Wauchope cricket legend - Edgar Lloyd "Gar" Waddy

A cigarette card of Waddy.

A cigarette card of Waddy.

Arthur Sims' Australian XI 1913-14 touring team to New Zealand. Back row (from left): Les Cody, Frank Laver, L. Black, Charles Dolling, Arthur Mailey, William MacGregor, Bill Ferguson (scorer), Victor Trumper, Colin McKenzie. Middle row: Mrs Noble, Monty Noble, Arthur Sims (captain), Warwick Armstrong, Mrs Armstrong. Front row: Jack Crawford, Gar Waddy, Vernon Ransford, Herbie Collins

Arthur Sims' Australian XI 1913-14 touring team to New Zealand. Back row (from left): Les Cody, Frank Laver, L. Black, Charles Dolling, Arthur Mailey, William MacGregor, Bill Ferguson (scorer), Victor Trumper, Colin McKenzie. Middle row: Mrs Noble, Monty Noble, Arthur Sims (captain), Warwick Armstrong, Mrs Armstrong. Front row: Jack Crawford, Gar Waddy, Vernon Ransford, Herbie Collins

Victor Trumper, L. A. Cody, Gar Waddy, Bill Ferguson (scorer) and Arthur Mailey.

Victor Trumper, L. A. Cody, Gar Waddy, Bill Ferguson (scorer) and Arthur Mailey.

EDGAR Lloyd Waddy, commonly referred to "Gar" Waddy, is the only player known to play for a cricket club within the Hastings who also played first class cricket for NSW or Australia.

From a family cricketing dynasty, "Gar" is bracketed in Wisdens between brothers Rev E. F. (Mick) and Rev P. S. (Stacy) Waddy.

Gar played 58 first class matches for either NSW or Australia between 1896 and 1921, touring with the Australian team to New Zealand in 1913/14, and again in 1920/21 as vice captain when New Zealand was still a dominion and not a test playing nation. On his first New Zealand tour, "Gar" came second in the averages to Victor Trumper.

"Gar" played in every Sheffield Shield match between 1906 and 1912, and NSW captain during the 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons.

In 1906 in a game against Queensland, his 230 run partnership with Charles Gregory was made in 113 minutes. In the same year, he made 129 for NSW versus the Rest of Australia. His best season was probably 2009/10, when scoring 161 in a NSW trial match, 118 against South Australia (the next highest score being 11), and 133 versus the Rest of Australia.

His first class record of 2775 runs included six centuries (HS 140) and eleven 50s, at an average of 32.64.

Born in Morpeth NSW in 1879 and grandson to General Sir Richard Waddy (KCB), "Gar" was educated at the Kings School, Parramatta before furthering his studies at the Hawkesbury Agricultural College in Richmond from 1895.

Following a match for Hunter River District in Maitland during December 1896 against a powerful Sydney combined team, 17yo Waddy made 103 which drew attention in the city and with follow-up scores in local competition, Waddy was called up to the NSW team while still living and playing in Morpeth.

On 16 April 1897, Waddy played his inaugural first class game for NSW in the annual match against Queensland, before Queensland was part of the Sheffield Shield competition (Victor Trumper, being two years his senior, was 12th man in that team). It is noted that until the 1926/27 season, the Sheffield Shield was only contested between NSW, Victoria and South Australia, with intercolonial matches played in other regions on occasions.

It was nearly nine years before Waddy wore the NSW 1st XI cap again.

In the first of two appearances for the Northern Districts 18 against the touring English team, Waddy as a 17yo scored 6 and 31 in the match during November 1897. It was at that point Waddy began considering his cricketing future and with initial links to the Waverley club in Sydney, due to boundary links was not permitted to play with Waverley by the NSW Cricket Association but instead was admitted as a member to the Central Cumberland (now Parramatta) club. Commuting from the Hunter, Waddy played four matches for Central Cumberland in the 1898/99 season.

In 1899/00, Waddy played a full season (nine matches) with Central Cumberland, batting 11 times at an average of 46.74. This average was the second highest for the team and ninth highest in grade competition for the season, with Central Cumberland going on to win the grade competition for the first time.

In the following season, Waddy was selected to play for the NSW 2nd XV against the NSW 1st XI from 10 November 1900, scoring 10 in the match.

