CricketEurope Irish Cricket History logo
Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Patrick Henry Pearse Waldron
  • Born 5 February 1917 Limerick
  • Died 26 December 2008 St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin
  • Educated Catholic University School, Dublin; Trinity College Dublin; King's Inns.
  • Occupation Court registrar.
  • Debut 13 July 1946 v Scotland at Glenpark, Greenock
  • Cap Number 426
  • Style Right hand batsman
  • Teams Merrion.

Paddy Waldron was a sound upper order batsman, who usually opened the innings. His career figures for Ireland seem moderate in the extreme, but, in keeping with several of his contemporaries, he often found himself coming out of weekend cricket to pit his skills against top class bowlers. His five matches included games with Yorkshire, against whom he did better than all but one other batsman, Derbyshire, then possessors of a powerful seam attack, and the South Africans; all rather more formidable than a Saturday afternoon at Anglesea Road.

For Merrion between 1936 and 1953, he scored 4994 runs at 27.74 with 4 hundreds (highest 111) and 32 fifties. Among his contemporaries at the club, only Simon Curley, who played for much longer, scoring over 9000 runs, did better, though his career average suggests that there was not much to choose between them. Paddy came into a Merrion side to join stalwarts such as Rollie Shortt and all rounder Cecil Little, the latter the father of Alan Little, an off spinner who came near to international selection in the late 1960s and early 70s, and helped them raise the profile and success of the club. The Leinster Senior Cup was won in 1940, after they were unsuccessful finalists in his first season. They were beaten finalists on four occasions. Unfortunately, Paddy never made a significant contribution in these matches. However he remained a prominent and important part of the side until his retirement in 1953, partly caused by his increasing legal responsibilities. He had attended law lectures at Trinity College Dublin, by special dispensation of the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, before he was called to the Bar at the Kings Inns in 1948.

His 111 had come against Civil Service in 1943 in a match won by 125 runs. That season he also made an undefeated 125 against Pembroke to see his side to a useful 206-8 but rain intervened when the Sydney Paraders had reached 86-3. It has been claimed, perhaps not too seriously, that he would have scored several more hundreds had he not been inclined to throw his wicket away on passing 50 inorder to indulge in his other passion of attending the dog track.

He made his Irish debut against Scotland at Greenock in the first post War fixture. Paceman William McKee and spinners Jack Bowden and John Hill also made their first appearances in a match which, in marked contrast to Ireland's first game after the First World War, an eight wicket victory was achieved. Paddy made a valuable contribution. Opening the batting after Donald Shearer had won the toss he played a sound defensive innings, staying while the first two wickets put on 113, adding 71 for the second with Frank Quinn. Paddy finished with 32, out to fast medium bowler RS Hodge, Frank went on to make 140, as Ireland finished with 326. Both failed in the second innings, when Stuart Pollock, Paddy's opening partner, struck a typically dashing 64* to see Ireland home. That 32 was to remain Paddy's highest score for Ireland, though, as has already been pointed out, he was to be severely tested by the opposition the following season.

Then he failed against Scotland at The Mardyke in the early summer, before taking over at No 3 in the order, George Morrison of Woodvale having come into the side to open with Pollock, when, in late June, Ireland embarked on a three match tour of England which included matches with Yorkshire and Derbyshire. Ireland did well on a turning wicket at Harrogate to dismiss their hosts cheaply but then found themselves bundled out by the spin attack of Johnny Wardle, then on the threshold of becoming the great left armer he was to be, and Ellis Robinson. Ellis was a very good off spinner who took over 1000 wickets for Yorkshire and Somerset. On this occasion he had 6/35. Only Paddy who contributed a gutsy 26, before Robinson caught him off Wardle, and Eddie Ingram, who had several matches for Middlesex under his belt, were able to offer sustained resistance. They put on 50 for the third wicket before rout and procession set in. In the second innings Paddy again reached double figures, in fact only he, Ingram and Morrison did so in both innings. This time medium pace off spinner Ken Smailes, captaining the county who were at half strength, weighed in with four cheap wickets. Paddy was unlucky to miss out on the two day game with the Craven Gentlemen, a strong wandering side captained by the great former England opener Herbert Sutcliffe. His replacement Kevin Dempsey made 1 in his only innings.

Back in the side for the match against Derbyshire, Paddy had to face their formidable pace attack on a green top at Buxton, a ground high in the Pennines, where in June 1975 a day's play in a Championship match was to be lost to snow! A double failure resulted to the Test seam merchants Bill Copson and Cliff Gladwin. He was clean bowled in each innings for 0 and 6 respectively. He retained his place for the South African match in July in College Park, returning to open the innings with a new partner in Charles Posnett. Posnett got into double figures as Ireland crumbled to 102 all out, but Paddy managed only a single before, in company with eight of his team-mates falling to the great off spinner Athol Rowan, who returned the outstanding figures of 22.5 - 8 - 32 - 9. Rain prevented a second innings which enabled Ireland to escape with a draw, but prevented Paddy from having a second innings. He was never to play for Ireland again. It might be argued that he failed to take his chances when they were offered to him, but his batting against Yorkshire suggests that he did have the talent to succeed at this level.

Patrick Henry Pearse Waldron was Ireland's oldest surviving first class cricketer when he died on St Stephen's Day 2008, his final innings, like those of his contemporaries Ham Lambert and Noel Mahony, falling just short of a century. He was survived by his three sons and two grandchildren, his wife Noreen having predeceased him. His passing was deeply regretted not only by his family but by his wide circle of friends. His place, in the annals of Merrion Cricket Club, will be long secured.