Johnny Tyldesley, a prolific England and Lancashire batsman from the late 1890s and early 20th century, died on November 27, 1923 – just five days after his 57th birthday. His Wisden obituary profiled a run-filled career.
Tyldesley, John Thomas, one of England’s greatest batsmen, who had been in weak health for some years, died on November 27. On the morning of his death he was putting on his boots before going to his business at Deansgate, Manchester, when he collapsed and died. He had carried on his duties as coach at Old Trafford until the end of last summer.
Born at Roe Green, Worsley, on November 22, 1873, he was just 57 years of age at the time of his death. Tyldesley received his early training in Lancashire club cricket – a very stiff school – and was a well equipped batsman when he first appeared for Lancashire in 1895. In his second match he scored 152 not out against Warwickshire on the Edgbaston ground – the scene of many triumphs for him in subsequent years. He did nothing else of much note that summer – he was not given a trial until the middle of July – but two years later he made over 1,000 runs, and he achieved that performance for nineteen consecutive seasons.
Four times he scored over 2,000 runs, and in 1901 he had an aggregate of 3,041, his innings including nine separate centuries, eight of which were made for Lancashire, and his average being 55. In two seasons – 1897 and 1904 – he played three successive innings of a hundred, and on three occasions he made two separate hundreds in the same match. These scores were 106 and 100 not out for Lancashire against Warwickshire in 1897, 121 and 100 not out in a North and South match in 1900, and 136 and 101 for Lancashire against Hampshire in 1910.
Altogether in the course of his brilliant career he scored 37,803 runs in first-class matches with an average of nearly 41 and made eighty-six separate centuries. He played frequently in Gentlemen v. Players matches and in 1901 made 140 at Lord’s. He also took a leading part in Test match cricket between 1899 and 1909, appearing for England in sixteen games in this country and going out to Australia with AC MacLaren’s team in 1901/02 and with the MCC’s side two years later.
In England he made three hundreds against Australia, scoring 138 at Birmingham in 1902 (after the side had started in disastrous fashion), 100 at Leeds in 1905, and 112 not out at the Oval in the latter year. In all he scored 1,661 runs in Test Matches with an average of 30. Tyldesley was a member of the team Lord Hawke took out to South Africa in the winter of 1898/99. He scored 742 runs during the tour with an average of 32. Among his innings was one of 112 in a Test match at Cape Town.
There were few batsmen more attractive to watch than John Tyldesley. He was exceptionally quick on his feet and so always appeared to have plenty of time in which to make his strokes. Essentially a batsman of enterprise, when he went forward to the ball it was nearly always to hit. He also possessed a very strong defence and had at his command practically all the strokes in the game.
His ability to adapt himself to circumstances was emphasised in a Test match at the Oval in 1905, when Armstrong, bowling well outside the leg-stump with an off-break, reduced to impotence a number of batsmen, but not Tyldesley, who drew back and cut him. One of the best of outfieldsmen, he was very fast, picked the ball up cleanly, and had a very accurate return, in addition to being a very sure catch.
His benefit match, against Yorkshire at Manchester in 1906, yielded a profit of £3,105. Ernest Tyldesley, the Lancashire batsman, is a younger brother of John Tyldesley.
John Thomas Tyldesley died on November 27, 1930, aged 57. He was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1902.