George Cording kept wicket in Glamorgan’s inaugural County Championship match against Sussex at the Arms Park in 1921, and later in that summer, the 43 year-old made 101 against Worcestershire at Swansea, thereby becoming the Club`s oldest player to hit a maiden Championship century.
The right-handed batsman had first played for the county against Berkshire in 1900, and soon showed promise, hitting 28 and 58 on his debut. However, in the years leading up to the Great War, Cording`s teaching commitments at Howard Gardens Secondary School in Cardiff restricted his appearances for the county.
He became available on a more regular basis after the Great War, and epitomised the spirit amongst the band of amateur players who loyally devoted their spare time to Glamorgan Cricket during the 1920`s as the club strove for recognition in the first-class game. George was also ready to step in behind the stumps, and indeed, the 43 year-old Cording was Glamorgan`s wicket-keeper in their inaugural County Championship match in 1921. Despite his grey hairs, the veteran only conceded a handful of byes, and he also showed good form with the bat.
At the time, George was also captain of the Cardiff club – a position he also held in 1922 – and often invited schoolboys to bowl at him in the outdoor nets at the Arms Park. Before taking guard he would place a penny on each of the stumps, and would generously hand over the coins if one of the pupils dismissed him.
After retiring from club cricket he continued to promote the game amongst the schoolboys of South Wales, and helped to ensure that there was a steady stream of young talent for the club to draw upon. Indeed, George served as founding Chairman of the Welsh Secondary Schools Cricket Association in 1926 besides being heavily involved with the National Playing Fields Association
George also served on the Glamorgan committee and gave a helping hand to the Club during the Second World War as their officials attempted to maintain interest in cricket. A number of fixtures were therefore arranged during 1944 and 1945 as a means of keeping up the morale of the public, and to also raise funds for the War Effort.
At the time, George was working with the National Fire Service and amongst the fixtures organized were games against the firemen. Despite being well into his sixties, Cording acted as a tireless Match Secretary, making sure that the cricket-starved public of South Wales got a number of chances to take their minds off the horrors of War.
CORDING, George Ernest
Born – Tredegar, 1st January, 1878.
Died – St.Mellon’s, 2nd February, 1946.
Best performances for Glamorgan:
Minor County: 58 v Berkshire at Arms Park, 1900
First-class: 101 v Worcestershire at Swansea, 1921