Sporting Tributes - 'JR' Jones - Pembroke loses a third highly respected character

Pembrokeshire Sport in general and sport in the town of Pembroke has lost three great characters over recent months, all of whom played rugby at Crickmarren and cricket across the road at Treleet, and this site is proud to belatedly place on record it’s esteem for all three, with whom I had the undoubted pleasure of playing the summer sport alongside – and watching their efforts for Pembroke RFC in their younger days.
Keith Hulbert was the first to pass away and there was no greater trier in either sport and he was followed by Eifion Powell, an excellent all-rounder in cricket and a grafter in the front row of rugby before he played a huge administrative role for The Scarlets over a long period.
Johnny ‘J.R. Jones was a very hard-hitting batsman and try-scoring outside half for Pembroke who will undoubtedly be best known for his magnificent work as Pembrokeshire’s representative with the Welsh Rugby Union for an amazing 18 years, something that will never be achieved again now that rules of election have been changed.
We at are proud, albeit belatedly, to pay our own heart-felt tribute to all three Gentlemen of Sport over the next few days.

 Johnny Jones3. Johnnie ‘JR’ Jones

Pembroke Rugby and Cricket Clubs lost another one of their great characters with the recent passing of Johnnie ‘JR” Jones, who played for both clubs and was heavily involved off the fields of play - especially in the oval-ball game where he was District H (Pembrokeshire) representative on the Welsh Rugby Union for an amazing 18 years, something that will never happen again because of the time restrictions imposed by The WRU.
He took over from another Pembrokian as district rep in his old friend. Glyn Cook, and quickly became well known at ‘Headquarters’ for his innovative thinking, commitment (often three times a week up the M4 to Cardiff for meetings), and with the ability to get on with people whilst retaining his right to speak his mind.
I was lucky enough to travel to loads of top matches with him and I would drive his car home so that he could enjoy a pint or four afterwards. The trips were hilarious as we chatted so much about characters we knew and games we had played in (especially about things that occurred on cricket club tours) that when we went to watch Newport play South Africa at Rodney Parade we missed the turn off and had to drive on to the next one 10 miles away!
But we were back in time to see The Springboks win - and it wasn’t the only time this happened either! But the main aspect of his time at The WRU was that he always stood strong for anything to do with Pembrokeshire Clubs and their rugby!
Johnnie played at outside half for The Scarlets and later became a selector, social club treasurer, trustee and life member.
Across the road at Treleet he was an aggressive top-order batsman and I remember once opening the batting with him and when we had reached 90 I had scored 10 not out from 12 deliveries and Johnny had belted the ball all around the ground before he was caught at long-off with 75 to his name!
He usually stood at first slip and took some amazing catches off the bowling of Keith Hulbert, Kevin and Ronnie Watkins, Stuart Longhurst and Kevin Jenkins; now the club president but able to recall some of the memorable moments on tour with great characters like Johnnie, Keith Hulbert and Derek Skone. His speciality on tour was to encourage as many as possible to have trout for dinner and he would retain the fishes’ eyes until later that evening, when he would sit on a raised chair and eat the bloomin’ lot!
Johnnie served on the cricket committee for many years and became an excellent chairman at the club as well as being the best ‘sledger’ of opposing batsmen of his day. Always polite with his observations of their batting, I loved his company and can vouch for the fact that he still rattled a few of them.
He was certainly one of the larger-than-life characters I had the privilege to call ‘friend’ and my heart goes out to his daughter Ann, son Alan and the rest of his family and friends at this very sad time!

 Johnny Jones - 3rd right front row