Interesting Residents

     

                                                                             George Ulyett

     

     

     

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    George Ulyett, from Sheffield was an English all-round cricketer , noted particularly for his very-aggressive batsmanship. A well-liked man, Ulyett was popularly known as "Happy Jack", once musing memorably that Yorkshire played him only for his good behaviour and his whistling. A fine all round sportsman, Ulyett played football in the 1882-83 and 1883-84 seasons as goalkeeper for Sheffield Wednesday .

    George was born in Pitsmoor , Sheffield on 21 October 1851and joined the local Pitsmoor club at the age of sixteen and, from 1871 to 1873, played as a professional in Bradford . In 1873, he made his Yorkshire debut, at Bramall Lane against Sussex , and remained a valued member of the team for the next twenty years, passing 1,000 runs in ten seasons and fifty wickets in three. He took his career-best figures of seven for thirty against Surrey in 1878 and, in 1887, made his highest score, 199 not out against Derbyshire .

    Ulyett also played in the first-ever Test match , staged at the MCG , during that tour. His first real action in Test cricket came when he held onto a catch off the bowling of James Southerton to dismiss Billy Midwinter for five. With the bat, however, Ulyett failed in the first innings, lasting just a quarter of an hour before Nat Thomson had him trapped in front; in the second innings, however, with England in dire straits, he fought hard with John Selby for about 45 minutes -- but then the rampant Tom Kendall got one through his defences and effectively brought an end to England's resistance, the match being lost by 45 runs.

    In the second game, also at Melbourne, Ulyett showed his worth as a batsman, making 52 and 63 to secure an England win by four wickets . Thereafter, he was a regular pick for the England Test side, with his batting and bowling backed up by some fine displays of fielding.

    In 1881/82, Ulyett made his only Test century, hitting 149 at Melbourne in a drawn match.

    Ulyett played 25 Tests in total -- it was by far the longest career of any England cricketer to play in that inaugural Test -- and several times changed the course of a match.

    At Lord's in 1884, in the second innings, he returned an analysis of 39.1-23-36-7 (four-ball overs) to reduce the Australians from 60/1 to 145 all out and force a remarkable innings victory.

    Included in that haul was one of the most famous caughts-and-bowled ever taken. Ulyett sent down a straight half-volley to Bonnor, who drove at it with all his considerable might and got it right out of the middle of the bat. The ball flew back towards the bowler with a resounding crack. It seemed to Ulyett barely to have left his hand -- yet already it was flying back to him at what seemed like the speed of light. He had no time to judge it but held out the right hand instinctively, and the leather stuck, right in the middle of his palm. With the sound of Bonnor’s stroke still echoing about the ground, many eyes in the gallery were looking for the area near the boundary where they thought that the ball would land. The eyes of George Giffen, the non-striker, were among the wanderers, and he was certain that everyone else must be looking for it, too: indeed, a segment of the crowd, in panic, had even opened up a space in the ring in anticipation of the ball’s descent. Giffen reckoned it to have been a very mighty drive indeed -- but he could not see where it had gone. When, finally, his and other eyes were diverted back towards the pitch, they noticed Ulyett celebrating and Bonnor was departing. It soon dawned on them that Ulyett had taken the catch. Although Ulyett felt no pain in the centre of his hand, there was definitely a fair amount of it on the outside. Bonnor looked at him disgustedly, thinking it almost immoral to have done such a thing, and he walked off gloomily. The England players gathered around Ulyett in wonderment.

    WG Grace and Lord Harris both told Ulyett that he was foolish to have attempted to take the catch: had it hit his wrist or arm instead, that bone would surely have snapped. Giffen believed that this was one of the finest catches that he had ever seen, and, although on the team which it had adversely affected, he definitely appreciated it.

    He played on for Yorkshire for a few more years, but bowled increasingly little and did not take a wicket after 1891. The last of his 18 hundreds came against Middlesex in 1892, and he bade a quiet farewell from the first-class game in scoring just nine at Bramall Lane in August 1893. After retirement, his health began to fail and five years later he died in Pitsmoor on 18th June 1898, aged just 46, of pneumonia contracted while attending a Yorkshire match. His popularity was shown by the turnout of 4,000 for his funeral.

     

     

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                                                             The Yorkshire County Cricket Club side in 1875.

                                                                         Ulyett is second from the left.

    Grave: X3 9 (Cons.)

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    “Fatty” Foulkes

     

    William Henry Foulkes was born at Dawley, Shropshire on 12th April 1874. While still an infant, he and his mother moved to Blackwell in Derbyshire. As a child, he was a keen sportsman and excelled at cricket and football.

    He worked at the Blackwell Colliery from the age of 13 until he was 19 years old, playing in goal for the Blackwell Colliery team, where he was spotted by Sheffield United. He signed for them for a fee of £20 at the age of 20 years; he made his debut against West Bromwich Albion on 1st September 1894. He missed only three first team games over the next four years.

     

     

     

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    During the 1895/96 season, Foulkes had his wage increased to £3 a week, which included a retainer wage over the summer. Foulkes and his team mates were also paid a ten-shilling (50p) bonus for an away win, and five shillings for a home win or away draw. Records show that for key games the players were paid £5 for a win. At the time, the average wage of a working man was about £1. However, someone with specialist skills could earn up to £2.50 a week.

    By 1903 Foulkes weighed over twenty stone but he remained in good form and his wages were increased to £4 a week. Foulkes could kick the ball the length of the field and it was said that he could punch the ball as far as some players could kick it. According to one contemporary account, Foulkes could punch "the ball well over the half-way line." He was also described as "a leviathan at 22 stone with the agility of a bantam".

    After playing in over 350 games for Sheffield United Foulkes decided to leave the club when he refused to take a pay cut. In May 1905 Foulkes was sold to Chelsea for a transfer fee of £50. He received the maximum pay from Chelsea.

    Chelsea had just joined the Football League and in his first season he helped them to finish in 3rd place in the Second Division behind Bristol City and Manchester United.

    He continued to put on weight. According to one report, Foulkes was known to arrive early for breakfast, set for the entire Chelsea team, and eat the lot.

     

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    He eventually weighed over 25 stone, and was no longer as agile as he was and he retired from first-class football in November 1907. Foulkes remains in the record books as the heaviest ever first-class footballer to play anywhere in the world.

    In 1908 Foulkes took over a larger shop in Matilda Street. He also ran The Duke public house in Sheffield. The police raided the pub on 29th September 1910. Foulkes was searched and forty-five betting slips were found on his person. He replied to questions from the police that he had "no idea how they got there". Foulkes was eventually found guilty of being involved in illegal betting and was fined £25 and lost his job running the public house.

    William "Fatty" Foulkes died on 1st May 1916. The death certificate gives "cirrhosis" as a major cause of death.

     

     

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    Grave: KK364 (Gen)