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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Robert Henry Fowler
  • Born 20 June 1857, Mellifont, Callan Co Louth
  • Died 11 May 1957 Rahinstown Enfield Co Meath
  • Educated Cheltenham College, Cambridge University
  • Occupation Army Officer later Landowner
  • Debut 8 August 1888 v Scotland at Rathmines
  • Cap Number 196
  • Style Right-hand bat
  • Teams Summerhill, Cambridge University, Phoenix, I Zingari, Co Meath

Harry Fowler's claim to cricket fame lies chiefly in his being the father of RStL Fowler, the famous schoolboy hero of "Fowler's Match" in 1910. In 1870 when 13 years old, he hit a barnstorming 186 on his debut for Summerhill 2nd XI. The opposition, a boys team from Trim, was somewhat weak, the 12 year old David Trotter also making a century " a fine innings of 109" according to the Irish Times. Summerhill totalled 362 going on to win by an innings and 259 runs.

However Captain Fowler, as he was always known, was a useful player in his own right. In the XI at Cheltenham, he played one first class game for Cambridge in 1876. He was unlucky to face bowlers such as Fred Morley and Alfred Shaw on his debut. He failed with 1 and 3. He played twice for Ireland in 1888. He failed on both occasions, the former being in the first match against Scotland. His highest score was 5.

The following year, he became one of those who have appeared for and against Ireland, when he played for I Zingari making 26 at number 9 before being stumped by William Vint. He played again the following year, but did little. He had all this time been assuming responsibility, with TJS Casey for selecting the Irish team!

His death in 1957, at the age of 99 years and 317 days made him Ireland's longest lived cricketer and placed him high in the all time list of long lived first class cricketers the World over. His obituary is in Wisden 1958.

I am indebted to Gerard Siggins for bringing the Summerhill 2nd XI match of 1870 to my attention.