William Yorath, who played for Glamorgan in 1889 and 1890, was one of the best-known faces in the legal world of Edwardian Cardiff, besides acting as a Conservative councilor and the City’s Coroner for Cardiff for over fifteen years. He also played rugby for Cardiff, besides playing a key role both on and off the field during the early years of Glamorgan CCC.
The son of a Cardiff brewer, William attended Bedford School where he shone as a young sportsman before subsequently training as a solicitor. William’s first major match had been for Cardiff in June 1880 against the United South of England at the Arms Park. In August that summer he also made his debut for the South Wales CC and, in subsequent appearances, played alongside many other leading figures from the legal world.
Indeed, it was through his sporting contacts that he was able to set up a successful practice in Cardiff with Fred Jones, another sports-mad young lawyer who also played rugby and cricket to a high standard, with their office just a stone’s throw away from the Arms Park. By 1886 William was secretary of the Cardiff club, and through a combination of his Conservative links, and friends within the South Wales CC, he became a trusted acquaintance of JTD Llewelyn.
In 1888 William agreed to assist his friend in creating Glamorgan CCC, and on the evening of 6 July 1888 he was present at the Angel Hotel in Cardiff as the county club came into being, with William agreeing to act as its first secretary. In the course of the subsequent weeks, William also helped to organize the trial match against Llwynypia CC, before playing in three games for Glamorgan in 1889.
The middle-order batter made a duck on his debut against the MCC at Lord’s but he made 21 in the second innings and retained his place for the subsequent games against Surrey Club and Ground at The Oval and the MCC at the Arms Park in late August. He made one further appearance for Glamorgan in 1890, against the MCC at Swansea, but his legal duties prevented him from making himself available for these two- and three-day games.
William subsequently enjoyed a distinguished career in local politics in the Welsh capital, serving as a city councilor, besides acting as deputy mayor in 1905/06 and being President of the Cardiff Law Society. After retiring from playing cricket and rugby, William enjoyed playing golf and besides being a founding member of Radyr Golf Club, he was a playing member of the Royal Porthcawl Club.
He also took great delight in seeing his son Glynne make his way into both the Cardiff 1st XI and 1st XV but Glynne was killed during November 1917 in the Battle of Cambrai. William and his wife never really recovered from the death of his cherished son and he died of heart failure in 1924.
YORATH, William Lougher.
Born – Cardiff, 2 December 1862.
Died – Cardiff , 3 April 1924.
Career Best Performance
Minor County Friendlies – 21 v MCC at Lord’s, 1889.