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Full name Percy Jeeves
Born March 5, 1888, Earlsheaton, Dewsbury, Yorkshire
Died July 22, 1916, High Wood, Montauban, France (aged 28 years 139 days)
Major teams Warwickshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium-fast
Percy Jeeves (Royal Warwickshire Regiment) was killed on July 22, England losing a cricketer of whom very high hopes had been entertained. Jeeves was born at Earlsheaton, in Yorkshire, on the 5th of March, 1888. He played his first serious cricket for the Goole C.C., and became a professional at Hawes. He took part in Yorkshire trial matches in 1910, but presumably failed to attract much attention. Soon afterwards he went to live in Warwickshire, playing for that county, when not fully qualified, against the Australians and South Africans in 1912. No special success rewarded him in those matches, but in 1913 he did brilliant work for Warwickshire, both as bowler and batsman, and firmly established his position. He took 106 wickets in first-class matches that season at a cost of 20.88 each, and scored 765 runs with an average of 20.13. In 1914 he held his own as a bowler, taking ninety wickets in first-class matches, but in batting he was less successful than before. He was chosen for Players against Gentlemen at the Oval, and by his fine bowling helped the Players to win the match, sending down in the Gentlemen's second innings 15 overs for 44 runs and four wickets. Mr. P. F. Warner was greatly impressed and predicated that Jeeves would be an England bowler in the near future. Within a month War had been declared. Jeeves was a right-handed bowler on the quick side of medium pace, and with an easy action came off the ground with plenty of spin. He was very popular among his brother players.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Jeeves may have delighted county audiences of his era with many lusty blows and inspired fast bowling, but secured his foremost claim to fame, ironically enough, during a match against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham in 1913. Taking 0-43 in 17 overs, and then 1-12 in seven overs, Jeeves bowled without much luck, but he still managed to imprint his name and action upon one particular gentleman in the crowd.
Three years later, when P G Wodehouse racked his brains to come up with a
name for his uber-butler, he recalled the Warwickshire fast bowler with the
whippy action. The flesh-and-blood Jeeves may never have attempted to
dissuade friends from wearing lilac spats or played hide-and-seek with a
silver cow creamer, but records assure us that he was every bit as
inimitable as the literary creation for which he served as unknowing muse.
A look back at five high-profile exhibition matches