Fred Geary played twice for Glamorgan during 1923 having had a spell on Leicestershire’s staff before the Great War.
After the War, Fred played briefly in the Home Counties before qualifying for Glamorgan and acting as the professional and groundsman at Port Talbot CC. With his salary being paid for by Sir Sidney Byass, the Glamorgan Chairman, it was no surprise that Fred was chosen during the first week of May 1923 in the Championship matches against Surrey and Yorkshire.
He knew few of the other Glamorgan players and Fred is believed to be the person referred to in the jocular exchange between captain Johnnie Clay and a colleague. As the story goes “Being a gentleman, Johnnie didn’t like to ask him whether he was a batsman or a bowler. So Johnnie asked me and I didn’t know either. ‘Well,’ said Johnnie, ‘we’ll put him in the slips. Even if he can’t catch, he’s a big chap – something might hit him!’” The story may be apocryphal, but Fred made 2 and 0 against Surrey, followed by 1 and 0 against Yorkshire. He failed to take a wicket but did take two catches close to the wicket where, if the story was true, Johnnie had positioned him!,
Fred duly returned to club cricket and during the 1930s became a publican in his native Leicestershire.
GEARY, Frederick William
Born – Hinckley, 9th December 1887.
Died – Stoke Golding, 8th January 1980.
Best performance for Glamorgan:
In first-class cricket – 2 v Surrey at Cardiff Arms Park, 1923.