Viv Jenkins was one of the true all-round sportsmen of the 1930`s. Besides batting, bowling and even keeping wicket for Glamorgan, Jenkins played club rugby for Cardiff, Bridgend, London Welsh, Dover, Kent and the Barbarians. He won 14 Welsh rugby caps as full back between 1932 and 1938, and toured South Africa as the vice-captain of the British Lions team in 1938.
The former Llandovery schoolboy had made his county debut for Glamorgan in 1931 as a wicket-keeper after regular keeper Trevor Every was injured. In his second appearance behind the stumps, against Worcestershire at Pontypridd, the Oxford undergraduate pulled off three sharp stumpings as Worcestershire`s batsmen struggled against the spin of Clay and Ryan. He retained his place in the side when Every regained fitness, and played a match-winning innings against Surrey at Cardiff as Glamorgan chased 215 runs in 165 minutes. With the Arms Park scoreboard on 146-6, a Surrey victory looked a formality, but Jenkins played a series of forcing strokes, and his unbeaten 40 saw Glamorgan home by three wickets with just minutes to spare.
After coming down, he went into teaching, but still subsequently played for Glamorgan during his school holidays. His all-round ball skills and athletic fielding must have made the Glamorgan selectors wish that he had been available on a regular basis. After the Second World War, Jenkins became a leading sports journalist with the "News of the World", before serving as rugby correspondent of "The Sunday Times". He also edited for many years the Rothman`s Rugby Union Yearbook, and, at the time of his death, he served as President of Glamorgan`s Former Players` Association.
(Article: Copyright © 2004 Dr.A.K.Hignell)
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