A cricketer of considerable accomplishments, William Attewell (known as Dick to his team-mates) was best known as a bowler of unremitting accuracy and length, being exceptionally difficult to score off. He bowled at medium pace, varying pace, flight and spin cleverly, and rarely bowled a loose ball. He used his abilities to perfect ”off theory", popular in the 1890s, where he frustrated the batsman by bowling wide of the off stump to a packed off-side field. He was a fine fielder in the covers, and a more than useful batsman with a first-class century to his name (and a double hundred for MCC against Northumberland). A Nottinghamshire man, he came into the county side in 1881, and rarely left it until his retirement nineteen years later. He took 100 wickets in a season ten times, and toured Australia three times, most successfully in 1887/88.
After retirement he became a first-class umpire, and later the professional at Shrewsbury School, where a young Neville Cardus was his assistant. His brother Thomas also played briefly for Nottinghamshire.
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dave Liverman)