Cricket Victoria regrets to advise of the passing last Friday July 29 of legendary cricket administrator and football broadcaster Bill Jacobs, aged 93. Bill had been battling a bout of pneumonia and passed away at Epworth Hospital.
Bill Jacobs was a fine keeper-batsman, playing 266 consecutive matches for Fitzroy between 1937-38 and 1955-56, capturing 448 dismissals (279 catches and 169 stumpings). This places Bill fifth on the all-time list of wicketkeepers for dismissals, although nobody effected more stumpings in a VCA career. He played in six VCA Finals for the Lions, resulting in three premierships (1938-39, 1939-40 & 1953-54).
Following his retirement as a player, Bill moved into cricket administration and served as a VCA Delegate from 1957-58 to 1968-69, as a State Selector from 1959-60 to 1971-72 (and 1982-83), and as Assistant Secretary of the VCA in 1973-74.
Bill managed Australian teams to South Africa (1966-67) and the West Indies (1973), as well as managing the Rest of the World team in Australia (1971-72) at the request of the Australian Cricket Board. He was awarded Cricket Victoria life membership following his retirement as a delegate in 1969.
Outside cricket, Bill was a long-serving and highly regarded sports commentator at 3AW and was a great promoter of cricket both during his radio career and in the various newspaper columns which he wrote over many years.
The VCA 200 Club honoured Bill in 2001 for his outstanding contribution to cricket over his 65 year involvement.
Bill was also the father of our former CEO, Ken Jacobs. Our sympathies are extended to Ken and his family on their loss.