Thames Ditton Cricket Club have received a copy of an engraving of Heathfield Harman Stephenson, captain of the first England side to tour Australia in 1861-62, from the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCG) in recognition of the club's 175th anniversary this year, writes Brian Mitchell.

Esher-born Stephenson, known to his friends as Spurgeon, played his informative years for Thames Ditton before going on to star for Surrey and England.

The original engraving hangs in the MCG pavilion and Graham Ashton, a former Thames Ditton CC president, saw it when he joined one of the guided tours of the famous ground prior to the Ashes Boxing Day Test in 2006.

"Towards the end of the tour, our party was led through the pavilion, passing a large mural depicting many of the famous cricketers who had played on that ground," Ashton said.

"Heathfield Stephenson was the first player to be represented. I told our guide all about him and that he was uncle of another Thames Ditton and England cricketer, Maurice Read. He seemed suitably impressed.

"Photography was in its infancy in those days and we had no picture of Stephenson in our archives.

"As part of our 175th celebrations, we are producing a history of the club.

"Recalling the mural at the MCG, I suggested to my Melbourne friends that they should go to the pavilion and take a digital photograph of Stephenson so it could be included in our history."

"Needless to say, they jibbed at this - the Long Room at the MCG is not far behind that at Lords as a revered institution - but, undeterred, I contacted the museum to see if they would help.

"Much to my delight, I received an e-mail from the MCG Museum administrator Peter Schmidt with this and various other pictures of that time, including two of the England team with Stephenson seated at the head."

Coincidentally, Stephenson was born in 1833 - the same year Thames Ditton CC was formed.

He was a member of the maiden England touring side, which went to America in 1859.

He also umpired in the inaugural Test match in England at The Oval in 1880, when WG Grace opened the batting for England and scored the country's first century.

Stephenson is also reputed to be the first cricketer to be awarded a hat for taking three wickets in consecutive balls - hence the derivation of the phrase hat trick'.

This auspicious occasion took place in Sheffield in 1858.

Thames Ditton CC has played on Giggs Hill Green since 1833, and the first recorded match was against Twickenham.

The scorecard of that game is in the club's pavilion and a commemorative match will be played between the two teams this summer.

Various other events are being planned, starting with a Caribbean tour, summer ball, past players' lunch.