 1930. He made some useful scores in the twice yearly matches with Dublin University. In 1928, in College Park, the formidable combination of Tom Dixon and Pat Thornton bowled the County out for 165 with Charles top scoring with 32. Rain intervened on the second day to enable the visitors to force a draw. Another draw came at The Mardyke the following year when Charles, having been out for 7 in the first innings hit stylish 90*in the second to set up a run chase, which the University declined to pursue.

His one match for Ireland came against MCC at The Mardyke in the summer of 1930. The Irish selection was, to say the least somewhat bizarre, and must have owed much to the desire to attract local interest. Thus Sir George Colthurst, Captain/President of Cork County was invested with the captaincy, though he was probably not worth his place in the side. The team included four new caps, three of whom, including Charles were local players making their only appearance for Ireland. The fourth incidentally, was Harrow schoolboy Fred Covington, whose Irish qualifications were somewhat dubious.

He was to play only one more match, the second MCC game which immediately followed the Cork fixture. In the match itself, Ireland were outclassed, having to thank a downpour - which intervened when they stood at 4-2 in the follow on - for the fact that they escaped with a draw. Charles, at 8 in the first innings was caught for 10 off the bowling of RHJ Brooke who had opened MCC's batting but was also a useful medium pacer. Brooke gained an Oxford Blue in each of the next two seasons and later played for Buckinghamshire, but his work as Church of England clergyman restricted his appearances. The catcher was the young Nawab of Pataudi, later, of course, to play for England, captain India, and be the father of another Pataudi who also captained his country. In the second innings at The Mardyke, Charles came in at 3 and was on 0* when the providential storm burst over the ground.

As already mentioned cricket was far from Charles only interest. As an officer in the Irish Guards he had a distinguished war record in the great conflict of 1914 - 18. He was awarded the Military Cross and received two mentions in despatches, all these events occurring in 1917. He also found time during this memorable year, while recovering from wounds, to get married to Dorothie Fielding, second daughter of the Earl of Denbigh. Later he devoted his time to the racing scene and to the royal service.

Thus he became not only manager of King George VI's thoroughbred stud, continuing this role under Queen Elizabeth II, but was also Extra Equerry to both these monarchs. Quite how onerous his duties were may be a moot point as he contrived still to live in the family home in Co Tipperary, but he was created a Companion of the Victorian Order so it is assumes that his services to royalty were not small ones.

Lastly it may be noted that on cricket scorecards he has always appeared as O' Hara Moore.

Edward Liddle, October 2009

International Matches
View Match Ireland drew with MCC (2 Day, Cork, 31 July 1930)