Cricket Wales is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jeff Bird, a current serving Board member of Cricket Wales, a stalwart of Cowbridge CC and a former Committee member of Glamorgan Cricket for 28 years.
Jeff played many supporting roles in Welsh Cricket, at club and governing body level, and within the professional game. This service and impact was often given in particular at difficult times for the game and Welsh Cricket has benefited hugely from his support, challenge and wise counsel in keeping what at one stage was a number of bodies working together for the greater good. Jeff was central to many positive changes in bringing the game to a place of modern and aligned principles of governance and structure.
Jeff was a Cowbridge man through and through, with his family being prominent figures in the business, social and sporting world of the market town in the Vale of Glamorgan. Born in Cowbridge in December 1957, he was educated at the town’s Grammar School before attending Emmanuel College, Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh, prior to joining the family’s well-known garden equipment and horticultural business
Jeff followed in the footsteps of his father, and grandfather, by playing cricket for Cowbridge from his early teens, and his prowess as a right-handed batsman and leg spin bowler saw him captain the Edinburgh University 1st XI, besides representing Cambridge Crusaders, as well as featuring in Glamorgan’ s Club and Ground XI and Under-25 XI between 1982 and 1984.
Jeff also captained Cowbridge CC with great distinction, serving as the Club’s energetic Chair and, latterly, their President, as well as overseeing a number of enhancements at the club’s attractive ground.
As well as his distinguished service on the Board of Cricket Wales and the Committee of Glamorgan CCC, he played an important role in mentoring and supporting the Cardiff MCC Universities scheme and building a strong partnership between that programme and the County Club.
Jeff was also a passionate supporter of National Hunt and point-to-point racing, owning a number of successful racehorses. He was also the brother-in-law of John Tudor, a leading figure in the racing and hunting scene in South Wales, whilst his nephew Jack is one of the up-and-coming young jockeys in the world of steeple chasing, with his successes – much to the delight of Jeff and his wife – including winning the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow in December 2019 on Potter’s Corner.
On hearing of Jeff’s passing, Rod Jones, Chair of Cricket Wales commented:
“Jeff was a true gentleman and a stalwart of Welsh cricket. His commitment to Cowbridge Cricket Club, Cricket Wales and Glamorgan County Cricket Club over so many years speaks of someone who was able to understand and make a contribution to the game locally and nationally, at both recreational and professional level. He made an outstanding contribution to Cricket Wales, with many of the governance changes we are now benefitting from being initiated and developed by Jeff, through sometimes difficult challenges.
"On a personal level he has given me great support and wise counsel over my past 5 years as Chair of Cricket Wales. Jeff will be sorely missed by cricket and all who knew him. Our deepest condolences to Jeff’s wife Andrea and all his family and friends.”
Hugh Morris, CEO of Glamorgan Cricket and a long-standing friend of Jeff said; “I am deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Jeff. We began our cricket careers together at Cowbridge Cricket Club 50 years ago and his subsequent contribution to a game he loved so dearly has been remarkable.”
Jeff made a hugely valuable contribution in helping the recreational game and professional game in Wales to connect and align. He worked tirelessly behind the scenes for the betterment of Cricket in Wales and was passionate in his roles of both Glamorgan CCC and Cricket Wales, particularly in championing the grassroots of cricket.
The thoughts and deepest sympathies of everyone at Cricket Wales are with those closest to him at this terribly sad time.