Brief profile of E.W.Pooley
by Don Ambrose
POOLEY, Edward William.
Born at Chepstow, Monmouthshire, 13th February 1842.
Died at Lambeth, London, 18th July 1907.
He was the son of William Pooley, a schoolmaster. The family moved to Islington only two years after “Ted’s” birth, and shortly afterwards to Richmond. He learnt his cricket on Richmond Green and played with the East Surrey Club, whose meetings were held at the Rosemary Branch Tavern, Peckham. His first recorded professional engagement was with the Perth Club, Scotland, in 1861,in which year he was first tried by Surrey. In all he was to play in 370 first-class matches, 256 of them for Surrey and 7 for Middlesex. He toured North America 1868 and Australia and New Zealand 1876/7.
He would probably have played in the first Test Match had he not been detained in New Zealand following some disagreement about his gambling activities. Throughout his career problems of a personal nature marred his progress and diminished his status as the leading wicket-keeper of his day. After his playing days were over he fell on hard times and from 1898 his addresses were largely a succession of workhouses. He died in a workhouse infirmary. His younger brother F.W. played in four first-class matches 1876-77, three of them for Surrey.
At the time of the 1881 Census He was living at 14 Benfield Street, Battersea, Surrey, aged 39, a professional cricketer, with his second wife Minnie, aged 27. Their sons, Edward aged 7, and John aged 1, and daughter Minnie aged 4, are also present, as is Fanny, aged 15, a match maker at Bells factory, a daughter of his first marriage.
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Don Ambrose)