Harry Graham (cricketer)

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Harry Graham
Harry Graham c1895.jpg
Personal information
Full nameHenry Graham
Born(1870-11-22)22 November 1870
Melbourne, Australia
Died7 February 1911(1911-02-07) (aged 40)
Seacliff, New Zealand
BattingRight-hand bat
International information
National side
Career statistics
Competition Tests First-class
Runs scored3015054
Batting average 30.1026.32
Top score107124
Balls bowled0298
Wickets 06
Bowling average 43.00
5 wickets in innings 00
10 wickets in match00
Best bowling4/39
Catches/stumpings 3/085/0

Harry Graham (22 November 1870 – 7 February 1911) was an Australian cricket player – a right-handed batsman, who played six Tests for Australia, and also played cricket for New Zealand – and an Australian rules footballer who played for the Melbourne Football Club in the Victorian Football League (VFL).



The son of James Graham (1839–1911), [1] [2] and Mary Theresa Graham (1846–1886), née Lauder, [3] he was born in Carlton on 22 November 1870.


He was taught to play cricket at Berwick Grammar School, by its owner/founder Edward Antonio Lloyd Vieusseux (1854–1917). [4] On leaving school Graham joined the South Melbourne Cricket Club; [5] [6] [7] he later moved to the Melbourne Cricket Club (1894/1895) [8] and, finally, to the Carlton Cricket Club. [9] [10] [11] [12]

Known affectionately as "the Little Dasher", [13] Graham scored a century on his Test debut in 1893 at Lord's, and scored 107 in his first Test on home soil, in Sydney. He was only the third player to score a century on Test debut, and the first player to score a century in the second innings on Test debut. [14] [15]

[Graham was] one of the most brilliant batsmen and fieldsmen Australia has ever produced. He first became famous with the bat in 1892-3, when playing for Victoria. He was included in the Australian team which visited England in 1893, and was a great success. He headed the batting averages for all matches, one of his best efforts being 107 runs against All-England at Lord's. He was a terror on fast bowling. He was a resolute batsman, a distinct characteristic being the alteration of his style to suit varying conditions of wickets. Graham was regarded as the best wet wicket batsman who ever played for Australia, whilst his equal as an outfield has rarely been seen. — The Bendigo Advertiser, 11 February 1911. [16]


Recruited from the Marylebone Football Club, [17] [18] Graham was a leading Australian rules footballer, playing for Melbourne Football Club, firstly in the Victorian Football Association for a number of years, [19] where he was runner-up in the goal kicking in 1892 with 42 goals. [20]

He made a comeback in 1900, playing two games for the Melbourne First XVIII in the new Victorian Football League: the first against Essendon, on 30 June 1900 (round 9), in which he played well and scored one goal, [21] [22] [23] and the second against Carlton, on 7 July 1900 (round 10), in which he scored two goals.

New Zealand

After he retired from first-class cricket in Australia, in 1903 Graham accepted the post of coach at Otago Boys' High School in Dunedin. [24] He also played several times for Otago in first-class matches from 1903–04 to 1906–07, but without reproducing the brilliance of his Australian form. [25]


"In his later years Graham was gripped with alcoholism and mental illness and he was committed to an asylum near Dunedin, New Zealand in 1907 where he remained until his death". [26] On 7 February 1911, eleven weeks past his 40th birthday, Harry Graham died in Seacliff, a small village in the Otago region of New Zealand's South Island: [27] "Weak in health and weak in mind for some time past, [his] death was not unexpected". [28]

Fame is death to some men. Poor Harry Graham, who died far away from the scene of his meteoric triumphs, was a case in point. When the "Little Dasher" blossomed out into an international player eighteen years ago, he was the cricket public's idol. Had anybody suggested a testimonial money would have flown in a rich stream to the treasurer. But the trips to England took him off his feet, and finally left him high and dry in neglected obscurity. Never, possibly, did a man so quickly feel the stress and strain of all-the-year cricket. Before he became king of the bat he was a champion goal-kicker. After his tours he could hardly kick a ball forty yards. Peace to his ashes. He did many a man a good turn. — Punch, 16 February 1911. [29]

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  1. Deaths: Graham, The Age (9 February 1911), p. 1
  2. Personal, The Argus (22 February 1911), p. 13.
  3. Deaths: Graham, The Weekly Times (27 November 1886), p. 6.
  4. Social Notes, The (Melbourne) Leader (10 November 1917), p. 43.
  5. A Rift in the Clouds, The (Melbourne) Punch (12 December 1893), p. 2.
  6. Harry Graham: The Rising Victorian Cricketer, The Weekly Times (14 January 1893), p. 21.
  7. Cricketers of the Season, The Australasian (15 April 1893), p. 44.
  8. Cricket Chatter, The Australasian (Melbourne) (24 March 1894), p. 18.
  9. He was born in Drummond Street, Carlton: Cricket Chatter, The Australasian (Melbourne) (18 October 1902), p. 22.
  10. Cricket Chatter, The Austrlasian (11 October 1902), p. 21
  11. Notes and Comments, The Weekly Times (18 October 1902), p. 18.
  12. Death of Harry Graham, The Australasian (11 February 1911), p. 22.
  13. 'Old Cricketer', "Cricket: Fourth Test", The Weekly Times (18 February 1911), p. 22.
  14. "Records | Test matches | Batting records | Hundred on debut | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  15. A Famous Cricketer: Harry Graham Dies in N.Z.: A Great Bat and a Brilliant Field, The (Sydney) Sun (8 February 1911), p. 1.
  16. Obituary, The Bendigo Advertiser (11 February 1911), p. 9.
  17. The Premier Juniors—Marylebone, The (Melbourne) Leader (3 October 1891), p. 21.
  18. Note that this is not the East Geelong team, which played under the name of Marylebone Football Club from 1893 to 1906.
  19. Sport and Play, Melbourne Punch (19 May 1892), p. 11.
  20. Atkinson, G. (1982) Everything you ever wanted to know about Australian rules football but couldn't be bothered asking, The Five Mile Press: Melbourne. p. 182. ISBN   0 86788 009 0.
  21. Football, The Argus (2 July 1900), p. 7
  22. The Football Season: Melbourne v. Essendon, The Age (2 July 1900), p. 9
  23. Melbourne Football, The (Sydney) Referee (4 July 1900), p. 8.
  24. Cricket Chatter, (Saturday, 31 October 1903), p.23.
  25. "Personal". Otago Daily Times: 6. 8 February 1911. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  26. Harry Graham. Demonwiki
  27. Deaths: Graham, The Age (9 February 1911), p. 1.
  28. Death of Harry Graham: A Dasher of the '90's, The (Emerald Hill) Record (18 February 1911), p. 5.
  29. Prattle About People, (Melbourne) Punch, (16 February 1911), p. 7.

Further reading