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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Samuel James Edgar
  • Born 29 September 1913 Lisburn, Co Antrim
  • Died 31 January 1937 Lisburn, Co Antrim
  • Educated Lisburn Intermediate School
  • Occupation
  • Debut 28 July 1934 v MCC at Sion Mills
  • Cap Number 391
  • Style Right-hand bat; right arm medium pace.
  • Teams Lisburn.

Sammy Edgar is one of the tragic figures of Irish cricket. A very stylish opening batsman, particularly strong on the off side but possessed of a sound defensive technique, he hit a century on debut for Ireland, thus joining a select band, but, dogged by persistent ill health, played only one other match for Ireland, and died less than three years after his triumphant beginning.

He began, as did several other very talented Lisburn cricketers, as one of "Awty's boys", the name accorded to the group of promising youngsters coached by the Lisburn professional Joe Awty. They would, in the fullness of time, bring glory and silverware to Wallace Park. Besides Sammy, players of the calibre of George Crothers and Tommy Martin were to be found in this group.

Sammy was a key member of the XI which won the NCU Senior League in 1933, scoring over 400 runs in 11 matches and becoming talked about as a prospective Irish player. He was to achieve national selection the following season.

His debut came in the MCC match at Sion Mills at the end of July, the first international match played in the North West. The wicket was too good for a definite result to be reached and the weather intervened, though Ireland, having dominated for much of the match, had a few surprises before the end.

Sammy was one of six new caps, opening the batting with fellow debutant Robert Moore against the MCC pace bowlers Harry Enthoven, who had hat tricks against the Players (1927) and the Australians (1934) to his credit, and Army officer Warren Zambra. They put on 53 before Moore was run out. Productive stands with Donald Shearer and James Macdonald saw Sammy help the team's score to 216 and his own past three figures before he fell to left arm medium pacer Gareth Crys Williams, who was still to be found playing Minor County cricket almost twenty years later. Sammy's 103 was highly praised. In the second innings, however, he fell for 0, yorked by Enthoven who, besides his bowling, was a big hitting tail ender and a prosperous stockbroker.

The teams then moved to College Park, Dublin, where on another good wicket Ireland collapsed after Sammy (32) and debutant Frank Connell had posted 51 for the first wicket. This match, regarded as first class, also finished in a draw, but not before Sammy, who had been dismissed by Benjamin Waddy, a medium pacer form Sydney who played only four first class matches in his career, in the first innings, had again failed to score in the second, out to Denijs Morkel, a South African Test opening bowler, who made several appearances v Ireland in the period.

Sammy was never to play for Ireland again. His ever present ill health became more and more critical and he died in 1937, only 23 years old. Thus Samuel James Edgar was, like Ireland's other debut centurions, Harry Mulholland, Croose Parry and Jimmy Gill, was to enjoy no long and glittering international career. He does, however, have a special place in Ireland's cricket history which can never be taken from him.