BORN in Woodchurch in March 1860, Reginald Wood can claim to have had one of England’s strangest careers as an international cricketer.

The son of John Wood, a Birkenhead merchant, and Montreal-born Elizabeth, Reginald was educated at Charterhouse and played six matches for Lancashire County Cricket Club between 1880 and 1884 as an amateur as well as appearing in club cricket for Birkenhead Park before emigrating to Australia.

Ending up in Melbourne, in 1885, he played two matches as a professional for Victoria. A left-arm quick bowler, Wood’s ungainly action led to murmurings that he threw although it is not believed he was ever called and he was good enough to have taken 95 wickets at 7.10 for Charterhouse in 1876.

In 1887, an England XI had arrived in Australia but with only 11 players in the touring party, the First Test at Sydney was marked by a fight between the England player, William Barnes, and the Australian captain, Percy McDonnell. Barnes injured his hand, apparently after missing McDonnell’s face and punching a wall.

It was a case of right place right time for Wood with the visitors desperate for a makeshift replacement and he would make his England debut in the Second Test on February 25 1887.

There was no fairytale ending to the Wirral-born cricketer’s story however, with Wood batting at number ten, scoring six and 0, and not being trusted to bowl as England won by 71 runs. Poor Reg didn’t even take a catch.

Wood would play one more game for England in a tour match against Victoria before disappearing altogether from first class cricket.

He became professional at both East Melbourne and Sydney Albert, but was later reported to be working “in a lowly capacity, with sheep”. A journalist in Australia said that at his death on January 6 1915, in Manly, New South Wales, aged 54, he had little more than “the clothes he wore and his tuckerbag”.