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Jeremy Lloyds: 1954 – 2022

Jeremy Lloyds
by Almanack Archive 7 minute read

Jeremy Lloyds died on November 21, 2022, aged 68. He had stood in 74 international matches, and was remembered in the 2023 Wisden Almanack.

LLOYDS, JEREMY WILLIAM, died on November 21, four days after his 68th birthday. First as player, then as umpire, Jerry Lloyds was involved in more than 1,100 senior matches in all formats (Peter Willey leads the way, with over 1,700). A sound left-hander and attacking off-spinner for Somerset and Gloucestershire, then a calm presence as an official, he was widely popular throughout both phases of his long career.

Born in Malaya, where his father was working for Shell, Lloyds was schooled in England, latterly at Blundell’s. Somerset and England off-spinner Vic Marks was an exact contemporary: “We played a lot of sport together, not just cricket but rugby – though he was a much better rugby player than me: stronger, braver, with great hands and capable of booting the ball a long way. He played for Taunton Rugby Club after school.”

Cricket soon took over. “He was an attacking batsman, and in those days opened the bowling,” Marks recalled. “One year, he completely overhauled his action. It had been orthodox, but for some reason he decided to mimic Mike Procter by bowling off the wrong foot. He was always open to experimenting.” The signs were promising – but Lloyds took time to develop, and was a late starter in first-class cricket. He spent four years on the staff at Lord’s, being lent out to several county Second XIs, and was still without a contract at the start of 1979. By then 24, he was about to set off for a coaching stint in the Netherlands when Somerset asked him to make up the numbers in a benefit game for Hallam Moseley: Lloyds scored 80, and was invited to join the staff. “I was keen to sign him, but the problem was I couldn’t get any money,” said Peter Robinson, Somerset’s coach. “In the end I managed to get a pittance to pay him, and he played in the early days virtually for nothing.”

By 1980, Lloyds was a regular member of a powerful side. “Somebody had the bright idea of shipping him up the order,” said team-mate Nigel Popplewell. “This worked out like a house on fire. He was also a big spinner of the ball and could give it a real rip – on certain wickets he was a handful.” Although not always included in Somerset’s one-day line-up, he was part of the side that won the NatWest Trophy at Lord’s in 1983. Lloyds passed 800 runs each season from 1981 to 1984, and picked up handy wickets – 7-88 against Essex at Chelmsford in 1982 remained a career-best – but then caused surprise by moving to Gloucestershire.

He fitted in at Bristol, and in 1986 cruised past 1,000 runs, remaining a consistent performer until retiring in 1991. Coaching beckoned, and he might have been lost to the first-class game but for a chance conversation in South Africa. Test umpire Barrie Meyer, a fellow coach, pointed out that the English panel was ageing fast. Lloyds applied, and rejoined the county circuit full-time in 1998. “He had a good rapport with the players,” said Marks. “He could be firm if necessary, but was no martinet, and happy to pass on a word of advice.”

Lloyds was soon among England’s leading officials, and umpired a one-day international at Bristol in 2000. In the early days of the ICC’s global panel, he stood in five Tests – all abroad – in 2004 and 2005, but did not enjoy the travel. He remained a regular on the county circuit until retiring in 2020, when one of his final assignments was a T20 match between Somerset and Gloucestershire at Taunton; his two former teams gave him a guard of honour to the middle. Through it all, Lloyds retained a wry humour, always seeming mildly astonished that cricket had kept him gainfully employed. Chris Adams, the former Sussex captain, summed him up: “A magic guy, a great man of cricket, and a good friend to many.”

A former first-class cricketer, Jeremy Lloyds stood in 74 international matches.

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