Sporting Tributes - Keith Hulbert a fine cricketer and rugby player for Pembroke

Pembroke Sporting Tributes:


Pembroke Sport loses three of its greatest, and most respected, characters

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 give some information about all three Gentlemen of Sport.

Keith Hulbert bowling1. Keith Hulbert

The first in a terrific sporting trilogy now sadly lost to Pembroke cricket and rugby was Keith Hulbert, who peacefully passed away in August at the age of 85 and would be recalled by Pembroke cricketing captains like Stewart Longhurst and Kevin Jenkins as one of their greatest-ever triers in games, who never knew when he was beaten.
Keith played for many years at Treleet as a fast bowler alongside his brother George, a canny left-arm slow bowler, with younger brother Jimmy joining them in playing on the other side of the road for Pembroke RFC.
He loved to race up to the wicket and put his right-arm slingy deliveries into action and he played for the county on a few occasions - but it is his exploits for Pembroke that will be long-remembered, not least his helping Pembroke to win The Harrison-Allen Bowl in 1985 against a Cresselly side playing as hot favourites on their home pitch.
As Kevin Jenkins reminded us,
“Cresselly needed nine runs from their last two overs of the match and it was Keith I asked to bowl the penultimate over and he achieved an unheard of double-wicket maiden - and I managed to do the rest as we squeezed home by just a single run!”
His battling qualities also shone through when Pembroke played at top-class side Ammanford in a Welsh Cup match and reached 150 thanks to a half century from Johnnie Jones - but top West Indian Linton Lewis was joined by a couple of Aussies in the opposite camp and although Keith bowled his heart out there came a time when skipper Stewart Longhurst told him to take a break.
But Keith asked for one last over to try and shift Lewis and although there wasn’t a fairytale ending it showed that Keith wasn’t one of those concerned about bowling figures against such strong opposition - he just wanted to do well for his club.
He was also a great character on club tours, along with comic duo partner Derek Skone.
As Stewart Longhurst told us,
“Their makeshift fancy dress costumes were legendary and Keith had a fine deep voice which he put to good effect in bars by singing in Italian which led to drinkers there thinking he was a famous Italian tenor. But if they listened carefully, they would realise that he only knew the first two lines and all the rest was made up gobbledygook.”
Keith was also a very under-rated winger for Pembroke RFC and was honoured with the captaincy in one season - and again the stories that come out are the same - he would try to run through a brick was in The Scarlets’ cause!
Keith Hulbert is survived by his smashing wife Eileen, son Damon and daughter Lydia and his passing was met with huge sadness by both clubs because he was such a likeable and modest character!

Keith Hulbert - 2nd left, front row