Harry Creber was one of the stalwarts in Glamorgan`s Minor County side between 1898 and 1920, taking more wickets in the competition than any other bowler, with the left-arm spinner still able to make 33 first-class appearances in the early 1920s before retiring at the end of the 1922 season.
Harry had initially played with distinction for Liverpool C.C. before accepting a post in 1898 with Swansea CC as their professional and groundsman, working alongside the legendary Bancroft family. Harry duly remained at St. Helen`s until his death in 1939.
His main claim to fame was that in 1905 he became the club`s first bowler to take in excess of 100 wickets in a season. During the season, his wickets cost 15 runs apiece, with returns of 13/82 against Wiltshire at Chippenham and 11/148 in the match with the MCC at Cardiff Arms Park.
He repeated the feat in 1906 with 112 victims at 13 apiece, and in the 1908 match with Carmarthenshire, he became agonisingly close to becoming the first Glamorgan player to take all ten wickets in an innings. In the end, Creber finished with career-best figures of 9/56 and completely baffled the inexperienced Carmarthenshire batsmen.
Harry was past his best by the time Glamorgan were elevated to the County Championship, but he still managed to claim 95 wickets, albeit at the cost of 26 apiece, and all at the age of 50! After retiring from county cricket in 1922, Harry mixed tending the St. Helen`s wicket with bird-fancying, and won many prizes at shows for his Yorkshire canaries.
Maurice Turnbull, the Glamorgan captain, paid a glowing tribute to him at Harry’s funeral – “the grandest character I have known in Welsh cricket.” His sons Arthur and Harry junior were also useful cricketers with the former appearing for Glamorgan and Scotland, whilst the latter played for many years for the Swansea club.
Born – Birkenhead, 30th April, 1872.
Died – Swansea, 27th March, 1939.
Best performances for Glamorgan:
Minor County: 53 v Monmouthshire at Newport (Rodney Parade), 1900; 9/56 v Carmarthenshire at Llanelli, 1908.
First-class: 13* v Sussex at Swansea, 1922; 7/47 v Hampshire at Swansea, 1922.