We are saddened to hear of the passing of former Middlesex player Henry William Tilly, at the age of 91, who played for the Club between the years of 1954 and 1961.
Henry was born in Edmonton on 25th May 1932 and made his professional debut for Middlesex against Northamptonshire at the County Ground in Northampton, in a rain affected draw in the County Championship in July 1954, playing alongside such greats as Bill Edrich, Jack Robertson and Fred Titmus.
This was the first of 59 appearances that Henry would make for Middlesex in the first-class game, playing predominantly as a right-arm fast-medium bowler throughout his career.
In those 59 matches, he took an impressive haul of 126 first-class wickets for Middlesex, at an average of just 25.24, with best bowling figures of 6 for 33 coming against Essex at Southend-on-Sea's Southchurch Park ground in August 1958. In his Middlesex career, Henry took five-wicket hauls on four separate occasions.
He was less-prolific with the bat in first-class cricket for Middlesex, often batting down the order, hitting 705 runs at an average of 10.21, with a highest score of 46, which like his best-bowling figures also came against Essex, scored in his final year as a Middlesex player in May 1961 when playing at the Old County Ground in Brentwood.
Henry's final appearance for Middlesex came in September 1961 when he bowed out against Gloucestershire at Lord's Cricket Ground, taking three wickets in a County Championship match that Middlesex won convincingly by 152 runs at the Home of Cricket.
After finishing his professional career in 1961, Henry went on to become a successful player in the minor-counties game, representing Hertfordshire between the years of 1963 and 1972.
He made 62 minor-counties championship appearances for Hertfordshire in this time, scoring 950 runs at an average of 13.19 and a highest score of 53, and took 212 wickets at an average of just 20.84.
He made a further 5 List-A appearances for Hertfordshire in this time, scoring 36 runs at an average of 11 and taking 6 wickets at an average of 22.00 - with two of those taken against first-class opponents Glamorgan in the Gillette Cup in the 1969 season at the St Helen's ground in Swansea.
The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Middlesex Cricket are with Henry's family and friends at this saddest of times.