A professional cricketer based in Bury, for which club he usually appeared as an amateur.
He is stated to have wielded the bat with great force and strength and to have been a very fast underarm bowler, who later switched to overarm. By the time he was 55 he had reverted to underarm again!
He first came to note when he was selected to play for "Lancashire " against "Yorkshire" at the Hyde Park Ground, Sheffield, on 23rd to 25th July 1849. Neither County Cricket Club had yet been formed and the two Lancashire v Yorkshire fixtures taking place this year replaced the usual Manchester v Sheffield matches and were in reality those two clubs with a few reinforcements. Dan Rowlands batted at number nine, scoring 9 and 0, and although he bowled he took no wickets.
On 30th August and 1st and 2nd September 1854 he appeared, as an amateur, for Twenty-two of Rochdale against The United All England Eleven, at Rochdale. Batting at the fall of the first wicket he scored 1 and 3, and although he did not bowl he took one catch. In this match out of the forty-four Rochdale innings there was only one of double figures.
He was engaged by the Bacup club, largely as a coach, in 1863, and by Haslingden in a similar capacity the following year. On the 14th May 1864 he was one of the victims in the first hat-trick recorded against Haslingden - against Church, and playing against Brooksbottom he scored 80 out of the team's total of 161.
He was by this time in business as a sports outfitter in Rock Street (now The Rock), Bury.
On the 9th and 10th July 1868 he was selected to play for Lancashire against Yorkshire at Holbeck, Leeds. He opened the innings and bagged a pair. Of his 18 four ball overs, eight were maidens, but he took no wickets.
In the 1881 Census he appears living at 138 Brook Street, Bury, aged 54 a gentleman's servant, with his wife Alice, aged 45, three daughters, Mary A.H. aged 20 a cotton weaver, Alice aged 14 a cotton weaver and Sarah H. aged 8, and two sons, Henry Kay aged 16 an apprentice plumber, and Daniel aged 12.
In 1882, at the age of 56, he was engaged by the Prestwich Club as their first professional.
He was still playing cricket in the year in which he died, aged 65.
His shop in Bury was later demolished and the Hornby Buildings stand on its site.
(Article: Copyright © 2004 Don Ambrose)
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