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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Marcus Poole Ruddle
  • Born 16 January 1905 Lansdowne, Dublin
  • Died 25 January 1986 Dublin
  • Educated Earlsfort House School
  • Occupation Banker
  • Debut 15 May 1937 v Minor Counties at Rathmines
  • Cap Number 406
  • Style Right hand bat, right arm medium pace.
  • Teams Pembroke, Phoenix, Clontarf.

Marcus Ruddle was, in the words of Derek Scott, "a very good bowler." (Irish Cricket Union Year Book 1987). Operating at a brisk medium pace, Marcus had considerable success for his three clubs in the two Leinster Cricket Union competitions, but failed to take a wicket on his one appearance for Ireland. He was also a more than useful lower order batsman, sometimes, indeed, opening the innings.

Though his career began with Pembroke and ended with Clontarf, his best work was done with Phoenix, for whom he took 290 wickets at 13.26, including two hauls of 50 wickets in a season. Thus in 1935, he had 63 at 12.57 in 15 matches, while the following season, he took exactly 50, in two games less, at 8.82. This put him at the top of the LCU averages. Unfortunately, the O'Grady Cup, for the Province's leading bowler, was not awarded until the following season, when it was - perhaps inevitably - won by Jimmy Boucher.

Marcus also had a fine performance in the Leinster Cup Final, of 1938 at Rathmines. Dublin University batted first and, with their internationals Billy Mellon and Charlie Cuffe both getting 40, notched a useful 225. Marcus had 5-38 in a sustained display of accurate medium pace. Then George McVeagh hit a splendid 71 to enable Phoenix to win by two wickets, thus retaining the Cup which they had won the previous season. The University's paceman Stewart Redpath, a Theology student, with a distinctly hostile bouncer, had 5-59. With the bat Marcus scored 1028 runs for Phoenix at an average of 14.89, his highest score memorable 72*.

His 1936 performances gained him a place in the Irish side which played Minor Counties at Rathmines in May 1937, opening the attack with the Woodvale fast bowler Charlie Billingsley. Though Ireland collapsed in the first innings, they won comfortably in the end with Boucher and his fellow off spinner Jim Graham, proving too much for their visitors. Marcus, who batted at 10 making 8* and 0, failed to take a wicket, but he bowled a bare handful, of overs in the match.

With the match finishing before lunch on the third day, an additional match was played for which no caps were awarded. On this occasion, the hosts were heavily defeated, with Marcus again failing to take a wicket. Marcus Poole Ruddle continued to take an active interest in cricket after his playing career had finished.

Between 1969 and 1981, when he retired from active participation in administration, he ran the under 19 Interprovincial tournament with great skill and good humour. He was also responsible for Ireland's participation in the Under 19 International Tournament, which began in 1975. He was indeed one whose contribution to the game in Ireland was vital and will be long remembered.