Waddy's first connection to the Hastings occurred when playing for Morpeth against a combined Hastings XI at Wauchope on Monday, 15 April, 1901. Waddy, as a wicketkeeper batsman, scored 26 runs in Morpeth's total of 187, easily accounting for the Hastings XI who were dismissed for 77.

Later the same year, Waddy purchased a 112 acre dairy farm at Rosewood, and played his first recorded game for the Wauchope Cricket Club on 10 November, 1901, scoring 96 against Telegraph Point.

A week later, "Gar" scored 190 against the Port Macquarie Cricket Club in Wauchope's total score for the day of 5/267. Fortunately for the Port Macquarie club, Rev Stacy Waddy who had been in town at the time visiting his brother, had to leave early on the steamer back to Sydney which prevented the brothers teaming up in the match.

While Gar was playing for Wauchope, all three Waddy brothers were selected for a Northern District 18s team (comprising Newcastle, Maitland, Singleton, Scone, Uralla, Gresford and Morpeth) to play against the touring England team on 29-30 November, 1901, prior to test matches against Australia. In Gar's second match against a touring English team, he batted 9 and in typical Waddy fashion, the 21 year old went after the English bowlers but was caught on the straight boundary for 9, with the Northern Districts' team overall scoring an impressive 15/548 tally with the match ending in a draw.

During Waddy's first season with Wauchope in 1901/02, he not only captained the local team but also the Hastings interdistrict team. Following an impressive score of 94 in 55 minutes for Wauchope against Camden Haven in that season as a follow-up to earlier scores, Gar was regarded by many locals as the best player in NSW living outside of Sydney.

Waddy's bachelorhood came to an end on 28 July, 1902, when he married his Hawkesbury sweetheart Lottchen Sara Bowman in Sydney, after which "Gar" returned to his Rosewood property with his new wife.

During his period in Wauchope, Waddy also became active in the Wauchope lawn tennis and rugby clubs where he was also an accomplished player in both sports, and also became a foundation director of the Hastings Co-operative.

During the 1902/03 season while playing for Wauchope and with the NSW 1st XI playing in Melbourne, Waddy was called up to play for effectively the NSW 2nd XI team against Queensland from 26 December 1902 at the SCG. Upon returning to Wauchope, Waddy's second recorded century occurred on 7 March 1903 (vs Rawdon Island), scoring 150 in Wauchope's score of 225.

However it was early in 1904 when Waddy went up a level in local cricket circles, scoring 144 (retired) on 9 January (for Hastings vs Macleay), 137 on 6 February (vs Rawdon Island), and 101 on 13 February (for Hastings vs Manning). Late in the season, Waddy was once again commuting to Sydney to play with Central Cumberland.

Cricket began taking a higher focus than dairy farming and with younger brother Mick starting to make inroads into the NSW team, Gar decided to put his Rosewood property on the market prior to the 2004/05 season and move back to the Hunter region, where up to about 1910 he was regularly commuting each Saturday to Sydney to play grade cricket, and also playing on occasions in the local club and representative competitions.

With his Wauchope property still on the market, he did play on occasions for Wauchope.

After changing Sydney grade clubs from Central Cumberland to Gordon, his last recorded game for Wauchope was played on 9 December 1905, scoring a 50 against Hamilton in Wauchope's 48 run win.

Only five weeks after his final match for Wauchope, Waddy played in his second first class match for NSW from 12 January 1906, this time against the Australian XI.

In the match "Gar" scored 60 and 74, sharing a 145 run 4th wicket partnership in the 2nd innings with his younger brother, Rev E F "Mick" Waddy.

This was a remarkable effort by the brothers given the Australian team featured six NSW players including Trumper, and required NSW to chase 552 runs to win in the second innings. Ironically with the Waddy brothers at the crease the defeat of the Australian team seemed probable, but in the end NSW fell 79 runs short.

The match was considered at the time one of the greatest ever played on the Sydney Cricket Ground, with 472 not only the highest scored against the Australian team but the largest 1st Class score made in Australia in the 4th innings of a match.

The Sydney Morning Herald described the batting of the Waddy brothers, "an exhibition was witnessed such has been furnished by only Trumper and Duff in their merriest humour" (Australian XI opening batsmen Victor Trumper and Reggie Duff).

