John Henry Board
February 23, 1867, Clifton, Bristol
April 15, 1924, on board SS Kenilworth Castle en route from South Africa to England, (aged 57y 52d)
Right hand Bat
The news that Jack Board had died from heart failure on the Kenilworth Castle, while journeying home from his annual coaching engagement in South Africa, came as a shock to all his friends. From his look of robust health no one could have seemed better assured of a long life. Board had a highly-successful career, but yet did not take quite the place that in other circumstances might have been his. He was a fine wicket-keeper--fearless and untiring--but never the best in England, and for this reason his appearances in representative elevens were few. It is from his connection with Gloucestershire cricket that he will be remembered. Coming out as a wicket-keeper for Gloucestershire in 1891 he held his post right on without a break till 1914. As he succeeded Mr. J. A. Bush, who, curiously enough, died a few months after Board, we have the interesting fact that Gloucestershire depended on two wicket-keepers for over forty years. As time went on Board developed his batting to such a remarkable extent that in six seasons-- 1900, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1909, and 1911--he made over 1,000 runs, his highest score being 214 against Somerset at Bristol in 1900. He had perhaps no special distinction of style, but his defence was sound, his hitting very hard, and his pluck unflinching. Board went only once to Australia, going out with Mr. Stoddart's second team in 1897-98. As wicket-keeper for that unsuccessful side he was simply the understudy to William Storer, and did not take part in any of the Test Matches. He had more prominence in trips to South Africa in 1898-99 and 1905-6. For several winters he did excellent work as a coach at Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, and in matches there hit up scores of 134 and 195. In 1921 Board became one of the regular umpires in county matches, and was on the list at the time of his death. He took his benefit at Bristol in 1901, the Surrey match being allotted to him. It is an interesting fact that Board kept wicket in a first-class match before appearing for Gloucestershire, taking part in the North and South Match for Rylott's benefit at Lord's in 1891. Quite unknown at the time, he passed through a severe ordeal with great credit. The first of his appearances in Gentlemen and Players' matches was at the Oval in 1896, and his last at Lord's in 1910.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Batting & Fielding
Umpire & Referee