Just over 5ft.7 inches tall and weighing 11 stone, he was reckoned to be an excellent middle-order batsman and a good wicket-keeper.
A professional, his first match for Lancashire was the County Club's second game against Birkenhead Park, at Birkenhead, on the 15th and 16th July 1864. Batting next to last he scored 10 and 0, and keeping wicket took a catch and made a stumping. The following year he was playing for Yorkshire, and took part in the disputes and strikes that affliced Yorkshire cricket at this time, some say he was a ring-leader. In 1866 he played for both counties, as he did in the following year when he played for Lancashire against Yorkshire on 20th-22nd June at Whalley, in the first Roses Match. By September in the third match between the two counties, at Middlesborough, he was playing for Yorkshire!
He played for both counties the following year, and in 1868 took a season playing for the United England Eleven, playing against local twenty-twos, and in other matches against odds.
He had moved with his parents to Accrington when only a child and along with his brother, William carried on business as a reed maker in Edgar Street, Accrington. The two brothers. together with a third brother Thomas then leased and worked the Altham Corn Mill and farm for 13 years. At this point Gideon took a position as collector for the Accrington Gas & Water Company, a position he held until July 1894.
He played for the Accrington Club and was one of that Club's early captains. In the 1881 Census he appears living at 4 School Court, Accrington, aged 41, a grocer and draper, with his wife Mary Ann, aged 37. They have two sons William aged 10 and John aged 6, and a daughter Jane Ellen aged 8.
He was a leading member of St James' choir and was at one time hon. Secretary of the Accrington Choral Society. He was a keen member of friendly societies and lodges.
He was not alone in abandoning the county of his birth for Lancashire, his birthplace, Sawley, followed and is now in Lancashire!
His grandson, also Gideon, was secretary of the Lancashire Cricket League from February 1935 until his death, at his home in Clitheroe, on 16th November 1949.
(Article: Copyright © 2004 Don Ambrose)
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