Peter Walker was the finest close catcher in post-war county cricket. He fully utilised his tall frame when standing fearlessly at short-leg, or in the slips, and he held many stunning catches in these days when fielders only wore a box for protection, unlike the modern era of helmets and shinpads.
During his career with Glamorgan from 1956 until 1972, Peter set a host of fielding records which still stand today, including eight catches in the match with Derbyshire at Swansea in 1970, 67 catches in 1961 and a career tally of 656 victims – 175 of which came off the clever off-cutters of Don Shepherd.
Peter was born in Bristol and grew up in South Africa, before spending a couple of years in the Merchant Navy, where he developed his catching skills throwing potatoes around the deck! As a schoolboy in Johannesburg, Peter had been coached by Allan Watkins, so when he was on shore leave in Bristol in 1953, he decided to contact his old coach. A trial with Glamorgan soon followed, and Peter joined the full-time staff in 1956 as an attacking middle order batsman and a left arm swing bowler.
In 1959 Peter passed the 1500 run mark and in 1960 won three Test caps with England, playing against South Africa and ending up on the winning team on each occasion. He also adapted his bowling style to left-arm spin, and his all-round skills made him a key and an integral member of the Glamorgan side of the 1960`s. In 1961 he completed the treble of over 1,000 first-class runs, 100 wickets and 50 catches.
Peter was in the Glamorgan side that beat the 1964 and 1968 Australians at Swansea, besides being an integral member of the 1969 Championship-winning team. He retired at the end of the 1972 season, and subsequently became a leading broadcaster and journalist. He also acted as the first Development Officer of the Cricket Board of Wales, overseeing the introduction of a nationwide coaching framework across Wales plus the development of the National Cricket Centre at Glamorgan`s headquarters at Sophia Gardens.
WALKER, Peter Michael
Born – Clifton, 17th February 1936.
Died – Cardiff, 4th April 2020.
Best performances for Glamorgan:
In first-class cricket – 152* and 7/58 v Middlesex at Lord`s, 1962.
In List A cricket – 79 v Staffordshire at Stoke, 1971; 5/21 v Cornwall at Truro, 1970.