A fantastic donation of £5k, including Gift Aid, has been made by local lady Helen Gough, in memory of her late husband James Thomas Michael, aka Jimmy Crackers, who helped set up the very popular and successful annual 7s tournament in Underhill Park.
Speaking about her late husband, Helen said:
“Jimmy was interested in all forms of sport, but was especially passionate about rugby and cricket, both of which were played by local clubs at Underhill until the cricket club moved to its current home in Limeslade in the late 1970s.
“In the early 1980s, Jimmy and his friend Mohan Pillai, together with support from Mumbles RFC, revived and expanded the old White Rose 7s which had previously run for a few years in the mid 1970s. Some of the funds raised at the tournament were used to support Longfields Centre where Jimmy’s younger brother Peter had received day care for much of his life. The revived 7s tournament was well supported and was repeated over a number of years until Jimmy’s early death in 1987.”
A few years after his death the tournament was once again revived and renamed “The Jimmy Crackers Memorial 7s” and continues to this day as “The Cracker 7s”. Since those early days the tournament has evolved into a highly organised 2 day event, which takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend and is enjoyed by the whole community. 2022 sees the 33rd time this great local event has taken place.
Having seen the Go Underhill development shaping up at Underhill Park, Helen approached the charity to make her generous donation, which she feels Jimmy would have applauded.
“The new development at Underhill will assign to history a building that used to be a bit of a local legend… for the experience it provided of showering and changing in the freezing cold, sometimes in the dark, and often with very temperamental plumbing.
“I think Jimmy will be looking down at the changes with a little bit of nostalgia in his eyes and a big smile on his face.”
Trustee and Vice Chairman of Mumbles RFC, Martin Rodwell, said:
“Whilst I never had the opportunity to meet Jimmy, having moved to Swansea and joined the club only after his days, I have the honour of continuing the tradition of organising the annual Cracker 7’s.
“From others who knew him, I understand that he was a true character and a formidable sportsman in all senses. We are enormously grateful for this generous donation by Helen, which feels like a very fitting gesture in memory of a man who left a great legacy for sport in Underhill.”
The Longfields Centre
Operated by Longfields Association, Swansea, a pioneering disability charity established in 1952, the Longfields Centre in West Cross was a day centre for people with learning and physical disabilities. The Centre sadly closed on financial grounds in 2011 following a merger of the charity with the UK learning disability charity Walsingham, after 59 years of providing services to the local community.