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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
James Stelfox
  • Born 23 June 1842, Belfast
  • Died 11 September 1910, Belfast
  • Educated
  • Occupation
  • Debut 11 September 1867 v I Zingari at Vice Regal Gardens, Phoenix Park, Dublin
  • Cap Number 101
  • Style Right-hand bat
  • Teams NICC

James Stelfox was a good middle order batsman, though he never approached the standard of his mercurial brother Charles. He was a stalwart of NICC teams for many years from the foundation of the Club. His selection for Ireland in 1867, together with Charles made them the third and fourth Ulster players to be chosen for the National side. There can be no doubt that Charles would have played a great many more times had he been available, but James was probably not unduly mistreated by remaining a " one cap wonder." The brothers appeared together against I Zingari at The Vice Regal Ground on September 11 and 12 1867. By a twist of fate James was to die 43 years to the day after he began his one and only match for his country.

Ireland were outplayed in this match, having no answer to the underarm deliveries of WM Rose who ran through the side twice, taking seventeen wickets in the match. In the first innings James batted at 8 and was bowled by Rose for 0. He made rather a better fist of things in his second knock. Coming in when Ireland seemed doomed to defeat by an innings, he struck a quick 11 out of 13 for the 9th wicket before Rose snared him into giving a return catch. He did, however, ensure that the visitors batted again. They made heavy weather of the 13 they needed to win. The army officer Christopher Oldfield, who the previous year had helped the eccentric academic John Mahaffy to rout IZ on a pitch more suited for Rugby than Cricket, took two quick wickets and one more fell before the match was over.

James was not asked to play for Ireland again. He continued to play for NICC until his retirement and always retained his cricket interest. In 1888 he became Vice President of a new club formed by the union of Glentoran CC with the East End Club. Gradually, to the sorrow no doubt of the Vice President, the cricket section of this club declined, while its footballers, simply using the name Glentoran, thrived and multiplied.