Glamorgan cricket legend Alan Jones is the new president of St Helen’s Balconiers.
He takes up the position at the Swansea-based county supporters’ club in succession to his old teammate Don Shepherd, who died last year.
The left handed opening batsman scored over 34,000 first class runs and passed 1,000 first class runs on 23 consecutive seasons. He captained Glamorgan and was also county coach, director of coaching and youth coach. He was appointed an MBE in 1982 and is the current president of Glamorgan.
“We are delighted that he has accepted an invitation to be our new president after the passing of Don Shepherd,” said Balconiers chairman John Williams.
“It’s natural for him to be president because the Balconiers was established after the feat of Alan and Roy Fredericks in putting on an opening stand of 330 at St Helen’s in 1972.
“Members sitting on the balcony thought it deserved to be recognised and asked Glamorgan secretary Wilf Wooller permission to have a bucket collection around the ground to show our appreciation.”
That was the catalyst for the formation of the St Helen’s Balconiers, which has since raised over £375,000 to secure the future of Glamorgan’s spiritual home as a first class venue and run stay-away trips all over the county circuit for the past 42 years.
“It’s a fantastic story, Alan and his brother Eifion, from the little village of Felindre, north of Swansea, went on to become legends of Welsh cricket,” said Williams.
“Alan scored over 34,000 first class runs on uncovered wickets and without a helmet! He passed 1,000 first class runs on 23 consecutive seasons and we are over the moon that he has accepted our invitation to be president. He has done everything for the county and is one of the greatest batsman produced by Glamorgan.”
Jones said: “I am delighted that they have asked me to be president. It was a really special day at St Helen’s. It was my benefit year and John, Danny Lewis and Gerry Munday asked if they could do a collection. That was the start of the St Helen’s Balconiers.
“They have been tremendous followers of Glamorgan County Cricket Club, not just at home, but also running buses to away games. The players look forward to seeing the Balconiers. It is not easy playing away and for the players to see the Balconiers there supporting them is a boost. The work they put in to cricket at St Helen’s is tremendous.
“I am grateful for what they have done over the years, and I know Glamorgan are as well. There’s the end of season dinner when financial support is given to young players to play abroad in the winter, I don’t think another county does this. To be president of Glamorgan and the Balconiers is really special.”
Williams added: “We look forward to having Alan at our festival at St Helen’s in June and we are continuing our mission to safeguard the ground as a venue for Glamorgan in the future. I am sure the business community, clubs and cricket fans will support the festival.”
Glamorgan play Hampshire in a Royal London Cup one dayer at St Helen’s on June 3, and return there on June 20 for a Specsavers County Championship four day match against Derbyshire.
Hospitality packages are now available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by ringing 07973 479613.