William Gilbert 'W.G.' Grace (1848 - 1915) MP

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William Gilbert 'W.G.' Grace's Geni Profile

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Birthplace: Downend, Bristol
Death: Died in England
Occupation: qualified as a General Practioner
Managed by: Scott David Hibbard
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About William Gilbert 'W.G.' Grace

William Gilbert "WG" Grace (July 18, 1848 – October 23, 1915) was an English cricketer who, by his extraordinary skills, made cricket perhaps the first modern spectator sport, and who developed most of the techniques of modern batting.

He was often referred to in print by his initials, and "W.G." became something of a sobriquet for him. He had many others, too, including a few family ones that were never used in cricketing circles ("Gilby", "Willy", "William" and, most commonly, "Gilbert"). His mother is described as admonishing him, after he had been dismissed playing a poor shot: "How many times, Gilbert, have I told you how to play that ball?" He was also known in his later career as "The Doctor", "The Old Man" (although this came into being when he was still in his early thirties) or, perhaps most fittingly, "The Champion".

In many of the tributes paid to him, he was referred to as "The Great Cricketer". The respected cricket historian Peter Wynne-Thomas paid tribute to Grace in his book The Hamlyn A - Z of Cricket Records. Writing in 1982, he summarised Grace thus:

Even now, 67 years after his death, W G Grace is probably the most easily recognisable sportsman in England and certainly he towers over all his contemporaries in cricket or indeed in any other sport. Undoubtedly he is the greatest of cricketers.

In a career spanning 44 years, Grace's batting average was 39.45 at first class level, an average undoubtedly dragged down by playing into his late fifties. At his peak in the 1870s his first-class season batting averages were regularly between 60 and 70, at a time where uncovered, poorly-prepared pitches meant that scores were far lower than the modern game. His career bowling record of 2809 wickets at the outstanding average of 18.14 speaks for itself.

Grace played Test cricket against Australia from 1880 onwards, but he was already past his peak at that stage.

He was a doctor by profession and played cricket as a (nominal) amateur throughout his career.

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W. G. Grace was William Philo Hibbard's 5th cousin 5-times removed

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William Gilbert 'W.G.' Grace's Timeline

1848
July 18, 1848
Downend, Bristol
1868
October 27, 1868
Age 20
Bristol Medical School, Bristol
October 27, 1868
Age 20
Bristol Medical School, Bristol
1873
October 9, 1873
Age 25
St. Mathias, Brompton
1874
July 6, 1874
Age 25
Kensington
1874
Age 25
1874
Age 25
1875
February 1875
Age 26
St.Bartholemews Hospital, London
February 1875
Age 26
St.Bartholemews Hospital, London