Hugh Davies, the former Glamorgan cricketer and Chairman of Cricket Wales, died in hospital in Cardiff on December 2nd after a short illness.
Born in Pembrey in July 1932, Hugh attended Llanelli Boys Grammar School where he shone at cricket and rugby, and his talents were recognised with selection for the Welsh schoolboys in both sports. Hugh’s ability as a brisk right-arm seam bowler drew Glamorgan’s attention, especially given the fact that the Welsh county were looking to nurture home-grown talent following their success in winning the County Championship in 1948. However, before Hugh could join the county’s staff he had to complete his National Service with the RAF, and it was not until 1953 that he was able to become a professional cricketer.
Hugh made the first of his 52 appearances in first-class cricket against Gloucestershire at Swansea in June 1955, and opened the bowling with the Welsh county’s legendary captain Wilf Wooller. Hugh went wicketless in a bowling attack which also featured Allan Watkins, Jim McConnon and Jim Pressdee.
The Welsh speaking bowler claimed his maiden wicket in his second game for Glamorgan, away to Yorkshire at Harrogate where he dismissed Frank Lowson, the opening batsman, besides catching Norman Yardley, the Yorkshire and England captain. Hugh’s finest hour on professional cricket came two years later on Yorkshire soil where he played a key role in Glamorgan’s seven-wicket victory at the Bramall Lane ground in Sheffield. Hugh claimed 6/85 in Yorkshire’s second innings with his career-best tally including the scalps of the first five Yorkshire batsmen – Lowson, Bryan Stott, Vic Wilson, Ray Illingworth and Ken Taylor.
But just when Hugh had secured a regular place in the Glamorgan’s line-up, he sustained a knee injury and appeared in only nine further Championship matches after 1957. He duly embarked on a teacher training course at Cardiff College of Education and played on an occasional basis with his final first-class appearance coming at Lord’s in May 1960 with Hugh claiming four wickets in Middlesex’s second innings to take his final tally of wickets to 115 at 31 runs apiece.
He subsequently became a successful PE teacher, besides coaching at Glamorgan’s Indoor Schools in Neath and Ebbw Vale. By the time, Hugh became a senior PE advisor for Mid-Glamorgan in 1982 he had become a member of the Glamorgan committee, besides being a summariser for BBC Radio Cymru during their Welsh language coverage of the county’s games. In subsequent years, Hugh rose to the position of Chairman of Cricket with Glamorgan CCC, besides working for the Cricket Board of Wales from its inception in 1997, and serving as its Chairman between 2002 to 2011.
During his playing career, Hugh played club cricket for, amongst others, Llanelli, Neath, Barry and the Steel Company of Wales, whilst his son Adam also had a spell on Glamorgan ‘s playing staff in the early 2000s before following his father onto the Club’s committee.
On hearing of Hugh’s death, Hugh Morris, CEO of Glamorgan CCC said, “Hugh made an important contribution both on and off the field to Welsh cricket. After his career as a fast bowler with Glamorgan was ended by injury, he went into teaching, where he shared his passion and enthusiasm for the game with the next generation of Welsh sportsmen and women.”
“In more recent times, Hugh gave valuable service to the Club’s committee, especially at a time when Glamorgan Cricket was embarking on their Stadium development in Cardiff and seeking to bring regular international cricket to Wales. He also helped to nurture the grass roots of the game during his time as Chairman of Cricket Wales. Our condolences to his family, and wide circle of friends.”
Peter Hybart, Chief Executive of Cricket Wales added “Everyone at Cricket Wales is very sad to hear the news of the passing of its former Chair Hugh Davies. Hugh served with distinction from the inception of the Cricket Board of Wales in 1997 and chaired the organisation from 2002 to 2011.”
“ Throughout this time his passion for the development of young cricketers throughout Wales shone through and he provided a vital link between the recreational game and his beloved Glamorgan County Cricket Club. Our thoughts are with his family and many friends at this difficult time.”