Thanks to Tom Whittington`s efforts off the field, Glamorgan secured first-class status in 1921. The Neath-born batsman was a most influential figure in Glamorgan`s affairs either side of the Great War, and he served as the club`s Secretary from 1909. He used his many contacts in South Wales to drum up financial support for the Welsh county, and using his influence within the M.C.C. hierarchy, he got their agreement to elevate Glamorgan to first-class status if they could secure home and away fixtures with eight other Championship teams. By the middle of 1920 he secured sufficient fixtures to allow Glamorgan`s entry into the Championship.
Whittington had first appeared for Glamorgan in 1901, and after reading Law at Oxford, the right handed batsman secured a regular place in the Glamorgan side. In 1908 he took over the captaincy of the county eleven, and hit a career-best 188 against Carmarthenshire at Llanelli. His efforts earned him selection for the Minor Counties and the M.C.C. , with whom he toured the West Indies in 1910/11. He had a fine tour, scoring 685 runs, with 154* against British Guyana and 115* against All Jamaica, and he was selected again in 1912/13 when the M.C.C. re-visited the Caribbean.
Whittington acted as Glamorgan`s vice-captain in 1921, before taking over the captaincy in 1922 and 1923. He was an astute captain, but became rather frustrated by the club`s rather modest playing resources, and Whittington never enjoyed as much success as he should have. With his own batting form dropping off, he retired at the end of 1923 to take up a teaching post in Sussex, and in honour of his services to the club, Whittington became Glamorgan`s first-ever Life Member.
(Article: Copyright © 2000 Dr.A.K.Hignell)