Full name Haydn George Davies
Born April 23, 1912, Llanelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales
Died September 4, 1993, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales (aged 81 years 134 days)
Major teams Glamorgan
Also known as Panda
Batting style Right-hand bat
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
|First-class span||1935 - 1958|
Haydn Davies, who died on Sept 4 at Haverfordwest, was one of the finest wicketkeepers to play for Glamorgan. He made 423 appearances between 1935 and 1958, claiming 581 catches and 203 stumpings and setting a club record of 82 dismissals in 1955, including eight in the match against the South Africans. Born in Llanelli on April 23, 191, Haydn George Davies was a talented schoolboy sportsman, winning two Welsh Schools rugby caps in 1931. After studying, at Aberystwyth University, he established, himself as one of the best wicketkeepers in the South Wales leagues, playing for Llanelli and Morewoods. Glamorgan captain Maurice Turnbull was impressed by the thick-set youngster's agility and it was on his recommendation that Davies joined Glamorgan in 1935. He failed to win a regular first-team place until the end of the 1938 season having won Welsh caps at his other love, squash. After war service in the Army, he became Glamorgan's regular wicketkeeper appearing in every Championship match between 1947 and 1957. Despite his stock; build he was nimble and fleetfooted behind the stumps, regularly making delicate stumpings as opponents misread the flight and spin of Clay, McConnon and Shepherd. Davies was selected for a Test trial in 1946, but had the misfortune to be playing at the same time as Godfrey Evans, who was considered a superior batsman. Even so, Davies was a useful lower-order batsman, renowned for bouts of ferocious hitting, as when he made a career-best 80 against the 1951 South Africans. Such whirlwind innings and vociferous appealing made Davies, affectionately known a 'Panda', a popular figure with the Welsh supporters. In the 1950s, Davies acted as Glamorgan's loyal senior pro, and led the side when close friend Wilf Wooller was unavailable. His advice was invaluable to the junior players, and it was after encouragement from Davies that Don Shepherd switched from seam to offcutters. Haydn Davies retired at the end of 1958 and became coach at the Edinburgh Squash & Tennis Club. He returned to South Wales in the mid-1970s to run a pub in Pembrokeshire. His brother Roy, whom he legally adopted during the war, played once for Glamorgan in 1950, while his nephew, Andrew Davies, won a Blue at Cambridge in 1984.
Andrew Hignell, Wisden Cricket Monthly
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