|Full name||Gerald John Villiers Weigall|
19 October 1870|
Wimbledon, Surrey, England
|Died||17 May 1944
Dublin, Republic of Ireland
|Domestic team information|
Source: Cricinfo, 17 May 1944
Gerald John Villiers Weigall (19 October 1870 – 17 May 1944) was an English cricketer.
Born in Wimbledon, Weigall was the son of a Victorian artist Henry Weigall (best known for his portrait of Disraeli in 1878–1879) and his wife Lady Rose Fane, daughter of John Fane, 11th Earl of Westmorland. A younger brother was Lieutenant Colonel Sir William Ernest George Archibald Weigall, 1st Baronet KCMG, a Conservative MP who was Governor of South Australia.
He married, in 1897, Josephine Harrison and they had issue.
Gerry Weigall was educated at Wellington College before going up to Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1889. He made his first-class debut for Kent County Cricket Club as an opening batsman against MCC in 1891; scoring a half-century in the second innings, before achieving his Cambridge blue later in the season. An all-round sportsman, he also represented Cambridge in rackets, and popularised squash — a sport he played into his seventies.
A defensive batsman with a strong cut shot, he often batted down the order after leaving Cambridge and often added useful runs, including his highest first-class score of 138 not out which helped Kent to victory over the Gentlemen of Philadelphia in 1897.
Following his playing career, Weigall became a coach, coaching young players from Kent's Tonbridge stable and the second eleven. He is credited with the discovery of Les Ames; who went on to play in 47 Test matches for England. He also coached Yorkshire's colts side for a time. As a coach, he was noted as a "stickler for orthodox batting", and would demonstrate a perfect technique with items ranging from borrowed bats to umbrellas.
He was a great character. According to E.W. Swanton, "He always had a few pet bees buzzing around in his bonnet, and used to inveigh against the criminal folly of selectors and authority generally if their view did not match his own." When Maurice Leyland was preferred to Frank Woolley in the touring party to Australia in 1928-9, he fulminated against the selection of a "cross-batted village-greener". When he scored 63* in the 1892 University Match, three of the best Cambridge batsmen were run out during his innings, including no less a figure than F.S. Jackson, his captain. When it appeared that one of them would have to go, Weigall is supposed to have sacrificed his partner by calling: "Get back, Jacker. I'm set." Swanton sums him up thus: "... he may well sound a rather preposterous fellow... I can only say that every cricketer was his friend, and that he never spoke an unkind word about anyone."
He died in a Dublin hospital on 17 May 1944; "troubled by illness from the outbreak of war"
- "Weigall, Gerald John Villiers (WGL889GJ)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- "Marylebone Cricket Club v Kent in 1891". CricketArchive. Retrieved 19 July 2008.
- "1945 – Obituaries in 1944". Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. Retrieved 19 July 2008.
- "Kent v Gentlemen of Philadelphia in 1897". CricketArchive. Retrieved 19 July 2008.
- Carlaw, Derek (2005): "Leslie Ames"; from Kent County Cricket Club Annual, p. 73. Kent County Cricket Club. ISBN 0-9527926-1-3.
- EW Swanton, Sort of a Cricket Person, Sportsman's Book Club edition, 1974, pp84-5.