OBITUARY: HAROLD JEFFERIES
18th Nov 2022 | Local News
Harold Jefferies, a hugely popular and highly-respected elder statesman of Cornish sport and one of its most accomplished "all-rounders," has died at the age of 88 after a long illness.
He captained the Cornwall football team, for whom he earned 70 caps, and was a long-serving player with Truro City and Falmouth Town.
He later piloted the Falmouth club to its most successful era, when he was managing director during its record-breaking run of successes in the Western League in the 1970s.
Harold Jefferies, centre left, front row, as managing director of the record-breaking Falmouth Town team of the 1970s.
Harold was also a long-serving and prominent member of Falmouth Golf Club and had spells with Falmouth Cricket Club and Penryn Bowling Club.
He began his football career with Falmouth Docks and Falmouth Town before moving to Truro City in the 1957-58 season. In November, 1957, he made his Cornwall debut at left back, although he is principally remembered as a centre half.
He skippered City for 12 years and Falmouth for two (1955-57) and had trials at Football League clubs Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Bristol Rovers.
With Falmouth, where he returned for a short spell in the early 1960s, he played more than 130 games in total.
Harold, left, with 1960s Cornish football icons referee Bill Pearce and St Blazey skipper Ivor Griffiths
With Truro, he enjoyed two notable successes over the club's "local derby" rivals, winning the South Western League Cup Final against Town in 1960 (1-0) and the Cornwall Senior Cup in 1967 (4-1). The former was Truro's first-ever trophy in the South Western League.
His representative honours included captaining Cornwall to a 3-1 win in a rare fixture with a Caribbean XI at St Austell in 1962 – and playing for an FA XI.
Harold joined Falmouth Golf Club in 1955, shortly after completing national service, and was later made a life member. In 1966 he was appointed the club's vice-captain and in the following year, at the age of 33, became its then youngest-ever captain.
He was club president in 1999-2002. He was captain of the Cornwall County Golf Captains Society in 1991-92 and its president from 1999-2002, achieving the rare honour of holding both presidential posts simultaneously.
During his presidency, Harold was a member of an eight-strong team of golfers from the Falmouth club who paid a pioneering visit to Brookline, near Boston, in 1999, with a new trophy to be played for every two years with their namesake town of Falmouth in Maine, coinciding with the Ryder Cup.
The final score in that first match, after three days, was US Falmouth 13½, UK Falmouth 7½.
In cricket, Harold was a fast/medium bowler who could also score useful runs and was very fast in the field and in running between the wickets.
From 1957 to 1970, he regularly turned out for Falmouth Cricket Club's teams. In the First XI, he took 43 wickets with an average of 22.09 from 349.3 overs.
He was a member of Penryn Bowling Club for several years during the 1990s and, although not matching his successes in football and golf, he is remembered for the speed with which he grasped the sport and his enthusiastic participation.
Harold spent most of his working life in the brewing trade, principally for the Devenish brewery in Redruth, and having been recruited into the trade not least on account of his personality and popularity in sporting circles.
Harold, second left, on golf duty for Devenish Redruth Brewery as organiser of its annual Golf Day at Truro in 1983.
As a brewery executive, he eventually managed more than 200 pubs in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
He was also president of Falmouth's Atheneum Club from 1992-94, having joined in 1970, and following his presidency was made a life member.
He was born in Penryn but lived for most of his life in Falmouth until spending his final four years at Trevarna Care Home, St Austell. He was married for 40 years to Molly, who died in 2003. He later had a very dear friend, Kay.
He leaves a son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and Yvette, a daughter and son-in-law, Helena and Jamie, and four grandchildren, Sasha, Harri, Jack and Molly.
The funeral service takes places at Penmount at 11 am on Wednesday, November 30.