The History of Forfarshire Cricket Club

First published in the 1980 Forfarshire CC centenary booklet, and updated in 2006 by G.Quinn

Cricket in Dundee was established in the mid 1830's but it took until 1880 for George M. Cox, a member of the Marchbanks, Lochee club to call a meeting with the aim of establishing a county side in the city. 

Cox had quickly established himself as one of the premier players in the area and was successful in gaining a place in the Perthshire team, but he did not see this as ideal - he wanted to play cricket for a team from his home town. So in 1880 he invited prominent city merchants to a meeting in the British Hotel.  The response was encouraging, a committee of eight was formed and the sum of 300 pounds was donated. Ground was secured at Forthill, and work began on constructing a small pavilion - Forfarshire was born.

Forfarshire had a poor team at the outset, but as interest grew, the club went from strength to strength under the captaincy of Cox and later C.E.Todd. To christen the new club, a challenge was issued to Glenalmond College, a strong team fielding two professionals. The result was encouraging, the new club losing by just 24 runs (scorecard). 
As the membership increased to 55, Forfarshire gained confidence, challenging neighbours Perthshire for the first time. The result was disappointing, defeat by 98 runs but still the new club continued to grow in size and confidence. 

The arrival of new players such as W.R.Sharp (pictured left) from Bristol College, andprofessionals such as Peter Higgins (pictured right) saw the club go from dreading playing other Dundee teams to being able to take on any side in Scotland without fear of the result.  When G.M.Cox retired in 1885, W.R.Sharp took over as captain, a position he held for 40 years. A prolific batsmen, his innings of 198 not out against Edinburgh Academicals in 1898, was a club record that stood until 1996 when Jonathon Phillips scoring 200 against Livingston. The record was broken once again in 2003 by Forfarshire’s Australian coach Brad Murphy when he scored 266 for the Second XI against Stoneywood-Dyce. The main gates to Forthill are dedicated to the memory of W.R.Sharp. 

Perthshire derby matches hold a special place in Forfarshire’s history. Once described by the Scotsman newspaper as the Scottish "The Battle of the Roses," these matches attracted large crowds. In 1957 a record 5000 spectators passed through the Forthill turnstiles but it was against Clackmannan in 1926 that Forfarshire set the record books alight. In a mere two and a half hours they scored 366 for 4 wickets, with three batsmen toping 100.

There have been a number of Forfarshire players represent Scotland over the years, Alex Steele and Peter Rhind being two notable performers. Former club coach, Ryan Watson has featured heavily for Scotland in recent years. An outstanding highlight was his century against Somerset that came from just 43 balls - the third-fastest century recorded in a first class one-day game. 

A list of all Forfarshire's capped players, and their playing statistics can be found at the bottom of this page.

Youth development has been a vital focus for the club for many years. Peter Drinnen was the first of several excellent coaches from overseas that the club has employed. From 1994, Peter returned for some nine seasons as club professional and coach, and established a thriving junior section. The result of which has seen several players represent Scotland at Senior and Youth levels. Peter has since moved on, initially to Cricket Scotland as Technical Director then National Coach and laterly to The Netherlands as National Coach - a testament to how fortunate Forfarshire were to have his services for so long. 

The wicket at Forthill has long been regarded as one of the best in Scotland, and Forfarshire have hosted a number of international matches against test playing nations. Australia, New Zealand, The West Indies, South Africa, India and most recently Bangladesh have all played at Forthill.  Ireland, Wales, Denmark, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire have also played on the ground.  Click on team names for match scorecards.


                                   Scotland  v  West Indies, at  Forthill,  18th July 1980

Forfarshire celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2005 with several events held throughout the year, and some excellent fundraising work took place. The culmination of the celebrations was a special annual Dinner in November held at Forthill, with over 80 members, sponsors and friends of the club enjoying a superb evening.

The excellent support shown by everyone associated with the club was the key to the success of the anniversary year and an encouraging sign for the future of Forfarshire.




Forfarshire's Capped Players


Courtesy of


click on players name for statistics 



 Name  Date of Birth  Debut  Matches  Duration  Years  Other Clubs
 Sharp WR   13 Jan 1861  30 Jun 1902  4  1902  -  1904  3  
 Tait RG   28 Jun 1885  22 Jul 1907  14  1907  -  1913  7  Aberdeenshire
 Chalmers GK   13 Jun 1881  15 Jun 1908  8  1908  -  1920  13  
 Ringrose W   02 Sept 1871  15 Jun 1908  4  1908  -  1912  5  
 Lindsay A  13 Feb 1883  28 Jun 1909  1  1909  -  1909  1  
 Nicoll HR   27 Feb 1883  16 Jul 1914  1  1914  -  1914  1  
 Stevenson DC   03 May 1890  12 Jul 1921  9  1921  -  1925  5  Stirling County
 Russell J   08 Apr 1887  30 Jul 1923  1  1923  -  1923  1  
 Simpson AR   28 Feb 1905  31 May 1924  14  1924  -  1939  16  Dunfermline
 Young WS   15 Nov 1896  19 Jul 1924  1  1924  -  1924  1  
 Farquhar JS   08 Apr 1904  21 Jun 1930  8  1930  -  1939  10  Perthshire
 Melville JH   19 Jun 1895  23 Jul 1932  13  1932  -  1937  6  
 Henderson JD   13 Oct 1918  13 Jul 1946  18  1946  -  1956  10  
 Wilson JS   22 Jan 1932  15 May 1957  20  1957  -  1964  8  Brechin
 Steele A   25 Feb 1941  29 Jul 1967  33  1967  -  1982  16  
 Rhind PA   20 Jun 1945  14 Aug 1968  16  1968  -  1982  15  Heriot's F.P.
 Reoch EC   05 Mar 1942  11 Jul 1973  3  1973  -  1973  1  
 Watson RR   12 Nov 1976  30 May 2002  118  2002  -  present    
 Bruce S  02 Apr 1969  30 Jun 2004  4  2004  -  2004  1