WALTER Read played in 18 Test cricket matches for England, twice as captain.

He was born in Reigate in 1855 the son of Robert Read and Elizabeth Read (formerly Allwork) In 1875 he was living at Holmesdale House, which was a school in West Street opened by his father and run by him for 30 years, where Walter was educated.

At the age of 13 he was playing for Reigate Priory Club when he was allowed by his father to play at Tonbridge against the first-class bowling of Bob Lipscombe, a Kent county player, scoring 78 not out. When he was 15 he came to the attention of Surrey but at first was only able to play for them at holiday times as he assisted his father in the running of the West Street School.

He eventually played 497 first-class matches including 366 for Surrey and 18 Test matches, scoring 38 centuries and making 338 in 1888 at the Oval against Oxford University. The Test matches he played in were: 1882 v Australia (in Australia); 1884 v Australia (in England); 1886 v Australia (in England); 1887 v Australia (in Australia) England won with Read as Captain; 1888 v Australia (in England); 1890 v Australia (in England); 1891 v South Africa (at Capetown) England won with Read as captain; 1893 v Australia (in England).

By 1892 Walter Read was living at Micklefield, Evesham Road. From 1890 he was a member of the MCC and from 1905 to his death in 1907 he was the Surrey coach.

Article by Alan Moore, author of A History of Redhill Volumes 1 and 2. History website