Sir Julien Cahn
Clubs: Nottingham Ramblers, Sir Julien Cahn Travelling XI
Roles and Representation: President of Nottinghamshire CCC, President of Leicestershire CCC
Honours: Benefactor of the Burton Hunt Cricket League, 1920s-30s
Julien Cahn was born in Cardiff in 1882, the son of a German Jew who ran his own furniture business. Cahn grew up in Nottingham and began playing cricket as a teenager. In 1902 he joined his father’s firm, and organised a Nottingham Furnishing Company XI with 16 of his father’s employees. The following year, he expanded the team, recruiting members from outside the firm and renaming the side the Notts Ramblers.
He began his own team, the Julien Cahn XI, in 1908, and while it folded during the years of the Great War, he revived it in 1923. It would go on to become one of the most successful ever private teams, touring the world between 1929 and 1939, featuring top international players and losing only 19 out of 621 matches.
Cahn himself was described by The Cricketer in 1997 as “comfortably the worst ever first-class cricketer”; it is his philanthropy for which he is famed. Upon his father’s death after the First World War, he took over the family business and expanded it across the country. He used his wealth to fund his love of cricket, funding a scoring board, stands and offices at Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club throughout the 1920s. During the Depression of the 1930s, he sponsored cricket clubs and players that needed funds to play. He was made a baronet in 1934.
More generally associated with Nottinghamshire – he eventually served as their president – he made a vital contribution to Lincolnshire cricket when he took over as master of the Burton Hunt in 1926, and – five years later – started the Burton Hunt Cricket League.
This League would eventually run until 1991, when it amalgamated with the Lincoln League. Cahn, in keeping with his reputation for generosity during his stint as Hunt Master, ensured its foundations were solid, serving as its inaugural president, bearing travel expenses for member clubs during the 1930s, and entertaining teams at his home, Stanford Hall. He continued to support the League even after he resigned as Hunt Master in 1933.
Cahn died at home, in his library, in 1944 at the age of 62.