Jim Pressdee was one of the finest all-rounders in county cricket during the 1950s and 1960s, besides being the most recent, and probably last, Glamorgan player to perform the Double of 1,000 first-class runs and 100 wickets during 1963.
In 1949 he had become Glamorgan`s youngest player in post-war cricket (and second youngest overall) as he made his first-class debut in their County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at the Arms Park when aged 16 years and 59 days. After completing his National Service, Jim developed into an aggressive right-handed batsman and a clever left-arm spinner who formed a useful partnership with off-spinners Don Shepherd and Jim McConnon.
During 1959 Jim moved up the batting order to number three, and recorded his maiden century against the Indians at the Arms Park. He continued in a rich vein of form over the next couple of years, amassing 1,892 in 1961 before compiling a career best 1911 runs in 1962. Whilst his batting went from strength to strength, Jim lost confidence as a left-arm spinner – a series of spats with captain Wild Wooller did not help.
However, he regained his self-belief after some useful spells in South Africa, and returned to form in a remarkable way during 1963 with 104 wickets to complete the Double. The following year he claimed 97 wickets and played a leading role in the famous victory over the 1964 Australians at Swansea. In 1965 Jim claimed a career-best 9/43 against Yorkshire at Swansea, but at the end of a summer when Glamorgan had mounted a serious challenge for the Championship title, his career with the Welsh county ended as, after another altercation with Wilf, he announced that he was emigrating to South Africa.
Jim continued to play for North-East Transvaal until 1969/70, whilst during the late 1980s he returned to South Wales and captained the Glamorgan Colts. In his youth, Jim had played football for Swansea Town and had been a Welsh schoolboy international.
PRESSDEE, James Stuart
Born – Mumbles, 19th June 1933.
Died – Edenvale, Johannesburg, 21st July 2016.
Best performances for Glamorgan:
In first-class cricket – 150* v Cambridge University at Pontypridd,1965; 9/43 v Yorkshire at Swansea, 1965.
In List A cricket – 60 v Essex at Neath, 1964; 3/46 v Somerset at Cardiff Arms Park, 1963.