Fred Preedy was a well-travelled professional who appeared for Glamorgan during the late 1900s. In all, he made 23 appearances and during the match with Lancashire 2nd XI at the Arms Park in September 1907, Fred became the first-ever Glamorgan batter to be dismissed ‘obstructing the field’.
The incident occurred during Glamorgan’s first innings with Fred arriving in the middle with his side on 44-7 in reply to Lancashire’s decent total of 243. This, however, did not excuse him for his actions having miscued a drive against James Heap high into the air. As the correspondent of The Western Mail wrote, “Preedy hit up Heap and Blomley the wicket-keeper got under the ball to take the easiest of cat ches. But Preedy in getting back into his crease, cannoned against him with his back. Upon an appeal by the Lancashire captain, the umpire gave Preedy out for obstructing the field.”
Born and raised in Ross-on-Wye, the right-handed batter and fast-medium bowler played his cricket initially for his home town as an amateur, before enlisting with the Royal Welch Fusiliers and serving in India and China. He later joined the Gloucestershire Regiment and fought in the Boer War, but his time in the Far East saw him return to Hong Kong in 1901 where he secured a position as a cricket professional and spent several seasons playing for the colony.
In 1904 he returned to play as a professional for Ross, before joining Cardiff CC in 1906. His performances for the club duly won him a regular place in the Glamorgan side during 1907 and 1908. In his debut season he took five wicket hauls against Devon at Exeter and Dorset at the Arms Park, before the following summer claiming 6/47 against Carmarthenshire at Neath and a career best 6/17 against Devon at Swansea. He also played for the South Wales sides against the 1907 South Africans and the following year the Gentlemen of Philadelphia at the Arms Park.
Fred made a single appearance for Glamorgan in 1909 before leaving South Wales and acting as Gloucester’s professional in 1910. He was on the move again the following year, perhaps as a result of his outstanding bowling performance in 1908 at St. Helen’s, as he moved to Devon, whom he represented in Minor County cricket between 1911 and 1913. He then headed north in 1914 and joined Ribblesdale Wanders in the Lancashire Leagues.
At the end of the 1914 season Fred joined the Seaforth Highlanders, but whilst serving in Mesopotamia he was badly wounded in his left leg and was forced home. Fortunately, the wound healed and in 1920 he helped Ribblesdale Wanderers win their local league. In 1905 he had married Clara Hill, a local girl and remained in Clitheroe for the rest of his life, serving as groundsman for the Ribblesdale club. They had three sons and two daughters, with their son, Reginald, subsequently playing for Darwin FC as a centre-forward.
PREEDY, Ernest Alfred (‘Fred’)
Born – Ross-on-Wye, 21 August 1876.
Died – Clitheroe, 20 February 1964.
Batting and Fielding Record
Minor County Championship – 42* v Cornwall at Penzance, 1907 and 6/17 v Devon at St. Helen’s, Swansea, 1908.
Minor County Friendlies – 25 v Wiltshire at Cardiff Arms Park, 1908.