WIlliam Justice Ford

MR. WILLIAM JUSTICE FORD, the eldest and probably the best-known of the famous brothers, died in London on April 3rd. He was in Repton XI. in 1870, 1871 and 1872, and in the following year assisted Cambridge against Oxford, being put into the team at the last moment, and scoring 51 not out and 11. He was a tremendous hitter, a good field at point, a useful wicket-keeper, and a slow round-arm bowler. Height 6ft. 3in., and weight (in 1871) 15st. 41bs., which by 1886 had increased to 17st. 41bs. He occasionally appeared for Middlesex, and it was when assisting that side against Kent, at Maidstone, in 1885, that he made 44 in 17 minutes and 75 out of 90 in three-quarters of an hour. His longest measured hit was 143 yards 2 feet. He hit out of almost all the grounds upon which he played, including Lord"s and the Aigburth ground at Liverpool. Playing once for M. C. C. and Ground v. Eastbourne, at the Saffrons, he hit J. Bray over the trees, the ball pitching 60 yards beyond them. On another occasion, when playing at Torquay, he hit a ball out of the ground (above the ordinary size), across a road, and so far into another field that it put up a brace of partridges. He made many large scores for the M. C. C., Nondescripts, and Incogniti, his most productive innings being 250 for M.C.C. v. Uxbridge in 1881. At various times he was a master at Marlborough, Principal of Nelson College, N.Z., and head master of Leamington College. Once, in a match at Marlborough, he had made 92 when the last man came in, and, wishing to make sure of his hundred, hit the very next ball with such hearty good will that he and his partner ran ten for the stroke! Of recent years he had been a prolific writer on the game, his best-known books being the histories of the Middlesex County and Cambridge University Clubs, the latter of which will probably become a classic. His article on Public School Cricket had for some years been a feature of Wisden"s Almanack. Mr. Ford must be regarded as one of the greatest hitters the world has ever seen, having been equalled by few and surpassed only by Mr. Thornton. He was born in London November 7th, 1853.

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