Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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DAVIES, DAVID EMRYS (1904-1975), cricketer and cricket umpire.

Emrys Davies was born at Sandy, Llanelli on 27 June, 1904, the son of Thomas Davies, a tin-worker, and his wife Mary. He was educated at Pentip Anglican School, Sandy, Llanelli. He married Gertrude Moody in 1927, and they had a son, Peter, who won a Rugby Blue at Cambridge University and captained the Glamorgan Seconds in the 1950s.

Emrys Davies was, together with Dai Davies, one of the first two home-bred professional cricketers in the Glamorgan team to feature prominently in the County Championship.

After leaving school he commenced work at the Llanelli Steelworks. He played cricket for the works team and then as a slow left-arm spinner for Glamorgan in 1924. Despite a comparatively undistinguished start to his cricket career with Glamorgan he was awarded his county cap in 1928 and became a regular member of the team in the 1930s. A left-handed batsman, he scored over 1,000 runs in 1932 and achieved this target regularly until 1953. He hit his highest score of 287 not out against Gloucestershire in 1939, and this continued to be Glamorgan's highest individual score until 2000. He formed a successful opening partnership with Arnold Dyson from 1932 until 1947, and together they established a new county record of 274 in their opening stand against Leicestershire in 1937. He set yet another record in 1948 when he and Willie Jones added 313 runs for the third wicket at Brentwood against Essex.

In 1935 Emrys Davies became the first Glamorgan player to achieve the double of scoring 1,000 runs and taking 100 wickets in the same season: the same feat was achieved in 1937 when he scored 1,954 runs and took 101 wickets. He was selected for the MCC tour to India in 1939-40 but the tour was cancelled because of the outbreak of the Second World War. He continued to play after the war until he was 50 years old. He played 612 matches for Glamorgan, over a period of 30 years, from 1924 until 1954, with a total of 26,566 runs and scoring 1,000 runs on 16 occasions, and taking 903 wickets.

Following his retirement in 1954, he became an umpire, officiating in nine Test matches between 1956 and 1959. He was the umpire in the 1956 Ashes Test at Old Trafford when Jim Laker captured a record 19 wickets for 90 runs for England against Australia. He retired on account of ill-health in 1960 and coached at Llandovery College during the period 1961-70.

Emrys Davies died at Llanelli on 10 November, 1975.

Sources:

  • Benny Green, The Wisden Book of Obituaries, Obituaries from Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 1892-1985 , 1986;
  • Andrew Hignell, A Who's Who of Glamorgan County Cricket Club 1888-1991 , 1992.

Author:

D. Huw Owen, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2015