Tom Brierley was Glamorgan`s first-ever player to appear in the Olympic Games, and their first to eke out a successful coaching career oversees. He was also one of the few Glamorgan players from the inter-war era to also secure a contract with another English county as, after playing for the Welsh county from 1931 until 1939, he joined Lancashire after the Second World War.
He had joined the Glamorgan staff in 1931 as a specialist batsman, but having been born in Hampshire he had to spend the next two years qualifying for the Welsh county. Even so, he was still able to play in their non-Championship friendly against Nottinghamshire in August 1931, followed by their game in 1932 against the touring Indians. During the summer Tom was also given three weeks of leave in order to appear for Canada in the Olympic Games in Los Angeles where lacrosse was one of the demonstration sports.
1933 saw Tom record his maiden half-century against Worcestershire before the following season he took as the Club’s wicket-keeper after Trevor Every, the county’s brilliant young gloveman, tragically lost his sight. Tom retained the position behind the stumps until handing over the gloves to Haydn Davies in 1937 and returning to the side as a specialist batsman.
That summer Tom recorded his maiden Championship hundred, with 101 against Sussex, before making 116 against Lancashire at Old Trafford in 1938 followed in 1939 by 113 against Nottinghamshire. After the Second World War, Tom joined Lancashire, largely as a result of the possibility of a coaching position at Old Trafford. He made his first appearance for the Red Rose county in 1945 in their friendly against the Royal Australian Air Force and subsequently made a further 45 appearances including an unbeaten 116 against Glamorgan at Liverpool in 1947.
At the end of the 1948 season, Tom emigrated to Canada where he subsequently became one of the country`s leading coaches, having taken a position as an economics teacher at Shawnigan Lake School. He also played for the Canadian team and toured the UK with their party during 1954.
BRIERLEY, Thomas Leslie
Born – Southampton, 15th June 1910.
Died – Victoria, British Columbia, 7th January 1989.
First-class – 116 v Lancashire at Old Trafford, 1938.