Born at Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, 3rd October 1862.
Died at Heald Green, Cheadle, Cheshire, 11th January 1902.
The son of a professional cricketer his first professional engagement was with the Hornsea Cricket Club, near Hull in 1876 and 1877, starting when he was only thirteen. In 1878 and 1879 he was engaged by the Northern C.C., at Seaforth, Liverpool, making his Lancashire debut in 1879, when only sixteen. Between then and 1900 he played 391 times for Lancashire and appeared in 535 first-class matches, including 33 Test Matches. He toured Australia six times and South Africa once.
From about 1889 he began to suffer from epilepsy and died in the Asylum at Cheadle.
The 1881 Census shows him at home, at the Cross Keys, 40 Appleton Village, Widnes, Lancashire, which was kept by his father, James aged 40, who was a licensed victualler and professional cricketer (with the Widnes Club). His mother, Helen aged 40, was also born at Sutton-in-Ashfield, in Nottinghamshire, as was Johnís elder brother Joseph B. who was also a professional cricketer. His younger brothers James Alfred aged 6 and William Harold aged 1 and his two sisters Sarah aged 11 and Alice aged 8 were also present.
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Don Ambrose)