Richard Knowles Tyldesley
March 11, 1897, Westhoughton, Lancashire
September 17, 1943, Over Hulton, Bolton, Lancashire, (aged 46y 190d)
Right hand Bat
Richard Knowles Tyldesley, youngest and only survivor of four brothers, all of whom were on the Old Trafford ground staff and played for Lancashire, died at his home, little Hulton near Bolton, on September 17, aged 45. His father, J. D. Tyldesley, a Westhoughton club professional, taught his sons cricket, and Dick reached a high standard. Constant practice at the nets in boyhood brought perfection in length, and with experience he mastered spin, varied pace and other artifices which brought him a trial for Lancashire in 1919 when county matches after the war were restricted to two days. His skill as a slow bowler increased like his bulk, and he gradually gained renown as a slow bowler of the heaviest build in county cricket, looking older than his years but carrying his weight with remarkable ease while toiling for long spells without tiring. Above medium height, he flighted the ball naturally and used the top spinner in a way often earning the umpire's agreement with the leg-before appeal. His leg-break, expected by batsmen rather than operative, turned little if at all under normal conditions but, given a responsive pitch, Dick Tyldesley could be devastating, though length, adjusted to a batsman's ability, was his most effective means of attack.
Regularly form 1922 his victims numbered at least 100 a season, and he showed little if any deterioration in 1931 when the Lancashire committee could not concede to his request for an engagement for a definite period at a fixed salary of £400 a year, no matter whether he could play or not; and his association with the county ceased.
In 1923 he took 106 wickets in Championship matches at 15 runs apiece. Next season, when the South Africans toured England, Tyldesley appeared to considerable advantage in four of the five Test matches, but his most brilliant achievement was six wickets for 18 runs at Leeds, where, thanks to him and Parkin, Yorkshire were dismissed for 33 and beaten by 24 runs.
This form gained Tyldesley a place in the side which visited Australia in the following winter under A. E. R. Gilligan, but he met with little success on the shirt-front wickets, and played against Australia only in the Test match at Melbourne, being dismissed for one and nought, and sending down 37 overs for 136 runs without getting a wicket.
In 1930 Dick Tyldesley played for England against Australia at Nottingham, where England triumphed, and at Leeds in a drawn match, dismissing seven batsmen at an average of 33 runs in the two encounters, but was not called upon again. He headed his county's bowling with 121 wickets at 14.73 each, and Lancashire were champion county for the fourth time in five seasons, the first of these successes coming in 1926 after an interval of twenty-two years when A. C. MacLaren captained the side. He was again the most effective bowler for Lancashire in 1931 with a record of 116 wickets at a fraction under 16 runs each, but his county dropped to sixth place; and that ended his county career. During several seasons he enjoyed considerable success with the bat, and in 1922 he hit up 105 against Nottinghamshire at Old Trafford.
Parkin and Dick Tyldesley did some remarkable performances besides the triumph at Leeds. In 1924 they shared the wickets in both innings at Old Trafford for Lancashire against the South Africans, Tyldesley's figures being seven for 28 and five for 50; they were unchanged against Warwickshire, ten wickets falling to Tyldesley for 103 runs. In that season he dismissed five Leicestershire batsmen, three clean bowled and the other two leg-before-wicket, in five maiden overs--all he bowled in the innings. Another fine performance was seven Northamptonshire wickets for six runs at Aigburth. Against the same county at Kettering in 1926 he dismissed eight men for 15 runs. Also a unique performance stands to his credit at Derby in 1929, when he dismissed two men with the last two balls of one innings and two more with the first two deliveries he sent down in the second innings.
Altogether in first-class cricket he took 1,513 wickets at 17.15 runs apiece, score 6,424 runs, average 15.04, and held 328 catches--mostly at short-leg. For Lancashire his record showed 1,447 wickets, a number exceeded only by John Briggs and Arthur Mold. After giving up county cricket, Tyldesley helped Nantwich to win the North Staffordshire and District League Championship twice, and he did good service for Accrington, whom he joined in 1934.
In 1930 his benefit match, when Surrey visited Old Trafford, realized £2,027, although it clashed with England versus Australia at Trent Bridge where Tyldesley was engaged. At different periods Dick Tyldesley shared in the Lancashire bowling honours with Cecil Parkin and E. A. McDonald, the Australian--and now all three are dead: McDonald passed in 1937, Parkin three months before Richard Tyldesley.
So much doubt has prevailed as to the relationship of the six Tyldesleys who played for Lancashire that it is opportune to emphasise that the brothers John Thomas, who died in 1930, and Ernest, both famous batsmen and England Test players, belonged to a Worsley family and were not related to the four Westhoughton professionals; these were:--
William K. Tyldesley, a batsman. Killed in 1918 during the last war while a Lieutenant in the North Lancashire Regiment. Obituary 1919 Wisden.
James Darbyshire Tyldesley, a fast bowler and good batsman; played first for Lancashire in 1910, died in 1923. Obituary 1924 Wisden.
Harry Tyldesley, died in 1935. Played first for the county in 1914, at Derby on July 11, when two pairs of Tyldesley brothers figured in the Lancashire eleven; that season the Lancashire averages included five Tyldesleys. Harry toured with A. C. MacLaren's team in the winter of 1922 and headed the bowling averages both in Australia and New Zealand. Obituary 1936 Wisden.
Richard Tyldesley, the youngest, the subject of this obituary
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Batting & Fielding