DateLine: 30th December 2007
William Brain was Glamorgan`s first regular wicketkeeper in the Minor County Championship, and in 1893 he had created a unique record, when playing for Gloucestershire, by making three stumpings in consecutive deliveries as Charles Townsend took a hat-trick against Somerset at Cheltenham College.
Like his older brother Joseph, he was educated at Clifton College, before going up to Oxford and joining the family`s brewing business in South Wales in the mid-1890`s. Brain`s agile wicketkeeping, coupled with his bold and uninhibited strokeplay in the middle order secured him a regular place in the Glamorgan side from 1896. By the time he retired in 1908, Brain had amassed over 2,000 runs in his career for Glamorgan, and had 240 dismissals to his name. The fact that he had almost as many stumpings than catches to his name spoke volumes for his deft glovework.
Brain also served on the Glamorgan committee from 1901, until his increasing business commitments forced his retirement from the Minor County side. He was subsequently appointed Chairman of Brains Brewery in 1914, but continued to play club cricket for Cardiff and the M.C.C., and he led the family`s business until his death in 1934.
He also took great delight in the way two of his sons, Michael and Pat, both kept wicket in first-class cricket for the Welsh county. Michael made one appearance against Oxford University in 1930, whilst Pat appeared in six matches between 1921 and 1928, and like his father and uncle, was always ready to help out the county whenever they were short of players.
(Article: Copyright © 2007 Dr.A.K.Hignell)