Born at Old Warden, Bedfordshire, 11th August 1855.
Died at Old Trafford, Manchester, Lancashire, 28th March 1891.
The son of John and Ann Pilling, who moved to Church, Accrington, Lancashire, when Richard was in his infancy. His younger brother, William, who also played cricket for Lancashire in 1891, was born at Church in 1857. He was originally a stone mason by trade. He played his early cricket with Church, who were to become a member of the Lancashire League in 1892, and was first tried with the Lancashire team in 1877. It was the first of 250 first-class matches, 177 of them for Lancashire and eight of them being Test Matches. He toured Australia twice– 1881/2 and 1887/8. He was first engaged by the MCC at Lord’s in 1879 until1883 and in 1884 he was at the Broughton CC., Manchester. He was awarded a benefit in 1889 and received over £1500. However his health deteriorated and he was sent on a cruise to Australia by the Lancashire CCC in the winter 1890/91, but he died only six days after returning home.
In the 1881 Census he is living at 3 Henry Street, Church, Lancashire, aged 25 at stone mason, with his wife Emma, aged 24, born at Ricklinghall, Suffolk, and their daughter Mary L. aged 5 months.
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Don Ambrose)
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