Today sees the return of our Where Are They Now feature and this week we turn the spotlight on a former player who is still very much involved with the game.
Jeremy Lloyds is one of three former Somerset players who are currently on the First Class umpires list and last season he officiated at Taunton on several occasions.
Having been appointed in 1998, Jeremy is one of the longest serving officials on the circuit and between 2003 and 2006 he was on the ICC International Panel, during which he umpired in five Test Matches and 18 One Day Internationals.
However, for those who have been around the Club for a while it doesn’t seem so long ago that he was making his debut for Somerset.
Jeremy is a local boy who went to Curry Rivel Primary School where he excelled at sport before moving onto St Dunstans in Burnham on Sea. He then attended Blundells School, where he enjoyed a successful sporting career playing alongside Vic Marks.
The top order left handed batsman and right arm off break bowler first played for Somerset Second XI in the summer of 1973, when he was 18 years old, but despite giving a good account of himself over the next few years he wasn’t offered a contract.
Jeremy explained how it all came about. “In 1979 I had just come back from coaching in South Africa,” he said. “Don Wilson at the MCC had been asked if I would go out to Holland to do 12 weeks coaching which I had agreed to. However, the next day I went and played in a Hallam Moseley Benefit match at King’s College where I scored 80 runs. As a result of that I was promptly offered a four month contract which of course I accepted!”
The all rounder made his first team debut against Cambridge University at Bath in June that year. The following month he came on as a substitute fielder for David Gurr against India and took a smart catch and claimed a run out, both at cover point.
Between then and 1984 Jeremy played in 100 First Class matches for Somerset as well as 62 One-Day games including the Benson and Hedges Final in 1983 before heading up the M5 to join Gloucestershire.
In his 100 First Class games for Somerset he scored 4036 runs at 28.42 with a best of 132 not out and took 133 wickets at 34.84 each.
How did he get onto the umpires list in the first place? “It was thanks to former Gloucestershire ‘keeper Barrie Meyer,” he said. “He was out in South Africa when I was coaching Western Province in 1994 and suggested that I might like to consider taking up umpiring. 2016 was my 19th season on the First Class list in addition to which I have had two years on the reserve list making it my 21st anniversary!”
Despite his long years of service Jeremy remains as keen and enthusiastic as he ever did, still wanting to maintain the traditional values that the summer game is based upon.
“I still love the game as much as I ever did and I want to share that with those who are in the game now. I am one the lucky people who loves what he has been doing for nigh on 45 years of my life.”