Mark Wallace was the most successful wicket-keeper batsman in Glamorgan’s history, and a man who spent eighteen years with the Welsh county, appearing in exactly 600 matches for the 1st XI, with his tally including 262 first-class appearances, starting with a debut against Somerset at Taunton in 1999 when aged 17 years and 287 days.
During his illustrious career Mark set a string of Club records, not least making 230 successive appearances in Championship cricket, besides scoring the most number of runs (11,052), and hundreds (15) by a specialist Glamorgan wicket-keeper in first-class cricket. Born in Abergavenny, and raised in Crickhowell, he also represented England Under19s, before on June 16th, 2003 becoming the Club’s youngest-ever wicket-keeper – at the age of 21 years and 209 days – to receive their county cap. The previous summer, Mark had been a member of the Glamorgan squad that won the National League title – a feat he repeated during 2004 besides being behind the stumps when Glamorgan appeared at T20 Finals Day at Edgbaston.
In 2005 at Canterbury, Mark was keeping wicket when Kent amassed 587 – the highest-ever total against Glamorgan for which no byes were conceded. In 2009 Mark scored a career-best 139 and shared in a Club record stand of 240 against Surrey at The Oval. His maiden hundred had come at Sophia Gardens in 2002 against Derbyshire, and it was at the Cardiff ground in 2013 that he scored what proved to be his final Championship hundred as he made 101 against Essex.
In 2010 Mark had also become the first, and so far only, Glamorgan wicket-keeper to score over 1,000 first-class runs in a season. Mark also led Glamorgan between 2012 and 2014, and he was at the helm in 2013 when the Welsh county reached the final of the one-day knockout competition with Glamorgan playing at Lord’s against Nottinghamshire in the Yorkshire Bank40 competition. Although the day ended in defeat, Mark emulated the achievements of fellow Glamorgan legends Alan Jones and Matthew Maynard by leading out the side on the hallowed turf at Lord’s for a major one-day final.
His overall total of victims is surpassed only by Eifion Jones, the wicket-keeper from the Welsh county’s Championship-winning team from 1969. Given the high quality of Mark’s glovework, it was most fitting that, in what proved to be his final summer behind the stumps, he should twice equal the Club’s record for the most number of catches in a match during 2016, although he would have dearly loved his final appearance for his beloved daffodil county, against Leicestershire at Grace Road last September, not to have ended with a golden duck.
After retiring in February 2017 he became a Player Development Manager with the PCA, before two years to the month being appointed Director of Cricket with Glamorgan Cricket.
WALLACE, Mark Alexander
Born – Abergavenny, 19th November 1981
Best performances for Glamorgan:
In First-class cricket – 139 v Surrey at The Oval, 2009.
In List A cricket – 118* v Gloucestershire at The SSE SWALEC, 2013.
In T20 cricket – 69* v Warwickshire at Rugby School, 2013 and v Middlesex at Richmond, 2016.