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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
John D Walsh
  • Born circa 1869
  • Died Unknown
  • Educated
  • Occupation Solicitor's Managing Clerk
  • Debut 21 August 1899 v I Zingari at Vice Regal Grds Phoenix
  • Cap Number 241
  • Style Right hand batsman
  • Teams Pembroke

NB: JD Walsh is a player about whom very few biographical details are currently known. My researches indicate that the man identified above is almost certainly the cricketer. We would, of course, be pleased to receive any further information about him, or any corrections should this identification be wrong.

John Walsh was a sound upper order batsman who formed a good and long lasting opening partnership for Pembroke with Irish all rounder Ronald Adair.

His selection for Ireland came in rather bizarre circumstances. Just before the Ireland v I Zingari match, due to be played on the Vice Regal Ground in August 1899, the Phoenix club withdrew all their players on the grounds that they were insufficiently represented. In light of the fact that they had six players in the XI this seems a rather strange assertion! It is discussed more fully elsewhere on this site.

Ireland thus had to introduce six new players, one of whom was John, who, good player though he was, could not really be described in the same breath as batsmen of the calibre of Frank Browning, Dan Comyn, Drummond Hamilton and the Gwynn brothers who - together with the leading Irish bowler, Tom Ross - were the refusniks.

The visitors were a strong side and posted a useful 308, dominated by a swashbuckling 121 from former England and future Ireland captain Sir Timothy O'Brien. Only Bill Harrington, who has been - surprisingly - left out of the originally chosen side but had now replaced Ross - showed any ability to control him, taking 5-57.

Ireland then collapsed against BJT Bosanquet who bowled unchanged throughout both innings. The inventor of the googly was then and out and out pace bowler and was far too quick for most of the Irish batsmen, though Sep Lambert played elegantly in the first innings. Ireland were bowled out for 116 (Bosanquet 9-53) and 106 (Bosanquet 7-49). Batting at No 9 John was bowled by Bosanquet in both innings. Making 1 in the first, he "was not quite so successful " in the second!

As the match finished early on the second day an extra unofficial one was played. This ended in a draw with the Lambert brothers both playing well. John, however, did not bat.

It was to be two years before an Irish side, now composed almost entirely of Phoenix players as the inter clubs dispute rumbled on, took the field again and three before the breach was healed and a fairly representative team toured England under O'Brien's captaincy.

John Walsh was not a member of either side and was not asked to represent his country again. However, in the annals of Pembroke CC he remains a highly regarded player. It must be regretted that he did not receive another chance to show his talents on the international stage.

NB Another possible candidate to be this player has emerged thanks to the researches of Philip Defriez. This is James Duckett Walsh who was born on 28 February 1867 at Birkenhead and died at Sutton, Dublin on 7 December 1949. He was educated at Oscott College. Birmingham, now just a seminary but then a prominent Catholic public school as well. The three Fitzgerald brothers, whose biographies may also be found on this site were all educated there and it had a good cricket reputation. However few records of the College's pupils remain and it has been impossible to discover if this JD Walsh was a cricketer. He is not discernible in either the English or Irish censuses of 1901 and 1911 but was married at Hinckley, Leicestershire in 1912. The balance of probability must be that he was not the cricketer, but any information to prove, or disprove, this would be most welcome."