Shenkin Downey

Image Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

Shenkin Downey, who enjoyed a long career as a professional in club cricket in the Neath area, had the misfortune never to take to the field on the one occasion when he was chosen by the Glamorgan selectors.

His call-up came in late August 1891 but after Glamorgan had opted to bat first against Devon at Swansea, the game was washed out with the county on 44-2 and Shenkin yet to appear. He had first played for Llwynypia whilst working as a collier, before securing a post at the tin plate works in Neath and playing for the town club. His penchant for hard work was not dimmed by his work in the local factory, with Shenkin often opening the bowling before switching to cutters as the shine wore off.

His final match of note came in June 1920, when at the age of 54, he appeared for the Players of Glamorgan against the Gentlemen of the county, fittingly on his home turf at The Gnoll in Neath. Shenkin also had a brief spell as cricket coach at Christ College, Brecon, besides playing as a professional for the town club. His son Stanley was killed in the Great War during November 1918, just six days before the Armistice, after being hit by a sniper’s bullet whilst serving with The King’s Liverpool Regiment.

DOWNEY, Jenkin (‘Shenkin’).

Born – Neath, January 1856.
Died – Neath, 10 October 1938.

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