Tom Richardson, Cricketer
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|Copyright 1||London Borough of Merton|
|Photographer / Origin of Photo||Tom Francis|
|Notes / History||"Honest Tom" Richardson was born in Byfeet in August 1870. His family later moved to Mitcham, where Tom attended the National School on Lower Green West and developed his cricket skills with the "Old Buffers" team.
Tom turned professional in 1892 and joined the Surrey XI. He soon became the second highest wicket-taker in the country and played for England against Australia in 1893, claiming 10 wickets. He made 14 Test appearances, with an amazing strike rate of one wicket per 23 balls. In four successive seasons (1894-97), he scored over 1000 wickets - still a fast bowling record. Health issues affected his game during the late 1890s and in 1912 he suffered a fatal heart attack whilst on holiday in France. He was buried in Richmond Cemetery.
Charismatic, modest and sportsmanlike, Tom never forgot his cricketing roots. In 1963 he was named as one of the "Six Giants of the Wisden Century" alongside players such as W G Grace, Jack Hobbs and Don Bradman.