Prize of Victoria Park Cricket Association

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

On 26 october 1899, Arthur Conan Doyle was invited at the Victoria Park Cricket Association at the Champion Hotel, Aldersgate-street.

Dr. Conan Doyle presented the challenge cups and medals to the winning teams, and made a speech.

Conan Doyle speech

Report from the South Wales Echo

« At a time of national excitement like the present what a grand thing it was for England that her sons possessed the love of manly games that ran in their veins. Unlike the young men in countries where conscription prevailed, they were not compelled to do gymnastics, but it was all the more their duty to make and keep themselves fit. (Cheers.) People talked of calling out the Reserves — why, they had not begun to touch the Reserves. The reserves of this country were the cricketers, the footballers, the hunting men; when they were called out somebody would know it (Loud cheers.) If ever England got in a hole, it was the sporting men and the sporting spirit that would pull her out of it. (Cheers.) The State had as much right to compel them to keep themselves in physical fitness as to insist on the necessity for education. It was only by such endeavours that England could continue a great nation. (Cheers.) An article had recently appeared in a French paper entitled. "The End of England." (Laughter.) The Old Country had not come near its end yet — (loud and prolonged cheers) — but when young, Englishmen began to shirks athletic sport then they might think of using such a heading. The whole justification of cricket was the manliness it produced, and as long as there was a chance of war Englishmen must keep themselves manly and warlike, or when war came they would find themselves in a hole. (Loud cheers.) »

Press reports