Fred Morley

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Fred Morley
Fred Morley.jpg
Personal information
Born(1850-12-16)16 December 1850
Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, England
Died28 September 1884(1884-09-28) (aged 33)
Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, England
BattingLeft hand bat
BowlingLeft arm fast
International information
National side
Career statistics
Competition Tests First-class
Matches 4 232
Runs scored 6 1,404
Batting average 1.50 5.40
100s/50s 0/0 0/0
Top score 2* 31
Balls bowled 972 53,621
Wickets 16 1,274
Bowling average 18.50 13.43
5 wickets in innings 1 119
10 wickets in match 0 36
Best bowling 5/56 8/26
Catches/stumpings 4/0 109/0
Source: [1]

Frederick ("Speedy Fred")[1][2][3] Morley (16 December 1850 – 28 September 1884) was a professional cricketer who was reckoned to be the fastest bowler in England during his prime. During a 13-year career for Nottinghamshire and England he took 1,274 wickets at an average of 13.73.

In 1879/80 Morley toured North America with Richard Daft, and in 1880 he was selected to play in the match that later became known as the first Test match to take place in England, taking 8 for 146, including five wickets in the first innings.[4] He toured Australia in 1882/3 as part of the Honourable Ivo Bligh's side that aimed to recover the Ashes. However, he was hampered by an injury to his rib that he picked up when the team's ship was involved in a collision in the harbour at Colombo.[5] Official reports deemed the incident an "unfortunate incidence of chance". Rumors, however, soon surfaced regarding the supposed accidental nature of the collision, with some historians postulating malicious sabotage from rival cricket teams.[1][2] After sustaining injuries, his subsequent bowling performances were poor. He never recovered from his injuries. Alienated from his family members due to his deteriorating health and subsequent inability to bring in income, Morley lived in seclusion during the remainder of his life.[6] He died of congestion and dropsy in September 1884 at the age of 33.[7] He was interred with a cricket ball placed in his left (favored) hand.[6]

He was married to Hannah, a seamstress, and they had at least three children, Sarah, Harold and Allen. His name was registered at birth as Frederic Morley.


  1. ^ a b Randall, Derek. Thomas, Peter Wynne. The History of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club. Christopher Helm Publishers. 1992.
  2. ^ a b Major, John Roy. More Than a Game: The Story of Cricket's Early Years. Harper Collins UK. 2007.
  3. ^ Birley, Derek. A Social History of English Cricket. Aurum. 1999. pg267-270
  4. ^ "Only Test: England v Australia at The Oval, Sep 6-8, 1880". espncricinfo. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
  5. ^ Cricinfo biography on Fred Morley.
  6. ^ a b Ambrose, Don. Malcolm, Lorimer. Cricket Grounds of Lancashire The Association of Cricket Statisticians and History 1992
  7. ^ Brief profile of Frederick Morley by Don Ambrose.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Altham, Harry Surtees. A History of Cricket, Volume 1 (to 1914). George Allen & Unwin. 1962.