11. The Father Time weathervane is gifted to MCC (1926)
Even among MCC’s most senior Members, few can claim to have seen more than 100 Test Matches at Lord’s. But one familiar face on the Ground has done just that.
For almost a century Father Time has been one of the most recognisable symbols of Lord’s. Rarely has a gift become so treasured, such an intrinsic part of the recipient’s property.
10. West Indies beat Australia to win the first Men's World Cup (1975)
The final was one of only two matches hosted by Lord’s during the tournament. It was contested between the two favourites, Australia and the West Indies.
Despite losing the toss, West Indies made a total of 291 in 60 overs, their captain Clive Lloyd scoring 102 off just 85 balls. Chasing West Indies’ total, Australia had five men run out, and Keith Boyce took 4 wickets, as West Indies won the inaugural Prudential World Cup by 17 runs.
The Prudential World Cup can be seen on display in the MCC Museum.
9. Memorial Gates erected in memory of W.G. Grace (1922)
When the great cricketer WG Grace died in 1915 it was inevitable that MCC would wish to commemorate his remarkable life and long association with the Club. Grace’s rise to prominence fifty years earlier had ushered in cricket’s golden age and helped to cement Lord’s position as the game’s spiritual and administrative home
The final design was masterly with the central pillar inscriped with “To the Memory of William Gilbert Grace / The Great Cricketer 1848 – 1915 / These gates were erected by the MCC and other friends and admirers”.
8. Graham Gooch 333 - first Test triple-century at Lord's (1990)
Graham Gooch turned 37 in the summer of 1990, but the following 12 months proved to be something of a rebirth for him as an international batsman, with seven hundreds and eleven fifties from just sixteen Tests.
His magnificent innings in the first Test against India at the start of August was remarkable not only as a stand-alone knock – it remains the highest individual score at Lord’s - but he also scored 123 in the second innings of that game, making a record aggregate score in Test Matches of 456.
7. England's James Anderson takes his 500th Test wicket (2017)
Few bowlers have had as much success at Lord’s as James Anderson. In 23 Test Matches at the Ground he has bowled 5,439 balls and taken 103 wickets at 23.89, making him the leading Test wicket-taker at the Home of Cricket.
Anderson claimed his 500th Test wicket when he bowled Kraigg Braithwaite, the first of his wickets in that spell of 7-42 against West Indies, also his best bowling spell in Tests. He was only the third fast bowler to reach the landmark after Courtney Walsh and Glenn McGrath.
6. Thomas Verity's new Pavilion is completed (1890)
The Lord’s Pavilion was designed by architect Thomas Verity and built over the winter of 1889-90 at a cost of £21,000.
Verity’s Pavilion is the third to stand on the site and is the oldest building at Lord’s. Its predecessors were met with mixed fates. The first Pavilion burned down in 1825 and its successor, was taken down in 1889.
Verity’s Pavilion is a much grander affair. At its heart lies the famous Long Room, 93ft in length, which offers a magnificent view of the playing area and through which players pass as they make their way to and from the pitch, making it the most famous walk in cricket.
5. The Ashes Urn is presented to MCC (1928)
The idea of the Ashes originated with England’s first defeat by Australia on English soil, at the Oval in 1882. England were set just 85 to win, but the bowling of ‘The Demon’ Fred Spofforth saw them dismissed for just 77.
The defeat was seen as such a national calamity that three days later a mock obituary appeared in the Sporting Times, declaring the death of English cricket and that the body would be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.
It is unclear where the Urn came from, but England captain Hon. Ivo Bligh and his wife Florence Rose Morphy, held it as a cherished reminder of their romance until after Ivo’s death in 1927, when Florence presented it to MCC. At its heart therefore, the story of the Ashes Urn is a love story; a story that should unite two nations, not divide them.
4. England beat India to win the Women's World Cup (2017)
The 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup was the eleventh time a women’s championship had been held, but the 2017 tournament was a very different affair from the earliest ones.
The previous tournament to be held in England, in 1993, had been a quiet affair. The final at Lord’s, won by England, had been played out before largely empty stands. But the buzz around the 2017 tournament was huge, and as spectators flocked to the venues in unprecedented numbers, viewers on television and the internet made it a truly global event.
England won the game by nine runs to secure their fourth World Cup title, with Anya Shrubsole named player of the match after taking 6/46..
3. MCC issues a Code of Laws for Cricket (1788)
The first generally accepted code of Laws for cricket was issued in 1744. Prior to that, rules were generally agreed by the participants in advance of a given match, Neither these, nor the later Laws, offered any guidance on how to play the game – this was considered to be generally understood – instead they provided agreement on likely areas of dispute.
When the new Marylebone Club was founded it was natural for MCC to issue a new code of Laws. Lord’s would be the legislative and administrative centre of cricket for the next two centuries. MCC remains custodian of the Laws of Cricket to this day.
2. England beat New Zealand to win the Men's World Cup (2019)
It was not a final of blazing boundaries, but of Test Match tension and grit. Runs were hard to come by against tight bowling and England lost four wickets for 86 chasing down New Zealand’s modest total of 241. Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler put on 110, but while Stokes kept going, wickets kept falling at the other end. For the first time ever a World Cup Final had ended in a tie.
Only it hadn’t ended. Buttler came back out to join an exhausted Stokes for the Super Over. The pair smashed 15 off Trent Boult. Surely enough? But Jofra Archer’s opening delivery was called wide, then Jimmy Neesham smashed a six and suddenly it was two to win off the last ball again. It was a comfortable single out to deep midwicket, but two? Jason Roy’s throw arrowed in from the deep. Buttler took the ball in front of the stumps and stretched out his left glove to break the wicket as Guptill dived in desperately short. It was another tie, England claiming the trophy by virtue of having hit more boundaries. Their long wait was over, sealed by a moment no cricket fan will ever forget.
1. Thomas Lord founds a cricket ground at Dorset Fields (1787)
By 1787 the gentlemen of the White Conduit Club were in search of a new home. The club had been a social and sporting success, but their cricket ground, White Conduit Fields in Islington, was near one of the busy turnpikes leading north out of London - easy to get to but a little too close to the ‘hoi polloi’ for the gentlemen’s comfort. Greater privacy and seclusion were called for, as was the right man to get it.
Thomas Lord had been born in Thirsk, Yorkshire and had come to London to rebuild the family fortune. A gifted cricketer, he was employed as a bowler and ground attendant at White Conduit Fields. But the members had noticed his entrepreneurial spirit, and two of them, the Earl of Winchilsea and the Duke of Richmond, guaranteed him against all losses if he would go out and find a new ground for them.
Lord found his patch at Dorset Fields – now Dorset Square, just north of Oxford Street – in the parish of St Marylebone. He laid out a wicket, put up a fence and charged sixpence admission. Ever a man with an eye for the main chance, he made sure that entry to the ground (and exit) could only be made through his wine shop.
On 31 May 1787 the first match took place at Lord’s new ground with Middlesex beating Essex by 93 runs – a match played for 200 guineas. Lord himself opened the innings for Middlesex, scoring one and 36. For Thomas Lord, fortune and immortality beckoned. And so the Marylebone Cricket Club was born.