February 07, 1857, Westminster, London
July 05, 1913, Marylebone, London, (aged 56y 148d)
Right hand bat
Right arm slow
Eton College; Cambridge University
Alfred Lyttelton was one of the best amateur sportsmen of his generation and came from a family who excelled at sport - seven of his brothers played either first-class or good club cricket. He made his mark at Eton and then Cambridge as one of the best amateur wicketkeepers in the country, standing up without a long-stop in an era when that was rare, and in 1878 was in the Cambridge XI that beat the Australians. He played in four of the first five Tests against Australia in England in 1880, 1882 and 1884, and in his last appearance took of his pads and, bowling underarm lobs, took 4 for 8 on the second morning. He was the first man to play football and cricket for England, but sport was only ever a pastime and he retired by the time he was 28 to further his political ambitions. He later became an MP and Colonial Secretary, possibly helped by the fact he was appointed by Arthur Balfour, his brother-in-law. He was also president of the MCC in 1898.
The Hon. Alfred Lyttelton died after a brief illness, following an operation, on the 5th of July. He was one of those cricketers about whose greatness there was never any question. From his schooldays he seemed destined to take a very high place. He was in the Eton XI from 1872 to 1875, and in the Cambridge XI from 1876 to 1879, finishing up in each case as captain. The best amateur wicketkeeper of his day, he was picked for Gentlemen against Players at Lord's in his first year at Cambridge, and he kept wicket for England against Australia at The Oval in 1880 and 1882 and at Lord's and The Oval in 1884. As a batsman he represented, in its highest development, the forward style of play taught by Mr. R. A. H. Mitchell at Eton. Owing to the claims of his work at the Bar, he gave up first-class cricket when he was little more than 28. He played his last match for Middlesex in 1887. He was president of the MCC in 1898, and served on the Committee from 1881 to 1885, and from 1899 to 1903. Apart from his cricket Mr. Lyttelton was the best amateur tennis player of his time, excelled also at racquets, and played for England at Association Football. No one, perhaps, has ever had a greater all-round genius for ball games.
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