As we enjoy another international break we look back at one of the few men to have played for England at football and cricket. One of those has a Tottenham connection as the clubs caretaker manager.
Wally Hardinge stepped up from reserve team coach to caretaker during the 1930’s. Despite just a fleeting spell in charge of the team his previous sporting endeavours warrant his inclusion in this series.
Harold Thomas William Hardinge was born in Greenwich in 1886. An inside forward he played for Newcastle joining them in 1905, (he had previously worked as a cricket ball maker) although not a regular Newcastle did win the League Championship. He moved to Sheffield United and later Arsenal. In his Sheffield days he played for England V Scotland in 1910 at Hampden Park in a 0-2 defeat.
As a cricketer he turned out for Kent beginning in 1902, three years before he turned professional in the winter game and stayed with them until 1921, winning four County Championships. Wisden named him one of their Cricketers of the year in 1915. He is still one of the top scorers in the county’s history with more than thirty three thousand first class runs, batting right handed. A left arm slow bowler he also took 371 wickets.
Left - Wally, center, is welcomed to the club by trainer George Hardy and some of the players on 22nd January 1935.
In 1921 he joined a select band of men who have played for England in both sports when playing for England V Australia at Leeds scoring 30 runs, Australia won by 217 runs.
He was later chosen to tour Australia but his employers declined to release him.
After retiring he coached cricket with Leicestershire and was a FA Instructor with Kent schools. He became Tottenham’s reserve team coach in early 1935. Then was asked to take charge of the first team when Percy Smith (1) left before the end of the season. He was not keen on accepting the post and only agreed to the change until a new manager, Jack Tresdern, could be appointed, (2).
His spell in charge lasted just three games two defeats, away at Stoke and Leeds. His victory was a 5-1 win at home to Liverpool. Willie Evans score a hat trick and Douglas Hunt and Len Bolan one goal each.
Wally passed away in 1965. A sad postscript is that in 1933 (pre-Spurs days) he had been taken to court for traveling by train without having purchasing a ticket. In the evidence it was said “At first he had refused to give his name and address, and after being followed on a bus, gave the name of Wilson, with an address at Chiselhurst, which could not be traced. Hardinge, in evidence, said that the ticket produced was not the one he gave up. He was spoken to in an aggressive manner in front of other people, and he lost his temper. That was why he gave a false address."
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Thanks – Wisden, Whitstable Times, England on line.
You may like to read the story of a Tottenham player. Bill Edrich, who was more famous for his cricketing adventures @ http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog
Notes -1 - hhttp://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-the-reign-of-percy-smith
2 - The next step in our history will be published later in the year.
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