|Full name||Edward O'Donovan Crean|
|Date of birth||1887|
|Place of birth||Liverpool, Lancashire, England|
|Date of death||unknown|
|School||Ampleforth Abbey and College|
|Rugby union career|
Edward O'Donovan Crean was an English rugby union player who was part of the first official British and Irish Lions team that toured South Africa in 1910. He is one of a small number of Lions players to have never played for their national side.
Edward O'Donovan Crean was born in 1887 in Liverpool, the son of the oil refiner James Crean (b 1853) and Catherine O'Halloran. Although both his parents were also born in Liverpool, all of Crean's grandparents were Irish. He had a number of older siblings. Edward Crean attended and boarded at the catholic Ampleforth Abbey and College.
Crean played for Liverpool Football Club, a rugby club, which later became Liverpool and St Helens RFC, and is not to be confused with its association football equivalent. He played in the Oxford University clash in the 1908/09 season and played alongside the two Irish internationals, G. Pinion and M.G. Garry. He also saw the beginnings of potentially the greatest side of Liverpool that contained three international captains (Poulton-Palmer of England, Lloyd of Ireland and Turner of Scotland).
Despite having not been selected for the England team, in 1910 Crean was selected for the first official British tour to South Africa (in that it was sanctioned and selected by the four Home Nations official governing bodies).
First World War
In the First World War Crean joined the Royal Naval Air Service, which by the end of the war had merged with the Royal Flying Corps to become the Royal Air Force. By the end of the war he had risen to the rank of captain, and was elected to the Royal Aero Club of the UK on 19 June 1919.
- Class: RG13; Piece: 4551; Folio: 27; Page: 5. Census Returns of England and Wales, 1901. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1901.
- The Ampleforth Journal, by Ampleforth Abbey (York, England), Page 234, Item notes: 14 (1908-1909)
- Class: RG12; Piece: 2998; Folio 104; Page 41; GSU roll: 6098108. Census Returns of England and Wales, 1891. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1891