Percy Christopherson

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Percy Christopherson
Barbarians FC April 1891.jpg
Christopherson with the Barbarians, middle row third from left.
Full name Percy Christopherson
Date of birth (1866-03-31)31 March 1866
Place of birth Kidbrooke, England
Date of death 4 May 1921(1921-05-04) (aged 55)
Place of death Elham, England
School Marlborough College
Bedford School
University Oxford University
Occupation(s) school teacher
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Threequarters
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
1886–1888
1888–?
1888
1890
Oxford University RFC
Blackheath F.C.
Kent
Barbarian F.C.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1891  England 2 (2)

Percy Christopherson (31 March 1866 – 4 May 1921)[1] was an English sportsman who played rugby union as a threequarter for Blackheath and represented England at international level. Christopherson also played cricket for Oxford University, and represented Kent in a single First Class match. He was employed as a teacher at Wellington College, Berkshire.[2]

Rugby career[edit]

Christopherson first came to note as a rugby player when he represented Oxford University. He played in three Varsity Matches, from 1886 to 1888 winning his sporting 'Blues'. All three matches ended in loses for Oxford, and in the final season, under Christopherson's captaincy, the university team entered the Varsity encounter with a poor record; having lost as many games as they had won.[3] In late 1888, Christopherson was selected for county team Kent, to face the 1888 touring New Zealand Natives.[4] Kent lost 4–1.

After leaving university, Christopherson joined first class English club Blackheath, and it was while representing the senior team that he was approached to join the newly formed invitational touring side Barbarian F.C., making him one of the clubs founding members. The next season, Christopherson was selected by the Rugby Football Union to represent England in the opening game of the 1891 Home Nations Championship. Under the captaincy of Frederic Alderson, England's first match of the tournament was away to Wales.[5] Christopherson had an excellent game, scoring two tries in the first half. The first was set up by half back William Leake which Christopherson scored after eluding Billy Bancroft. The second was a solo effort, scored after a fast, dodging run.[5] Despite a promising start, Christopherson was not part of the team that travelled to Ireland a month later; being replaced by fellow Barbarian Piercy Morrison. Christopherson's final match for England was the tournament decider against Scotland. The match ended in victory for the Scots, and Christopherson never represented his country again.

Cricket career[edit]

Christopherson is most notable as a cricketer, not because of his first class record with Kent, but for coming from a strong sporting family of ten brothers, who all played cricket to varying levels. The most successful of his brothers was Stanley who played in one Test match for England. Percy Christopherson is noted as playing cricket for Oxford University during his student years, but he did not take part in any of the annual University Match and therefore did not secure a 'Blue' for cricket.

In July 1887, Christopherson made his one and only First Class county appearance, for Kent against Sussex, alongside his brother Stanley. Christopherson, a right-handed batsman and medium pace bowler,[6] took to the field to bat at middle order in the first innings. He scored 27 with the bat, the third highest in Kent's first innings, caught by Jesse Hide off the bowling of his brother Arthur. Sussex went into bat chasing a first innings total of 214. Christopherson was one of three bowlers elected by Kent, and finished with respectable bowling statistics of 5 wickets taken for 43 runs from 37 overs.[7] Kent regular, Jimmy Wootton took the other five wickets. With only 79 runs scored, Sussex were forced to follow on, and although Christopherson's bowling was more expensive in the second innings, Kent needed just 108 to take the match after Sussex were bowled out. Kent reached the target without Christopherson taking the crease again.

Christopherson's only other First Class appearance, was for Oxford University against the Gentlemen of England in 1889, though he played in two Minor County Championship for Berkshire in 1887 and 1889. During his cricket career Christopherson also played for Shropshire, Gentlemen of Kent and Blackheath. His most unusual match took place on the Rectory Field against Blackheath in 1888, when he was part of a team made up of himself, his father and his nine brothers, named 'The Christophersons'.[8]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Griffiths, John (1987). The Phoenix Book of International Rugby Records. London: Phoenix House. ISBN 0-460-07003-7. 
  • Jenkins, Vivian (1981). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook 1981–82. Aylesbury: Rothmans Publications Ltd. ISBN 0-907574-05-X. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Percy Christophersonplayer profile Scrum.com
  2. ^ Maule, Raymond (1992). The Complete Who's Who of England Rugby Union Internationals. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 35. ISBN 1-873626-10-X. 
  3. ^ Marshall, Howard; Jordon, J.P. (1951). Oxford v Cambridge, The Story of the University Rugby Match. London: Clerke & Cockeran. p. 71. 
  4. ^ Te Aroha News (12 October 1888). "The Maori Footballers, The Northampton Trip". Papers Past. Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Griffiths, John (1982). The Book of English International Rugby 1872–1982. London: Willow Books. p. 55. ISBN 0002180065. 
  6. ^ Percy Christopherson cricket statistics Cricketarchive
  7. ^ Kent v Sussex, County Match 1887, scorecard Cricketarchive
  8. ^ "Blackheath v The Christophersons". Cricket Archive. Retrieved 3 June 2010.