Newport (3)

Match action at Rodney Parade during the 1960s. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

When county cricket resumed after the Second World War, Rodney Parade remained on Glamorgan`s fixture list, but despite the prospect of watching the county`s stars in action again, the matches at Newport attracted quite disappointing crowds. Their game against Somerset in 1948, their Championship winning year, brought in just £105, compared with £550 on the first day of the Essex match at the Arms Park. Consequently, Newport was allocated just one fixture, with the other `Monmouthshire` match being given to Ebbw Vale.

The drop in county attendances was a national trend, as people found other outlets for their leisure time. In an attempt to boost interest in county games at Newport, Glamorgan experimented by staging their Gillette Cup match against Worcestershire in April 1964 at the Rodney Parade ground. It proved to be quite a nail-biting contest with Glamorgan eventually winning by one wicket, and all in front of the B.B.C. television cameras, but only after Don Shepherd had struck a huge six off the fourth ball of the 65th and final over. The off-spinner had taken three wickets as Worcestershire were dismissed for 119, and he deservedly won the man-of-the-match award for his efforts with bat and ball.

However, the game did not produce the sort of crowd the Glamorgan officials had hoped, and the following year, the Championship match with Warwickshire also failed to attract a decent crowd. With the club deciding to take county games to the North Wales coast, a few savings had to made elsewhere, and Rodney Parade lost its first-class status. For the next twenty years, the Newport ground only staged 2nd XI games, but county matches returned in 1988 as the county celebrated their Centenary year. A generous sponsorship package from local businesses saw Glamorgan return to Newport for their Sunday League games against Derbyshire in 1988, and also Gloucestershire in 1989, and Yorkshire in 1990.

The latter game was abandoned without a ball being bowled and it proved to be a rather damp way for the county to say farewell to their Newport home following confirmation that the cricket ground and pavilion had been sold for redevelopment. Building work began at the end of the 1990 season, as the cricket section of the Newport Athletic Club moved to a new ground in Spytty Park.

Click here to find out more information about the history of the Rodney Parade ground.

Click on the link below to see the ground records at Rodney Parade.