Full name Frederick William Lillywhite
Born June 13, 1792, Westhampnett, Sussex
Died August 21, 1854, Islington, London (aged 62 years 69 days)
Major teams Cambridge Town Club, Hampshire, Middlesex, Surrey, Sussex
Also known as Nonpareil
Batting style Right-hand bat
|First-class debut||Sussex XI v Kent XI at Brighton, Jun 13-14, 1825 scorecard|
|Last First-class||England v Sussex at Lord's, Jul 25-27, 1853 scorecard|
William Lillywhite was born at West Hampnett, near Goodwood in Sussex, on June 13, 1792. Nothing was heard of him as a cricketer until July 11, 1822, when he appeared in a match in Goodwood Park. In the autumn of 1822 he moved to Brighton where he played for two seasons, improving his bowling, until in 1825 he made his debut for Sussex. He served Sussex regularly for 20 years and continued to play, on and off, for 30 years. During this period Lillywhite raised Sussex from a lowly position until they were capable of challenging and defeating the rest of England. He made his first appearance at Lord's in 1827 in the second of three matches arranged that season between Sussex and England to test
the merits of underhand and round-arm bowling. Sussex, with Lillywhite and his able assistant, James Broadbridge, bowling in the new style, defeated England on the first two occasions and were themselves defeated on the last. During the following seasons Lillywhite played continually, rapidly gaining that proficiency in the art of round-arm bowling that made his name so renowned throughout the country. It was seldom that he played without obtaining a wicket.
He was a short thick-set powerful man about 5' 4" in height, with a knack of detecting quickly any weak points in his opponents' defences. Although a poor batsman he sometimes scored well, and in a match Sussex v Marylebone in 1839 went in first and carried his bat throughout the innings, scoring 42 runs out of 89. In 1828, in a single-wicket match, he received 278 balls from Brown, the fastest bowler of the day, scoring 14 not out and was described as being
`terribly knocked about the hands', no gloves being then in use. His
final match was for his own benefit, Sussex against England at Lord's
in 1853. He was then 61 years old and commenced bowling for Sussex
in the first innings, but being taken ill, he retired. Lillywhite died
suddenly on August 21, 1854 at Islington, aged 62. He was buried
at Highgate Cemetery where a monument was erected to his memory
by public subscription.
RJ Brown, The Cricketer
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