Born and raised in Scotland, Dr. Alex Cameron became the first – and so far only – person to play rugby for his native country and cricket for Glamorgan, the county where he subsequently worked and lived for sixty years.
The eldest son of Rev. Patrick Cameron he overcame the death of his father when he was just eight years old, and shone at both rugby and cricket whilst a pupil at George Watson’s College. He continued in this vein whilst a student at Edinburgh University before playing both sports for the Watsonians club. He met with much success on the cricket field, taking 10/21 with his medium pace bowling in a game against Hawick, whilst his prowess at full-back in the oval ball game saw him win a place in the Edinburgh and then the Glasgow rugby teams before winning the first of three Scottish caps in 1887, ironically against Wales at Edinburgh.
Through his rugby-playing Alex became friends with Welsh international Dr. Teddy Morgan and in 1897 he moved to Swansea to share a practice with his chum. He duly joined the Swansea club and following some decent performances and warm recommendations by the Swansea contingent in the Glamorgan side, he made his debut for the Welsh county during June 1900 at St. Helen’s against Wiltshire, He made an assured 33 in his maiden innings and went wicketless, but on his second appearance, against Surrey 2nd XI at the Arms Park he took 6/89.
By this time, he had switched to bowling off-cutters and off-spin, with his high, slow action deceiving many batsmen in both club and county cricket. His medical commitments meant that he could not play on a regular basis, but 1901 saw him appear in five matches and he added another five-for to his tally as he claimed 5/35 against Devon, appropriately on his home turf at St. Helen’s. He had also risen to the captaincy of the Swansea club, whom he led in 1900 and 1901. Dr, Cameron made sporadic appearances again in 1902, and later 1905, before making three appearances in 1910, plus one more in 1911, 1912 and 1913, with each of these being at matches at St. Helen’s.
His final game for Glamorgan in 1913 was against Wiltshire at Swansea – a game in which he batted at number nine, scoring 27 and 1, and didn’t bowl. Besides his on-field role during these years with the Welsh county, Alex also served on the Glamorgan committee between 1905 and 1920, overseeing the rise of the Club as a Minor County, prior to their elevation into first-class cricket. In particular, he was on the match-day committee which oversaw the smooth running of Glamorgan matches at the Swansea ground, besides the catering operations with his wife lending a hand to ensure that everything ran smoothly in the kitchens.
CAMERON, Dr. Alexander William Cumming.
Born – Kilmore and Kilbride, Argyll, 3 March 1866.
Died – Swansea, 14 March 1957.
Batting and Fielding Record
Minor County Championship – 39 v Wiltshire at Swindon, 1901 and 6/89 v Surrey 2nd XI at Cardiff Arms Park, 1900.
Minor County Friendlies – 12* and 2/7 v Sir H Webb’s XI at Cardiff Arms Park, 1913.