'Jack' Bancroft was the younger brother of Billy Bancroft, the Welsh rugby international who had been Glamorgan`s first regular professional in Minor County cricket in 1895.
Having been brought up on the St.Helen`s ground, where his father acted as groundsman, it was no surprise that Jack should show rich ability at both cricket and rugby. He duly played alongside Billy for the Swansea club, and won 18 Welsh caps as a full-back between 1908 and 1913.
`Jack` was also a very useful cricketer, keeping wicket for the Swansea club, as well as proving to be a gritty lower-middle order batsman. In 1908 he made his debut in Minor County cricket for Glamorgan, and he played regularly for the Welsh county for the next couple of years.
When Glamorgan entered the first-class arena in 1921, Bancroft was still playing for Swansea and despite being in his early forties, he was still very agile behind the stumps. Despite their elevation into Championship cricket, Glamorgan lacked a regular `keeper, so in 1922 they called up the 43 year old Bancroft, who subsequently appeared in nine first-class matches.
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dr.A.K.Hignell)
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