It is with deep regret that Yorkshire County Cricket Club announce the death on December 28, 2019, of their former President, Sir David Jones CBE, at the age of 76.
Sir David, who lived in Ilkley, served as President in 2004 and 2005, taking over the reins from Robin Smith, who was ending his first term of office in that role, and later being succeeded by Bob Appleyard, the former Yorkshire and England bowler.
Sir David, who transformed Next from a failing business into the third biggest fashion chain in the UK, serving first as Chief Executive and then Chairman, took great pride in his surprise election as Yorkshire President, and although his strenuous business life meant he kept a generally low profile he was a keen follower of Yorkshire’s fortunes both on and off the field.
He joined Next in 1986 from the Grattan catalogue business and he also went on to hold Board positions with Morrisons Supermarket Group and JJB Sports.
Sir David had been in failing health for several years, having suffered from Parkinson’s Disease from his mid-30s but he kept his illness a secret throughout most of his business life.
Robin Smith, The Yorkshire County Cricket Club chairman said: “Sir David Jones was the first Yorkshire President to come from a commercial background, where he had turned the Next retail chain into one of the most successful businesses on UK high streets. He also put Next into a leading position in mail order retailing, the precursor to today’s internet shopping.
“His astute guidance during his Presidential term was greatly valued at the time and, with the benefit of hindsight, can be seen now to have influenced the formation of the Club’s current business model.
“However, my main admiration for Sir David arises from his indefatigable courage over many years in the face of adversity. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in his 30s and, fearing that it might be viewed negatively, he kept it secret from his colleagues whilst he pursued his outstandingly successful business career.
“Latterly, he had been hospitalised for some months following a fall, but he continued to talk with enthusiasm about the future. David Jones was an exceptional man and a true friend of Yorkshire cricket.”
He leaves a widow, Ann, three children, Alison, Richard and Stuart, and five grandchildren, Jamie, William, Charlie, Harry and Ryan.