Andy “Jungle” Jenner passed away at home on 20th of February 2017. He will be a great loss to Essex cricket and amateur cricket in general. His activities both on and off the field demonstrated his love for the game - Jungle was “Mr Cricket”. Standing some 6 feet 6 inches tall gives a clue to his nickname, which surfaced during a tour with Cranston Park C.C. in 1969. He approached the bar in a bright yellow and green pair of slacks (camouflage) and a wag remarked upon his appearance saying that he looked like a “Giraffe in the Jungle” and the name of “Jungle” followed him as a term of endearment for the rest of his life.
His cricket career was born at Hornchurch Grammar School where he featured as an opening bowler and an accomplished batsman. Early days saw him at Hornchurch C.C. opening the batting, but Gidea Park & Romford C.C. was his home for the majority of his cricketing life. He matured into a medium paced seam bowler with the ability to bowl a useful away swinger, with the odd ball nipping back; and he also became a good tail-ender in later years. Many of our opponents ended up with a draw rather than a victory, because Jungle was at the crease with his stout defence whilst he was coaching a youngster at the other end. Even if the boy didn’t ask for it! Not many players, in any form of club cricket, won club awards in their 50s. He did!
He had some memorable moments in his playing career. As a member of GP&R’s 1983 Essex League Championship side, the wicket of Gordon Geenidge at Finchampstead, going for nine off one ball at Wickford and the famous incident at Gallows Corner when he arrived at the wicket at eight down, had a long chat with the youngster at the other end, then played a text book forward defensive shot to his first ball, only for it to nip through the gate and hit middle stump. He strode off, tucking the bat under his arm in classic “WG” style, but not before saying –“Umpire, you must have given me the wrong guard!”
He was a Club Cricket Conference councillor for a number of years and a regular playing member of the M.C.C. He also toured the world on senior tours in his later career, thanks to invitations from the MCC, Kent, Sussex and Surrey. He also toured as a member of the Forty Club. The hours he enjoyed and devoted to cricket were immense, but his involvement with the Essex League was a major contribution to the sport both on and off the field. A league representative player at all senior levels, Jungle was looking forward to umpiring and enjoying his second season in the over 70s. Sadly, this will not happen.
In conclusion, Jungle was a man who had forthright views on most things and views that could not easily be changed through persuasive discussion. However, even if he didn’t agree with what you said, he defended your right to say it. In retrospect, I am sure if asked, his three chosen dinner party guests would have been Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Richard Hadlee, and Joe Root. He would have listened intently to the first two and instructed the latter on how to win The Ashes.
Rest in peace, Jungle.
On behalf of all at Gidea Park & Romford C.C.
CCC President 2003 & Friend.
Comments from the Shepherd Neame Essex League.
Andy was involved in the formation (in 1972) and early years of the Essex League both as a fine player and outstanding administrator. He performed many roles on the League Committee starting as a general committee member then Secretary (1992-96); and he performed each role with the utmost professionalism and diligence. He then became Handbook Editor and Annual Dinner Organiser. Most recently, at the 2016 AGM in November, he took over as Treasurer and Minute Secretary.
I can echo the comments about his determination or some would say stubbornness. He was generally right and would always defend the old traditions and spirit of cricket. This did lead to some lengthy Executive Committee Meetings that were ultimately very worthwhile. His first minutes from January’s meeting covered over eight pages and even the agenda filled up two A4 pages.
He will be sadly missed by Committee and by all the League member clubs for whom he was a respected opponent on the field and a reliable source of information in the bar.
Andrew Kennedy (Chairman) & Cliff Greenhill (Secretary)
The Shepherd Neame Essex League
Comments from the Essex County Cricket Board Association of Cricket Officials and Shepherd Neame Essex League Panel
I don’t think it came as any surprise that, when Andy finally decided to play slightly less cricket than he used to, he would still want to keep an active part in the game. Umpiring, of course, was the obvious choice. It came as even a less surprise that Andy was a natural at it!
Always a man to do things the right way, Andy set about becoming a qualified umpire back in 2013/14, and attended the Level 1 course at Brentwood ACO. Having passed that level first attempt, he applied, and was accepted to join, the SNEL panel in the 2014 season, in division two and three.
In the games to which he was appointed, players soon realised that they had a good umpire on the field with them, and his fellow umpires, a colleague they could rely on. Promotion to the division one list would follow the next season, and so too would the Level 1a qualification.
Andy had all the right traits to be a successful umpire: honesty, experience, a love of the game, and letting the players play (although I sometimes think he had to stop himself for telling a young bowler at his end how he would have set the field for the over!).
Everything was in place to see Andy continue to make a success of his umpiring. He was due to attend the ECB ACO Level 2 course this March, and I have no doubt that Premier League would have soon followed.
He will be greatly missed by all his colleagues and friends on the panel.
Jonathon Glynn (Secretary, Essex ACO and SNEL Panel)