Alfred Eldridge had a relatively short, but highly successful career with Glamorgan during the 1890s with the seam bowler, who had the priceless knack of making the ball move both ways, taking 132 wickets for the Welsh county, at a cost of just 12 runs apiece.
On no less than a dozen occasions he claimed five wickets or more in an innings, but there was nothing hinting this success in his first season with Glamorgan when the professional claimed just one wicket in two matches against Gloucestershire in 1891. His rise into the county side followed a successful time with the Neath club. He switched to Swansea for 1892 before enjoying a stellar summer in 1893 with Glamorgan, claiming in all 67 wickets. His haul included 15/48 in the trial match against a Colts XXII at the Arms Park, followed by 6/58 against the MCC at Swansea, 6/44 against Devon at Swansea and 7/13 against Monmouthshire at Newport.
1894 saw him top the 50-wicket mark again with five-wicket hauls against Wiltshire at the Arms Park, against Monmouthshire at Swansea, the MCC at Lord’s, plus Monmouthshire at Newport. However, his best – and perhaps most influential – return came in the end-of-season game at Swindon where he decimated the Wiltshire batting with returns of 8/43 and 7/48.
Glamorgan may have been the winners of this match by ten wickets, but they were also the losers as a few weeks later, the Trowbridge club came up with a very lucrative deal for the seamer, resulting in his departure from South Wales to play for the English county in 1895. There were uncertainties about a return to Wiltshire for 1896, so he was included in the Glamorgan side for their opening match that summer against Surrey 2nd XI at The Oval. For once, he went wicketless in the contest but he soon had a new contract with the Wiltshire club which saw him play for the next three summers in their ranks.
July 1896 also saw him clean bowl all ten Monmouthshire batsmen in the second innings of their match at Usk as he returned figures of 10/31 as Wiltshire won by 96 runs. His success with Wiltshire saw Eldridge secure a post with Accrington in the Lancashire Leagues in 1899. Between 1900 and 1903 he acted as an umpire in Minor County Championship matches before moving back to the Home Counties where he also became a house decorator.
By the time the 1911 Census was taken, Alfred and his wife Nellie were living in the small town of Wath upon Dearne, to the north of Rotherham and it was here in Yorkshire, where Alfred remained for the rest of his life.
ELDRIDGE, Alfred George.
Born – Greenwich, 21 November 1863.
Died – Rotherham, 18 February 1934.
Batting and Fielding Record
Minor County Friendlies – 32 v Monmouthshire at St. Helen’s, Swansea, 1894 and 15/48 v Colts XXII at Cardiff Arms Park, 1893.