Roy Gabe-Jones became the youngest county cricketer the twentieth century when he made his County Championship debut against Leicestershire at Cardiff Arms Park in 1922 aged just 15 years and 9 months.
Born at Clydach Vale in 1906, Royston was educated at Blundell`s School in Tiverton, where Roy showed great promise as a sportsman, playing rugby and cricket for his school. Each summer, he returned to South Wales, and during the summer holidays of 1922, was playing as usual for Clydach Vale CC with few thoughts of ever playing county cricket, never mind during that summer.
After a string of good scores, Roy was chosen for a Glamorgan Colts game during early August, and his steady batting and outstanding fielding impressed the watching county selectors. They were keen to improve the fielding of their team, many of whom were on the wrong side of 30, so when several amateurs were unavailable for the final game of the 1922 season, Roy was drafted in to make a remarkable debut. The schoolboy made a stubborn and unbeaten six against the Leicestershire bowlers and helped the depleted Glamorgan side to secure a draw.
His ground fielding also drew praise, but the county’s selectors never turned to Roy again. After leading the Blundell`s 1st XI, and attending Cambridge University, Roy went into business in Cardiff and played rugby for Cardiff RFC, often alongside Maurice Turnbull. He also played for Glamorgan’s Club and Ground side between 1933 and 1935.
GABE-JONES, Arthur Royston
Born – Clydach Vale, 25th November, 1906.
Died – Cardiff, 26th February, 1965.
Best performance for Glamorgan:
In first-class cricket – 6* v Leicestershire at Cardiff Arms Park, 1922.