Lionel Robathan, who played for Glamorgan in 1910 and 1911, was one of five sons born to Dr. George Beckett Robathan, a well-known GP in Cardiff.
He and his brothers grew up in Radyr, a prosperous suburb to the north of the city, before learning the rudiments of cricket at Llandaff Cathedral School. After attending both Epsom and Hereford College, Lionel completed his sixth form studies in Kent at Cranbrook School where he won his cricket colours.
He returned to South Wales and started training to be a schoolteacher. Some impressive innings for Newport CC also led to Lionel’s selection in the Monmouthshire team in 1897.
He subsequently taught in Sandwich and Margate and, whilst in the latter he played both cricket and association football for the town club. In one season, his batting average was in excess of 100 and he was offered a trial with Kent. However, Lionel declined the offer and spent time working in Germany and France before joining the staff of Llandaff Cathedral School and joining Cardiff CC.
A series of fluent innings led to Lionel being included in the Glamorgan side for their friendly against Worcestershire at the Arms Park in early June, 1910. He only made 4 and 0, but was an ever-present during July and August in 1911. The following year, Lionel was appointed Head of Llandaff Cathedral School and became the first non-clerical head of the famous seat of learning.
After skillfully guiding the school through the austerity years of the War, Lionel moved to Newnham in Gloucestershire during 1919 to become the head of a preparatory school. Three years later, the 43 year-old schoolmaster made three appearances for Gloucestershire, against Middlesex and Derbyshire at Gloucester, as well as the game against Kent at Tonbridge. His son, Douglas, played in domestic cricket in India during 1940/41 as well as appearing for Sussex 2nd XI.
ROBATHAN, George Lionel.
Born – Brighton, 18 July 1878.
Died – Lower Bourne, Farnham, 3 August 1951.
Batting and Fielding Record
Minor County Championship – 11 v Buckinghamshire at Aylesbury, 1911.
Minor County Friendlies – 30 v Staffordshire at Stoke-on-Trent, 1911.