Two Championships in two years with different counties February 1, 2002

Jimmy Eaglestone dies

The death has been announced of Jimmy Eaglestone, a member of Glamorgan`s Championship winning side of 1948. Eaglestone had also been a member of Middlesex`s Championship winning team of 1947 and therefore had the unique distinction of winning the Championship in consecutive seasons with two different counties.

The Paddington-born cricketer joined the M.C.C. groundstaff on leaving school in 1938, and after the War, the left handed batsman won a place in the Middlesex side. He played many delightful cameos with the bat, and was a livewire fielding in the covers. However, with such a depth of batting talent at Middlesex`s disposal, Jimmy was unable to secure a regular place in their line up, and in 1948 he accepted the offer of a two year contract with Glamorgan.

He was not the only Londoner in the Welsh county`s ranks after the War, as they had also secured the services of several other good players from Middlesex, including allrounder Len Muncer and bowlers Norman Hever and Peter Judge.

It was Eaglestone`s razor-sharp fielding and occasional brilliance with the bat that had first attracted the attention of captain Wilf Wooller, who was eager to find a talented outfielder to compliment the talents of Allan Watkins, Phil Clift and Gilbert Parkhouse. Wooller himself was fearless close to the wicket, and with Eaglestone`s outstanding contributions alongside Willie Jones in the covers or in the deep, plus Haydn Davies` brilliance behind the stumps, Glamorgan could boast having the finest fielding side in the country. It was this as much as anything that contributed to Wooller`s side becoming County Champions in 1948.

Indeed, it was Jimmy`s abilities in the field that largely won him a regular place in the 1948 and 1949 side. He played many attractive, but often too brief innings, with his best being a steady 72 against Sussex on a turning wicket at Swansea in 1948.

At the end of the 1949 season, Eaglestone returned to the the London area to run a newsagents business. He died in Pinner aged 77 on October 14, 2000 after a short illness.