I started watching Glamorgan fairly frequently from 1961 onwards. Looking back, I am fortunate to have seen the two Australian victories in full, games one would relive during cold winter nights. That splendid rugby full-back styled catch in the deep by Tony Lewis, Don Shepherd`s overall control of the two games, Jim Pressdee`s persistence, Malcolm Nash’s evening of terror and Alan Jones` great innings of 99.
I also remember one particular moment of horror in seeing Alan being dismissed for a duck at close of play against the West Indies, on what must surely be the darkest light conditions ever played in Swansea. His magnificent response thrilled us all a few days later, as did his brother Eifion`s later in that first innings, where we also witnessed the fading splendour of Gilbert Parkhouse. But what a sight it was to see Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith bowl with run-up starting not far from the sightscreens.
We had our own quickie in Jeff Jones, and until 1968, we had watched him run in and bowl in his unique style, achieving considerable lift even at St Helen`s. I remember Jack Fingleton, the Australian born cricket correspondent for The Times describing his run up as being like a yacht bobbing up and down on the waves, presumably the waves of Swansea Bay visible in the distance.
When working In London, I often saw them play in Lord`s – including the Gillette Cup final in 1977, having missed the first 12 minutes of play as it was my first full night of duty in Guy`s Hospital. The outfield was wet and restricted some of Alan`s runs.
Wide-shouldered Mike Llewellyn made the day for us of course, and he from Clydach where I once lived. Unforgettable also was Malcolm Nash`s removal of Mike Brearley with an unplayable first ball in the opening over – we thought we would then win! What a sight and sound it was to sing Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau afterwards, facing The Pavilion, as we had done in Swansea following the Australian victories!
My school friend Richard Davies, from Three Crosses on the Gower often accompanied me to these games and he once drove me down in his open-topped purple TR6 to a Sunday match in Hastings. Unaware to us, we could be seen talking and imbibing occasional ‘shandies’ on the TV all afternoon. Some who knew us took photographs of their television as proof!
We should not forget either a few of the International players who entertained us so well. Majid Khan`s princely strokes and perfect timing, with Bryan Davis and Roy Fredericks providing batting pyrotechnics as well. Some of the overseas visitors left lasting influences of course, such as the Pollock brothers scoring a century each in Swansea on another warm day.
One must, of course, mention Wilfred Wooller. Although I never saw him play, his presence was felt wherever one went. His announcement at Swansea, offering a rebate of entrance monies because of Brian Close`s apparently unsporting direction of Somerset was a sensation! I have subsequently read so much about him and what he experienced during the Second War and the personal sacrifices made to his club and country. Surely, he was Wales`s best all-rounder?
One elderly gentleman, always with his binoculars to aid his failing vision, once told me in St Helen`s – “you need a strong heart to be a Glamorgan supporter”. How right he was!