Mendip Crematorium was packed to overflowing for the funeral of a much-respected local sportsman, Jer Thompson, who has died after a long illness. The talented cricketer who played for a number of local clubs and who played minor counties cricket for Wiltshire, has spent the last 20 years at Timsbury. Here he inspired a generation of players both as a colleague and latterly as a coach, with the determination and drive that was the hallmark of his character.
Jer was brought up in Writhlington attending St Mary’s Primary School and the local Comprehensive. His outstanding sporting promise was spotted at an early age and he represented Avon Schools and Somerset at youth level. He also played for a number of local football teams.
His early cricketing days saw him playing for Temple Cloud before he moved to Bath where he was coached by former Somerset batsman and county umpire Peter Wight who ran his indoor school at North Parade. He played for Somerset second eleven but one of his great experiences was playing against Warwickshire for Wiltshire in the Gillette Cup where he faced South African quickie Alan Donald.
He was also twelfth man against the touring Australians. He was later to play for Midsomer Norton and Keynsham in the Western League before being persuaded to join Timsbury by Darren Wilkins. He was one of the historic eleven which reached the National Village Final at Lords in 2006. In a tribute to Jerry all of his team mates came to the funeral dressed in the outfits worn at the final and Wilkins who has remained a close friend led the tributes with an emotional eulogy.
After leaving school Jer went into the building industry before joining Ford Fuel Oils where he was a driver for 25 years. He married his wife Anne-Marie in 1990 and they have one son Sol who plays cricket for Timsbury and rugby for Chew Valley. Anne-Marie said that it is clear from the many cards and messages that they have received that Jer had a big influence on people’s lives.
She said, “ Jer expected everyone to give maximum effort and had a great work ethic. As an individual he was very humble and never wanted any fuss. He was a devoted family man and his death will leave a big hole in our lives.”
Jer who is also survived by father Ken and sister Bridget showed the same determination in fighting the illness that made life so difficult for him over the last 12 months before losing the battle and passing away at the age of 56.