Kevin Jenkins - One of Pembroke Cricket's finest

Kevin Jenkins


Around the boundary feature:


When Pembroke Cricket Club host the Alec Colley Cup later in the season, the popular competition for second teams that was named in memory of a former great man of the club and always held at their home ground of Treleet, it is a lovely chance to revisit a ground where I really enjoyed playing and renewing acquaintance with some of my new pals in the current squad, who are a lovely bunch and look after me throughout the four innings of the final.

But I am unashamed to admit that there is one old friend that I look forward to seeing even more than the rest - and that is Kevin Jenkins, who was easily the best captain I played under, a cracking all-rounder with club and county, someone who has served the club magnificently off the field as a groundsman, former chairman and now honoured with the presidency of Pembroke Cricket Club.

Still playing to help out – after almost half a century!

Popularly known as ‘Jenks’ he is past his 60th birthday now but still plays for the seconds whenever he is needed, putting up with the inevitable soreness afterwards, and still able to bowl a few overs with his typical accuracy and likely to add a few runs to their tally more often than not. Indeed, when Pembroke played at Herbrandston last weekend he helped out with the firsts and managed to be second top-scorer with 17 runs.

He made his debut at 15 when skipper Kevin Watkins found himself short of a player against old rivals Pembroke Dock and Jenks became a regular in the first team at 17.

Kevin Jenkins bowling

Club captain – for nine seasons

He was captain of the club for a total of nine seasons after being the youngest-ever to be in charge at 21 and having to handle some real characters like George and Keith Hulbert, Kevin and Ronnie Watkins, Johnnie Jones, Eifion Powell, Derek Skone, Mike Hughes, Stewart Longhurst, Mal Roberts, Hughie Davies, Ray Kane and someone called Bill Carne! Others who came a little later, but no less characters, were the likes of Nigel Phillips, Colin Kaijaks, Spencer Harries and Gwyn Griffiths.

“I really enjoyed the challenge,” he told, “and they responded well over my nine seasons at the helm, which I’m proud to see on the club’s captain’s board as the second most ever.

Kevin Jenkins batting

Proudest moment – winning The Bowl

“My proudest moment came in 1985 when I became the first skipper to lead the club to victory in the Harrison-Allen Bowl Final, beating Cresselly by one run after I bowled the final over with them needing two for victory.

“It was a very tense finish but I managed to hold my nerve and I can tell you that we celebrated the victory as we went down The Quay afterwards, as tradition demands, and then back to Pembroke for a really long celebration!

“We won it again the following season with Stewart Longhurst as captain, which was great for him because he was another great servant of the club over many years -  and in both seasons we won the jubilee Cup against league champs Haverfordwest and Carew - and I can honestly say I enjoyed every minute of my 40 years playing for the club.”

Other roles within the club – and county captain too

Off the field, he was club chairman for four years in well over 30 years on the committee, has been a trustee  for a while and groundsman for 15 years, which included a great a deal of work annually for their showpiece Colley Cup Final.

Jenks also played over 20 times for Pembrokeshire at senior level, including one season as captain and taking part in tours to Ireland and Birmingham - and if he has a cricketing regret it is the fact that he was never awarded his county cap when others have received theirs in the intervening years for far fewer matches. County officials – please take note!

And finally . . .

Whenever he played, Jenks was known as a good appealer when he was bowling and with a competitive edge as a batsman - but always the first in his team to enjoy a pint afterwards with the opposition and a chat about the game.

Indeed, it is fair to say that we believe that if there was a contest to find the most respected players of his era he would easily appear in the top ten!

His only absence from Pembroke Cricket came when he worked abroad for a time and he could write a book about his experiences from long spells in Africa - but he would much prefer to talk about his love of cricket with Pembroke in Pembrokeshire and it is always a pleasure to find Kevin Jenkins beyond the boundary rope as a gentleman of sport - and a great friend to many old cricketers like me!

Kevin Jenkins on his tractor