Ex-England captain Andrew Strauss unveils statue of A.E. Stoddart at Hampstead Cricket Club

Former England captain Andrew Strauss (left) and Hampstead chairman Jim Carter at the unveiling of t

Former England captain Andrew Strauss (left) and Hampstead chairman Jim Carter at the unveiling of the club's new statue of AE Stoddart. Pic: Dieter Perry - Credit: Archant

Former Middlesex and England captain Andrew Strauss visited Hampstead Cricket Club on Sunday to unveil a statue of A.E. Stoddart.

Andrew Ernest Stoddart, who lived in St John’s Wood, represented Hampstead, Middlesex and England in the 19th century, making his first-class debut in 1885.

He broke the record for the highest ever cricket score when he hit 485 for Hampstead against Stoics – a knock that included an eight, three fives and 64 fours – and then went on to plunder 207 for Hampstead and 98 for Middlesex later that same week.

Stoddart played 16 Test matches for England, captaining the side in six of them – including a 3-2 Ashes triumph in Australia in 1894-95.

A multi-talented sportsman, he also played 10 internationals for the England rugby team and helped to organise what became recognised as the first British and Irish Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1888.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of his death in 1915, and it coincides with the 150th birthday of Hampstead Cricket Club, which was founded in 1865.

A Hampstead Old Boys team faced the Stoics on Sunday to recreate Stoddart’s record-breaking innings – the visitors gaining some revenge with a narrow victory – while around 120 of the club’s young players practised their skills.

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Hampstead chairman Jim Carter, an actor who stars in Downton Abbey, unveiled the statue alongside Strauss.

Carter told Ham&High Sport: “Stoddart captained England at cricket and rugby, he won an Ashes tour and scored 173 against the Australians.

“He was a giant of a figure and through my association with the club I’ve learned a lot more about him. I also discovered that for a couple of years around 1908 he lived next door to me!

“To have another AS [Andrew Strauss], who was the captain of Middlesex and England – like Stoddart was – was fantastic. Strauss was wonderful, he made a good speech and was just super-professional.”