Edgar Reid was one of many sporting medics who played county cricket for Glamorgan during the late Victorian and early Edwardian era.
Born in Swansea, Edgar shone at the many sports staged near his home on the St. Helen’s Recreation Field, with the young surgeon representing his home town at cricket and hockey besides being a brave and skillful scrum-half for the rugby side, leading the Swansea 2nd XV in 1886/87 and 1887/88. Whilst training at Guy`s Hospital, he won representative honours for cricket and hockey, besides winning a hockey cap for Wales during February 1899 when he led the team in their contest against Ireland. It ended though in a 4-0 defeat for Wales with Edgar also sustaining a bad cut to his hand.
Cricket though was his favourite recreation and he would regularly pop down from his practice at 161 St. Helen’s Road to partake in net sessions or to play in matches. This did however sometimes led to a few issues, such as the match in the South Wales Challenge Cup of 1886 against local rivals Morriston. Swansea had difficulty in raising a side and the game only began at noon after securing the services of three players, including Dr. Reid. He was not out at lunch and popped back to his practice unaware that the timings for lunch had been reduced from forty-five minutes to thirty. Consequently, when play resumed without the good doctor, the Morriston wicket-keeper removed the bails of the unguarded wicket, and the umpire raised his finger to give Edgar ‘timed out’. A furious row duly broke out between the two teams with the match abandoned with Swansea on 48-5.
Fortunately nothing as acrimonious occurred during Edgar’s six appearances for Glamorgan, starting with the match against Warwickshire at the Arms Park in 1890 with his accurate seam bowling helping him return career-best figures of 5/39. He was able to play at the Arms Park a fortnight later against Somerset but, after the hiatus in the Challenge Cup match in 1886, he found it difficult to commit to playing on a regular basis in the two-day games. However, in August 1891 Edgar was able to travel to Exeter for the match against Devon, besides playing in the return fixture at St. Helen’s the following week, whilst in 1894 he secured time-off during late July and played at Lord’s against the MCC.
Six years later, and after a decent series of performances for Swansea CC, Edgar was recalled to the Glamorgan line-up for the match against Northamptonshire at the Arms Park, but the match was ravaged by rain. By this time, golf had become Edgar’s sporting passion, and together with several of his friends from the Swansea Cricket and Football Club, he was the founding Secretary of Pennard Golf Club in 1896.
A measure of his golfing prowess can be gauged from the fact that two years later, Edgar was the runner-up in the Welsh Amateur Championships at Aberdovey. His son John also played cricket and rugby for Swansea, but sadly was killed in West Flanders during August 1917 and is commemorated on the memorial plaque at the St. Helen’s ground. For his part, Edgar spent much of the war away from Swansea and acted as the chief surgeon at the Whitchurch Military Hospital in Cardiff, tending wounded soldiers who had returned by train from the Western Front.
REID, Dr. Edgar.
Born – Swansea, 26 June 1865.
Died – Swansea, 7 September 1924.
Batting and Fielding Record
Minor County Friendlies – 14 v Somerset at Cardiff Arms Park, 1890 and 5/39 v Warwickshire at Cardiff Arms Park, 1890.