Harry Daft

DAFT, HARRY BUTLER, second son of Richard Daft the most famous stylist of his time, died at High Cross, Herts, on January 12, aged 78. Born at Radcliffeon-Trent, he appeared in the Trent College XI when only 12 and showed such increased skill as he played with his seniors that in 1885, when 19, he was tried for the County in several games. Next season he appeared for Gentlemen v. Players at the Oval and he assisted Nottinghamshire as an amateur until he turned professional in 1890. Specially strong in defence, with skill in placing his strokes, he never suggested forcing ability and scarcely reached the high standard of his county's best batsmen. Besides being both amateur and professional he shared the rare distinction with his father of playing together in the County Eleven. This occurred in the August Bank Holiday Match, 1891, at Kennington Oval against Surrey, Richard Daft returning to the Nottinghamshire side after an absence of ten years because Arthur Shrewsbury was compelled to stand down through injury. Wisden, commenting on the case of father and son being in the same side, stated such a thing has not been seen in first-class cricket since old William Lillywhite and his son John played together. Richard Daft was then 56 and his son 25. W. G. Grace and his son, the Cambridge Blue, often played together, and in more recent years Bestwicks of Derbyshire and Quaifes of Warwickshire supplied similar instances. During the match between these counties at Derby in June 1922 the two Bestwicks shared the attack in bowling while W. G. Quaife and his son B. W. were batting in partnership.

Very difficult to dismiss when set, Harry Daft in 1894 against Kent at Trent Bridge scored 92 not out, and against Surrey at The Oval in 1896 carried his bat through the second innings for 77 in a vain attempt to save his side from defeat.

Altogether, he scored 3,861 runs, average 16.22, took 74 wickets at 27.52 runs apiece, and held 73 catches in first-class cricket. Continuing in county cricket until 1899, Harry Daft played his highest innings for Nottinghamshire, not out 103, against Northamptonshire in 1897, but that was not a first-class match, Northamptonshire not being raised to the championship group until 1905.

H. B. Daft earned higher fame in Association football when playing for Notts County as outside left, and helped to win the F. A. Cup in 1894 with a victory of 4 goals to one over Bolton Wanderers at Goodison Park, Liverpool. He gained England caps against Ireland in 1889, 91 and 92 against Scotland and Wales in 1890, and in 1892 played for English League against Scottish League.

© John Wisden & Co