The Jesters Cricket Club was founded in 1928 by Jock Burnet and his group of friends at St.Paul’s school. Our original title was “The Jokers”, but well before the first season commenced it was discovered that a club of cricketing golfers already existed with that name.
The first ever match took place against Beaconsfield on 28th April 1928, where we lost a close game by two wickets. Other games that summer were arranged with Eton Wick, Egham, Chesham, Fulmer, the Early Birds, Burnham, the Life Guards (at Windsor), Stanwell, and Windlesham, establishing the club in its now familiar Home Counties territory.
Throughout the 1930s the club maintained strong links with St. Paul’s. Many players were current or recent pupils, masters there, or friends at other schools. Indeed, the most successful bowler in those early years was Pat Cotter, a St. Paul’s master, who in only four seasons took 172 wickets with flighted leg-breaks (and went on to represent England at croquet and bridge and compile crosswords for the Financial Times).
Before the days of foreign holidays, the bulk of matches took place in August. By 1933 the fixture list had grown to 55 games (the most we have ever played in a season), with no fewer than 37 between 22nd July and 7th September. These games were played against much the same mix of club and village sides as today. There was also a New Forest tour, an array of military opposition - the Royal Tank Corps, 2nd Battalian Scots Guards, RAF Duxford - and a regular September fixture at Lord’s against Cross Arrows. We even faced the might of the Eton College Servants XI. Up until 2014, only one fixture had featured continuously since the 1930s - Ashtead.
Pre-war, there was a less rigid distinction between club and first class cricket than today. County players such as Tom Killick (who played twice for England in 1929), Monty Garland-Wells and Roger Winlaw, among a number of others, all played for the club on occasions. In 1932 as many as ten members who had played or were to play first class cricket turned out. Perhaps the most distinguished “first class” Jester was Jack Grant who subsequently captained the West Indies against both England and Australia. He was a regular during the first season, 1928, before going up to Cambridge.
"Characters the Jesters have always had in plenty"
A History of The Jesters Cricket Club