Ernie Harris, a loyal stalwart of St. Fagans CC, played briefly for Glamorgan either side of the Second World War. He had made his debut in club cricket during the 1930s as a schoolboy batsman and medium-pace bowler, and Ernie played his final match over fifty years later having developed, as he modestly admitted, but never quite mastered the art of leg-spin.
He had been amongst a clutch of promising young colts identified by Club coach Bill Hitch during the mid-1930s and after cutting his teeth for the county’s 2nd XI in their Minor County Championship matches, Ernie was called up during 1938 to appear in the County Championship games against Kent at Maidstone and Warwickshire at Rodney Parade in Newport.
Ernie made two further appearances during June 1939 but his best years were lost to the War and after service with the Army, Ernie secured a clerk’s post at University College, Cardiff. However, he continued to play with great success at weekends for St. Fagans and in May 1947 he gleefully answered an SOS from Wilf Wooller to travel to Bramall Lane, after a spate of injuries was set to ravage the Welsh county’s line-up. It was an inauspicious return to county cricket as he made 0 and 2 in a game which the powerful Yorkshire side won by nine wickets.
He returned to his job at the university where he subsequently rose to the rank of Registrar, besides being the shining light behind the university’s staff cricket team. Even when well into his sixties Ernie still cut a dapper and athletic figure in the field, cheerfully bowling well-flighted leg-spin and, proudly wearing his Glamorgan sweater. He also served on the Welsh county’s committee during the 1960s and 1970s, whilst in 1973 he was the Match Manager for the One-Day International between England and New Zealand at Swansea – the first international match ever staged in Wales.
HARRIS, Wilfred Ernest
Born – St. Fagans, 24th April 1919.
Died – Cardiff, 4th December 1996.
Best performance for Glamorgan:
In first-class cricket – 25 v Kent at Tonbridge, 1939.