Joe Hills, who played in over a hundred games for Glamorgan between 1926 and 1931, was also a talented goalkeeper who played for Cardiff City, Swansea Town and Fulham.
Born in Kent, Joe joined Cardiff City FC for the 1924/25 season and appeared in several Football League games. He also secured a professional post with Barry CC, where his fluent strokeplay, classical cover driving and neat wicket-keeping attracted the attention of Glamorgan`s officials. He subsequently joined the Glamorgan staff for 1926 and in his debut season he recorded his maiden hundred against Nottinghamshire on a quite lively Trent Bridge wicket. It was the first of six centuries which Joe scored for Glamorgan until his premature release, on economy grounds, at the end of the 1931 season.
In 1928 Joe featured in a stand of 202 for the eighth wicket with Dai Davies against Sussex at Eastbourne, whilst the following summer he featured in an unbroken partnership of 203 with Johnnie Clay for the ninth wicket against Worcestershire at Swansea – a stand which still remains as the Club’s best for that wicket in first-class cricket. Both men scored feisty hundreds, adding 150 in just 65 minutes with each striking the ball all around the wicket. What made Joe’s innings even more impressive was the fact that he had been forced to retire from professional football two years before having fractured his right forearm besides rupturing elbow ligaments – injuries which left him with limited use of his right arm.
The Kent-born sportsman had also won the Military Medal for his bravery as a cabler and telegraphist during the Battle of Amiens in World War One. After retiring from cricket, Joe stood as an umpire in first-class cricket from 1937 until 1956, with the highlight of his new career coming during 1947 when Joe stood in the Fourth Test of England`s series against South Africa.
HILLS, Joseph John
Born – Plumstead, Kent, 14th October 1897.
Died – Westbourne, Hampshire, 21st September 1969.
Best performances for Glamorgan:
First-class – 166 v Hampshire at Southampton, 1929.