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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
William Gordon Ridley Loughery
  • Born 1 November 1907 Belfast
  • Died I August 1977, Abbey Dore, Herefordshire
  • Educated Campbell College Belfast, Dublin University
  • Occupation Schoolmaster
  • Debut 6 July 1929, Scotland at College Park
  • Cap Number 363
  • Style Right-hand bat
  • Teams Dublin University, Merrion, NICC

Bill Loughery was a sound opening or upper middle order batsman and a brilliant field in the cover or mid wicket areas. A fine all round sportsman at Campbell College, he entered Dublin University in 1926 to read Mathematics. He was to prove an outstanding scholar combining his sporting achievements with academic success and office holding in the Mathematics Society.

He gained a place in the XI in his first season, 1927, and remained a consistent if not outstanding batsman for four years. He captained the side in his last season, 1930. The DUCC History notes him as a useful player, but points out that he, and several others, were, "overshadowed by George McVeagh." However that season, he played an innings of which the dashing left hander would have been proud. Opening the batting for the A XI v Phoenix A, he hit a 75 minute 100 with nineteen 4s. This enabled his side to declare at 270-4, which set up a 230 run victory.

He scored two Senior League 50s, being denied more by the decision, to which he as captain must have been a willing party, to withdraw from the League in 1930. This was rescinded the following season, but by this time, Bill had left the University. He also made some appearances for Merrion during his time in Dublin, but without conspicuous success. The Club do proudly record him as one of their first two internationals. He had first played for NICC in 1928, during the University long vacation, and appeared again with some regularity in 1932 and 1933, before leaving Ireland to begin what might be termed his life's work, teaching Mathematics and later running the Cricket, at Rugby School in Warwickshire.

He played six times for Ireland between 1929 and 1933. His achievements were somewhat ordinary, and it is possible that he owed his place to his excellent fielding, rather than his batting. The late RL Arrowsmith, for many years Wisden obituarist, who met Bill on many occasions in English club cricket, thought his batting no more than average club standard but told this writer that his fielding was "quite outstanding." Arrowsmith, though always a kindly critic, was not one given to overstatement.

Be that as it may, Bill's performances for Ireland were made no easier by constant changes of place in the batting order, none of which were caused by the use of night watchmen or other such reasons. In 12 innings he opened twice, but was also seen at Numbers 4, 8, 9 and 10. It cannot have been easy to settle into the side in these circumstances. He made 14 and 18* at 8 on debut v Scotland in 1929. Interestingly Ireland fielded what, on paper, must rank as one of its strongest ever batting line ups, but lost to Scotland by an innings. Other low scores followed, though he could point to the quality of the opposition attacks.

Against the Catamarans in College Park in his second match, he fell to the future Indian fast medium pacer, Nazir Ali, while against Sir Julian Cahn's XI in College Park in 1930, he was out twice to the high class leg spin of future England and Middlesex captain Walter Robins. Bill did get a second top score 26 in the second innings as "Robbie" with 11-79 in the match spun Ireland to defeat. His highest score was v MCC in College Park in the same year. He reached 29, at 4, before being bowled by South African Test fastman DPM Morkel. It is strange that having finally made some useful scores, he was not asked again until 1933, when, in his final match, he had a double failure v Scotland at Ormeau.

He was also a good Rugby footballer, somewhat of a utility back. After featuring in the University XV, he played four seasons for NIFC, before moving to England, He was in the side which lost the 1933 Cup Final to Queen's University, but in those four seasons, he played not only on the wing but also in the centre and at fly half.

He became Master in Charge of Cricket at Rugby in 1940. His first years were not too successful, but included in 1941 a match against a strong MCC side, under Sir Pelham Warner, to mark the centenary of the quasi fictitious match in "Tom Brown's Schooldays." Gradually Cricket improved under Bill's direction and by the 1950s some really strong sides were in evidence. From an Irish viewpoint the most significant of the several Blues helped on their way by Bill was double international Mike Eagar. William Gordon Ridley Loughery was a popular man in all the aspects of his life and he was widely mourned on his death.