Louis Devereux who played in 106 matches for Glamorgan between 1956 and 1960 died on Saturday, November 12th at his home in Aberystwyth aged 85 after a short illness.
Born in Exeter, and educated at Torquay Boys Grammar School, Louis played twice as a seventeen year-old for Middlesex in 1949 in their matches against Cambridge and Oxford University. The following year, Louis joined Worcestershire, with the right-handed batsman and off-spin bowler subsequently appearing in 79 games for the Midland county. Louis enjoyed his most successful all-round season during 1953 hitting 732 runs, besides claiming 55 wickets for Worcestershire, and he remained a regular in the county’s line-up until the middle of the 1955 season.
Louis joined Glamorgan in 1956 and made an immediate impact, scoring 833 runs and taking 22 wickets, including a career-best 6/29 in the first innings of Glamorgan’s match against Yorkshire at Acklam Park in Middlesbrough. Louis’ victims included Vic Wilson, Ken Taylor, Willie Watson and Brian Close as Yorkshire were skittled out for just 174, but play was only possible on the opening day of the contest, with steady rain on the remaining days preventing Glamorgan from forcing a victory.
A fortnight later at Newport, Louis took 5/11 against Gloucestershire as the visitors collapsed in their second innings from 61/0 to 81 all out with Louis bowling in tandem with Don Shepherd, who also claimed five cheap wickets with his off-cutters. But once again, Louis’ excellent efforts with the ball did not seal a Glamorgan victory. Tom Graveney had scored a double-hundred in the visitors first innings and with the Rodney Parade wicket taking spin, Sam Cook and Bomber Wells bowled Gloucestershire to a 37-run victory.
Nevertheless, Louis’ steady batting in his debut season in Wales, allied to his bowling and sharp fielding duly won him his county cap. The following year, Louis struck an unbeaten 108 against Lancashire at Old Trafford, besides passing a thousand runs for the one and only time in his career. But with Don Shepherd having made a successful transition from pace bowler to off-cutter, and Jim McConnon enjoying some productive summers with his off-breaks, including 106 Championship wickets in 1959, Louis’ off-spin was called upon less and less by captain Wilf Wooller.
Whilst on Glamorgan’s staff, Louis played club cricket for Gorseinon and Cardiff, besides coaching in South Africa and Argentina during the winter months. Indeed, during 1959/60 Louis also played in club cricket in Buenos Aires. In his youth Louis had been a talented table tennis player and had represented England in 1949, whilst he also played cricket for the Combined Services in 1950 and 1951.
After being released by Glamorgan at the end of the 1960 season, Louis played for the Poloc club in Glasgow before moving back to Wales and running the Central Hotel in Aberystwyth from 1965 until 1995. During this time, he enjoyed playing golf, and successfully reduced his handicap down to one.
“We are very sad to hear of Louis’ death,” said Glamorgan Chief Executive Hugh Morris, “and we send our condolences to his family and friends.”