Charles Absolon

MR. Charles Absolon, the veteran cricketer, died at his residence, Hermitage Road, Finsbury Park, on Saturday, January 4th, 1908, having suffered a stroke of paralysis just a week before. Born on May 30th, 1817, Mr. Absolon was in his 91st year. He had, of course, long ago retired from the active pursuit of cricket, but he continued playing until he had reached a great age. His interest in the game remained unabated to the end, and even as recently as last June he was present at the Middlesex and Surrey match at Lord"s. In his day Mr. Absolon was the most prominent figure in local cricket in and around London. An under-hand bowler of the type of the famous William Clarke, he was in such request that he has often been known to take part in two matches in the same day, his assistance, while he was at his best, generally meaning victory for the clubs he represented. The full statistics of his career as a bowler, if they had been preserved, would form very interesting reading. At one time his doings used to be published every year in the sporting papers. He took wickets literally by the hundred, some of his records in the seventies being marvellously good. He was much more than an ordinary lob bowler, having a good variety of pace and commanding, when he needed it, a comparatively fast ball. He never aimed at a big break, being content to make the ball do just enough to beat the bat. It is impossible to say how he would have got on in first-class crickets, but the batsmen who met him in club matches had every reason to dread him, his skill in finding out their weak points being so great. A kindly and genial man, Mr. Absolon made hosts of friends in the cricket field. Probably no cricketer ever played in so many matches.

© John Wisden & Co