Johnny Donovan was the popular professional with Cardiff CC between 1883 and 1895 who played in nine matches for Glamorgan between 1892 and 1895.
His first major matches came in 1883 for the South Wales Cricket Club after some decent performances for the Cardiff club. The 24 year-old right-handed batsman and spin bowler was chosen in the club’s team for their matches against the MCC and the Bryn-y-Neuadd club in North Wales. The following year, Johnny was the South Wales club’s professional for their London tour, whilst in 1885 he represented the Club against the MCC at the Arms Park.
Johnny’s somewhat belated call-up to the Glamorgan side came in 1892 and, as if to prove a point, he struck an unbeaten 98 in his second appearance during the game against Monmouthshire at Newport. He was only chosen once in 1893, before being chosen as an opening batsman in Glamorgan’s game against the South Africans at the Arms Park in June 1894. He again showed his talents as a batsman, making a composed 33 in the first innings. In July that year he also featured in a South Wales XI which met EM Grace’s Gloucestershire’s XI in a fund-raising game at the Arms Park in aid of the Albion Colliery Disaster Fund.
His infrequent appearances at county level and his fine record for Cardiff, hint at the fact that the financial terms offered by Glamorgan were insufficient to secure his regular services. Donovan also coached the Tynant club at Radyr, north of Cardiff, in 1894 and 1895.
DONOVAN, John (“Johnny”)
Born – Cardiff, December 1859.
Died – Penarth, 20 April 1921.
Batting and Fielding Record
Minor County Friendlies – 98* v Monmouthshire at Rodney Parade, Newport, 1892.