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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Wilfred Noel Maxwell Hutton
  • Born 5 June 1901, Dublin
  • Died 12 September 1978, Carrigaline, Co Cork
  • Educated Shrewsbury School, Dublin University
  • Occupation Engineer then Preparatory School Headmaster
  • Debut 8 August 1927 v MCC at Lord's
  • Cap Number 356
  • Style Right-hand bat, right-arm medium
  • Teams Dublin University, Phoenix

Wilfred Hutton was not in the XI at Shrewsbury, where his time overlapped with assistant professional turned Headmaster's secretary Fred (later Neville) Cardus, but he was a stylish opening batsman, who, even almost two decades after he had ceased to play serious cricket, looked a class player. Thus his failure really to make a name himself in Irish cricket must be counted a major disappointment. In 162 matches for the University and Phoenix between 1920 and 1937, he scored 2442 runs at 15.64, a low average for one whom Pat Hone called a "first-rate player." He only hit six 50s in all, two of which were for the University. His highest score was 91 for Phoenix in 1934 by which time his appearances were becoming increasingly spasmodic. He had appeared in one first-class match for the University against Esssex in 1922. At number 3, he failed with scores of 2 and 0. The following year he opened the innings against the West Indies. Again a double failure resulted. He was yorked for 4 by fastman George Francis in the first knock In the second he got to 11, before falling to the left arm spin of Victor Pascall, uncle of Learie Constantine, who played in the match but did not bowl much.

Wilfred would have had cause to feel unlucky in his sole appearance for Ireland. In a high scoring weather-affected match, he did not get in as Ireland reached 277 for 6 before the rain came. The strength of the Irish batting can be seen from the fact that the leading all rounder TH Dixon was down to bat at 11.

In the late 1930s, Hutton, with no previous experience, became Headmaster of Garth House Prep School in Bangor, Co Down. Here, he was a reluctant coach, as he feared that over much instruction would turn boys off the game. Instead it tended to leave them unprepared for matches with other schools. The School's most famous old boy athlete was no cricketer: Cecil Pedlow Lions and Ireland three quarter and Davis Cup Tennis player excelled at sports for which Hutton had little time. He died before his other star student Lord (Paddy) Ashdown, British politician and UN diplomat became prominent. Hutton retired in 1963 and went to live in County Cork. Here his life was disrupted by a bizarre incident. A rather deranged man, who had no connection with any paramilitary organisation, decided that as a former British officer, Hutton must be an MI6 agent. Fortunately, before he could carry out his planned assassination, the Gardai intervened. Wilfred Hutton's failure to make more of his talents must remain a mystery.