One of the greatest cricketers of the day, 1907

V. E. Walker

To the general public V. E. Walker was known as one of the greatest cricketers of his day, and as one who, till the end of his life, took the greatest interest in, and whose opinion was valued by, everyone connected with the game. Those who played with him are unanimous in saying that he was an ideal captain, always bright and cheery. Though he was so splendid a cricketer, he was never down upon other, always ready to make excuse for dropped catches and other blunders in the field by others, though he rarely, one might almost say never, made a mistake himself.

But proud as his relations and friends are of is reputation as a cricketer, they treasure far more the memory of the qualities that endeared him to an enormous circle of people in every walk of life, to young and old alike. I should like to quote a few words from a letter written by a young Middlesex cricketer a few days after his death, He was always exceptionally nice to me, and he never failed to say a few kind words of encouragement and praise if there was any occasion, and he often came out of the Committee room for no other purpose. We have lost a dear old friend. I only hope that it is possible for him to know now how greatly he was appreciated in his lifetime, and how sadly he will be missed. This little quotation to my mind exactly expresses the feelings all had towards him. Everyone felt that he was exceptionally kind to them. Nothing that affected them was too small or insignificant for him to enter into and to sympathise with.

Shortly before his death he was presented by the police of his district with a walking stick in recognition of his pluck in having come to the assistance of a constable who was arresting a violent prisoner, but I feel sure that it was not only because the police wished to show their appreciation of his pluck that they gave him that stick, but because they were glad of an opportunity of showing how much they valued the invariable kindness and courtesy they had received from him in all his dealings with them as a magistrate, and on all occasions.

Numbers of his friends will never forget delightful visits paid to him at his house at Southgate, where he made them so welcome, and where one could not but notice the kindly feeling existing between him and every servant and employé on the place.

If possible he will be missed there more than anywhere else, for he took the keenest interest in all local matters, but so it was in all the various enterprises and pursuits with which he was connected.

Whatever he put his hand to, whether it was cricket of business, or anything else, he acted in the most chivalrous spirit; it seemed impossible for him to have an unkindly thought towards anybody. Though he had nearly reached the age of 70, in his views and ways he had the freshness of youth, and no one could never think of him as growing old. It seemed no effort to him to be kind and good to all, and therefore, it was that when he passed away one heard the remark on all sides, How we shall miss Teddy Walker!

© John Wisden & Co