Following the match, "Gar" was rushed into the NSW team where he remained until the start of World War I, primarily as a recognised hard-hitting batsman with occasional wicketkeeping duties.

Following his first class playing career, Waddy continued playing grade cricket until the end of the 1929/30 season, returning to Central Cumberland following short stints with Gordon and Western Suburbs.

For the Cumberland club, Waddy amassed over 8000 1st Grade runs. He continued to play cricket in non-grade competition for Rydalmere Hospital until the end of the 1938/39 season, after which time he continued to play in exhibition matches, with the last recorded match being played on 20 February, 1949, as a 69 year old (featuring players such as Bill O'Reilly, Stan McCabe and Bert Oldfield).

When not playing, Waddy became involved in the administration of cricket and during a period of over 20 years was at one time President of the Central Cumberland club, a Central Cumberland delegate to the NSWCA for several seasons, Chairman of the grade committee, a NSW selector, and member of the Country Committee. Waddy later became a life member of the NSWCA.

In 1933, claims made by Waddy included:

* Keeping wickets in each Australian capital.

* Once when playing in Newcastle, scoring 220no in two and a quarter hours.

* Was the only player to stump (English player and Indian Prince) Ranjitsinhji in Australia, then considered the English equivalent to Trumper.

* Played more tours in Australia than any other cricketer

"Gar" was a correspondent to the Sydney Morning Herald during the1932/33 Bodyline series while also on the NSWCA committee, and controversially disagreed with the reaction of the Australian Board of Control to the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), instead being more complimentary of the quality of Harold Larwood's bowling.

In his opposition to the Board's action, Waddy reported:

"The MCC had undoubtedly selected the English team with a view to defeating the Australian batsmen with the fast bowling. The Australians would either have to master it or accept defeat."

Criticising the use of the word "unsportsmanlike" in the original cable sent by the Board of Control, Mr Waddy said, "It should be withdrawn. It would have been much better had the Australian representatives conferred with the English managers and captain".

"Larwood, Voce and Bowes are quite within their rights in bowling as they have been doing," Mr Waddy said.

"I will not admit that leg theory is bodyline bowling. Larwood is the only one doing any damage, and 70 per cent of his wickets have been secured with balls bowled on the off-side, which rather upsets the bodyline bowling allegation."

Waddy, outside of personal visits, returned to Wauchope for matches against combined Hastings XV teams when part of the Kippax XI, privately arranged teams that toured the region and which featured a number of international and NSW players. These matches were played at Wauchope on 12 September, 1927, 24 September, 1928, and 16 September, 1929, with the Kippax team on the last two occasions featuring a youthful Don Bradman.

Waddy was not only a player but also the manager of the team and in following years, organised other tours to northern NSW and northern Queensland.

Given the warmer weather in the north which allowed tours to take place either before or after grade cricket competition in Sydney, these privately arranged tours with the approval of the NSWCA only covered basic expenses for the players. This allowed not only the promotion of cricket in the country areas by high profile players, but also allowed local associations to raise funds for construction of turf wickets.

A tribute to Waddy in Sydney newspaper 'The Referee' on 21 March, 1935, included:

"'Gar' Waddy of those of rare cricketing powers who never grow old. 'Gar' still makes centuries though 59 this year. In his days of youth, there was one of a coterie in NSW alone who never got into a Test match, and yet ranked among the ablest players the old State has developed. In 1906, NSW was so powerful that in the J. J. Kelly testimonial match between the Australian XI and NSW, six of the Australians were Sydney siders. 'Gar' Waddy was one of the XI who gave the 'Rep' team such a gallant fight. He scored 60 out of 140 and 72 out of 472 with the State narrowly beaten. His batting was gloriously brilliant and venturesome on the drives. That match took place nearly 30 years ago, yet 'Gar' can still belt the ball all over the field and over the pickets."

"Gar" Waddy passed away at Collaroy on 2 August, 1963, at the age of 83. One of his children was John Lloyd Waddy, a fighter pilot ace during World War II, later becoming a parliamentarian for the Liberal Party in the NSW Legislative Assembly and first member for the Sydney North Shore seat of Kirribilli.