JB Shackleton 1936-2018

THE Welsh cricketing community was devastated this week to lose a real gentleman and giant of the game - Mr. Brian Shackleton, or ‘Shacky’ as he was affectionately known.

A prominent figure about town and successful businessman, Brian was regarded as a legend at Abergavenny Cricket Club where he had been both player, Captain and President from 1989 to 2018.

On occasions he also took on other responsibilities, holding dual roles on the club committee for a number of years.

Universally known as Mr. Abergavenny Cricket Club, Brian’s love of all things cricket was no secret.

There are very few parts of the Principality and indeed the wider cricketing community where Brian Shackleton does not immediately spring to mind whenever anyone mentions Abergavenny Cricket Club.

He came from a well-established Abergavenny family and their chemist shops need no introduction.

In South Wales and beyond the name “Shacky” has to a large extent become synonymous with Abergavenny CC. Brian’s contribution to the club cannot be underestimated.

His career with the club goes back to 1947 when as a very young boy he played in the Abergavenny Colts ‘B’ side against the Colts ‘A’ side. He was educated at Llandovery College and the University of Wales, Cardiff where he graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmacy Degree. Brian became the fourth generation to join the family business in 1956. His family business H. Shackleton Ltd has long been an integral part of the fabric of Abergavenny.

Brian also played rugby to a very good standard at scrum-half for Abergavenny RFC’s First XV.

He celebrated 62 years of association with the club on their 175th anniversary in 2009.

During his cricketing career Brian was captain of the first eleven on 12 occasions. The first time as a 24-year-old in 1961 when he held the captaincy for 10 consecutive seasons.

It was during his second spell as captain starting in 1974 that Brian captained Abergavenny to Three Counties League triumph in 1975. The first and last time the club has achieved this feat.

As a player, the statistics show that Brian scored over 6,000 runs for the club. His best season came in 1968 when he scored 619 runs. His top score for the club was 96 not out, in addition to this he also took 126 catches

He promoted the club at every opportunity and was instrumental in First Class cricket being introduced to the club. He organised many benefit matches and testimonial dinners for County Players. In addition, he sponsored a number of young cricketers and was a great supporter of St Helen’s Balconeers which is Glamorgan’s support base in the West of the Principality.

He served on the Glamorgan County Cricket Club committee with distinction for more than 20 years, was a member of the MCC and also served on the Three Counties League Executive.

His support of Glamorgan and its players was truly significant and he, along with his late wife Barbara, were often seen supporting Glamorgan and England on tours across the world.

Despite his recent ill health he continued to attend Abergavenny and Glamorgan matches and remained an active President with very much a ‘hands-on’ approach.

To many Brian Shackleton has been the club’s moral compass, always striving to ensure that Abergavenny played within the spirit of cricket.

Brian Shackleton’s funeral will be held on October 16.