Jim McConnon appeared twice for England during 1954, besides playing a key role three years before in Glamorgan’s dramatic victory over the 1951 South Africans at Swansea.
He had entered professional cricket in 1950 at the relatively late age of 28 after a football career with Aston Villa and various Welsh League clubs. Indeed it was whilst with Newport-based Lovell’s Athletic that he came to the attention of the Welsh county. Despite his late entry, Jim soon established a regular place in the Glamorgan side as an off-spinner, and in his second season of county cricket, he took 136 wickets, including 6/27 and a hat-trick in Glamorgan`s victory over the 1951 Springboks at Swansea.
Jim had a high flowing action and utilized his long fingers to become a big spinner of the ball. In the course of taking 105 wickets in 1954, Jim was selected in the England side for two Tests against Pakistan. He began his Test career with a return of 3/12 from six overs, as well as four catches, and was duly included on the Ashes tour in 1954/55.
However, Jim sustained a series of injuries whilst in Australia and a broken finger finally forced him to return home early. He never got another chance at Test level, but Jim continued to be a very effective spinner, taking 113 wickets at 18 apiece in 1959. By this time, he had also formed a successful partnership with Don Shepherd, as well as becoming a forceful late order batsman, and came within five runs of hitting a Championship hundred against Middlesex at the Arms Park in 1958.
Jim took a Benefit Year in 1961, but during the summer, he aggravated several old injuries and at the end of the season, he retired from the first-class game.
McCONNON, James Edward
Born – Burnopfield, County Durham, 21st June 1922.
Died – Altrincham, 26th January 2003.
Best performances for Glamorgan:
In first-class cricket – 95 v Middlesex at Cardiff Arms Park, 1958; 8/36 v Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, 1953.