Bob Arkell had a brief county career, playing twice during 1898, but tragically three years later, he died from tuberculosis at the age of just 23.
He was the son of Charles Arkell, a bootmaker from Gloucester, who had moved to South Wales during the 1860s to set up an outfitter’s business in Swansea. Charles subsequently moved to Cardiff to open premises at the Bute Docks, and it was in the coal metropolis where Bob was raised before training to be an accountant.
Bob showed great prowess at cricket from an early age, playing initially for Cardiff Electrics and Cardiff Windsors in the Cardiff and District League with his prowess as a wicket-keeper drawing the attention of the town club, with Bob making his debut aged seventeen for Cardiff 2nd XI in 1895. That summer he also guested for Lansdown CC when the Bath-based club, under the captaincy of EM Grace, arrived at the Arms Park without three players for their match against Cardiff.
He subsequently played for the 1st XI the following summer and became the Club’s regular gloveman for the next four summers. His neat glovework also impressed the Glamorgan selectors and during August 1898, the 20 year-old appeared twice for the Welsh county, starting with the match at Penzance against Cornwall and followed by the contest with Monmouthshire at Rodney Parade.
Sadly, Bob was diagnosed with tuberculosis the following year and in 1900 he spent time at a convalescent home in Pentyrch. He never recovered and died the following June having also suffered a heart problem.
ARKELL, Trevor Miller (‘Bob’)
Born – Swansea, January 1878.
Died – Cardiff, 2nd June 1901.
Batting and Fielding Record
Minor County Championship – 8 v Cornwall at Penzance, 1898