Des Jeffery

South Wilts cricket has been saddened by the death of long serving left-arm bowler and club stalwart Des Jeffery after a long illness. He was 82.
Des spent 23 seasons at Bemerton between 1960 and 1985, retiring from the South Wilts scene one shy of 950 wickets. His career ended after he suffered a heart attack on the pitch.
In all cricket, which included spells with Devizes, South Newton and the Wiltshire 50s, he had well over 1,100 victims under this belt.
A left-arm seamer with a long run-up, he joined South Wilts as a 21-year old from his home village club Winterbourne and went on to form a formidable opening bowling partnership with the late John Alford, also making appearances for Hampshire Club & Ground.
Jeffery was in his prime in his early 20s, achieving the feat of taking over 100 wickets in 1962, and tallies of 90, 83 and 75 victims on other occasions.
Ducking the ball late into the right-hand batsman’s pads, Des was miserly in the extreme, with one quarter of the 4,780 overs he bowled being maidens !
His batting was not his strongest suit and for many years he vied for the number 11 spot in the South Wilts batting order with long time team-mate Alford, being not out on 74 of the 239 occasions he batted.
Upon turning 50, he quickly established himself in the Wiltshire Seniors team, his economical bowling helping the county side reach the knockout stages of the ECB 50-plus Championship on several occasions.
A natural sportsman, Des took up golf in the mid-1980s and was Senior Champion at Salisbury & South Wilts in 2010.
Having spent his entire working life with the Highways Department of the old Wiltshire County Council, it was no surprise that, upon retirement, he should devote his energies to working on the ground at Bemerton, which in recent seasons has become one of the best in the region.
He loved horse racing too and was a regular at meetings at Salisbury and across the South. Details of the funeral will be announced soon.

Rob Pittman