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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
William Robert King
  • Born 16 December 1902 Clonlea Kilkishan Co Clare
  • Died January 1987 Greystones Co Wicklow
  • Educated Abbey School Tipperary, Aravon School, Bray, Co Wicklow Dublin University
  • Occupation Business Manager (Singapore)
  • Debut 11 August 1923 Wales at Cardiff Arms Park
  • Cap Number 320
  • Style Left-hand bat, slow left arm
  • Teams Dublin University, Singapore

Bill King was an outstanding all-round sportsman at school: his school days were all spent in Tipperary, apart from one year at Aravon, then more than a preparatory school. He was a dominant figure on both the cricket and rugby fields. Entering Dublin University in 1921, he was quickly in the XI the folllowing summer. His most interesting match in that season was the first class match against Essex at Brentwood. Bill was not a player noted for his defensive technique, he preferred to take the bowler on. However, as the XI slumped to an innings defeat, despite a brilliant 98 from their former captain and guest player, AP Kelly, he played a long defensive innings of 8, in partnership with GNB Kelly, who made 76, their 6th wicket stand was worth 79. 1923 was his best, and last season in Irish cricket. For the University, he took 76 wickets in League matches, including five wicket hauls in 5 matches.

He was also outstanding in College Park against the touring West Indians, taking 5-64 to help paceman Mark Sugden bowl the visitors out for 170. Unfortunately, the hosts had little answer to the pace of George Francis and the spin of Victor Pascall. At least Bill, at 7 in the second knock, was undefeated on 12.

His sole Irish appearnce came in August at Cardiff Arms Park. The Ireland side beat Wales by an innings. He had 0-13 but had the satisfaction of making 45, taking part in a last wicket stand of 84, with fast bowler Wallace Sproule. Later that year, he took up an appointment in Singapore and was lost to Irish Cricket. He played both Cricket and Rugby for Singapore, joining the Army when Japan entered the War in 1941. He fought with predictable bravery, and was awarded the Military Medal as he, and others tried to stem the Japanese assault. Captured when the "impregnable fortress city" fell, he spent the remainder of the War in Changi Gaol. Later, he returned to Ireland. and, marrying late in life, had a family in his late 70s. "Everything," he reported to a researcher enquiring after his health in 1980 "is in full working order." He maintained contact with some of his old University colleagues but his death passed without notice for several years.