Obituaries

Dennis MarriottLes Angell | Phillip HughesMichael MillsMervyn WinfieldMichael Frederick Peter SainsburyBrian RoeDamian D’OliveiraEuros LewisJohn BartlettDon Bennett |  David AllenMichael MencePhil SharpeGeorge Downton Harry BellRay Flood  | Peter Laker  |  Norman Whiting | John Mortimore | Michael Melluish | William Goodreds | Bernard Hedges Alan Townsend  | Graham Stevenson | Peter JacquesStuart JakemanTed WilliamsRay Weeks | Reg Simpson | Cyril PerkinsJonathan Fellows-SmithDavid Clark | Brian Furniss | Huw JenkinsKeith DolleryPaul RobinsonDicky Mayes | Sir Colin Stansfield Smith | Fred Gibson | Ron Thresher | Mike Denness | Douglas Freeman | Ted James | Peter Hearn | David Mills | Neil McCorkell | Brian Langford | John Josephs | Tony Greig | Phillip Taylor | Michael Crawford | Eric BurginRay CarterGeorge ChestertonJim Galley | Tony Pawson | Kevin Curran | John Turner  Lewis McGibbon | Harry Pilling | Ron Tindall | Geoffrey Lees Barry Trapnell | Frank ForsterDavid ThomasDon WilsonTom MaynardDavid Gibson | Frank Parr | Martin Stovold | Louis Vorster | Jack Watson | Geoff Hill | Simon Massey | Doug Greasley | John Swinburne | Eddie Davis | Roy Tattersall | Basil D’Oliveira | Peter Roebuck | Graham Dilley | Elvis Reifer | Allan Watkins | Neal Abberley 




Dennis Marriott

Dennis Marriott, the former Surrey and Middlesex left arm medium pace bowler, has died aged 75.

Marriott, who was born in Jamaica, played for Surrey between 1965 and 1967 without being able to establish himself as a first team regular.

He joined Middlesex for the 1972 season and enjoyed his most successful season in 1973, particularly in the John Player League.

Marriott took four five wicket hauls in the 40 over competition that summer including five for 13 against Gloucestershire at Lydney and drew with favourable comparisons with the bowling of Derek Underwood.

He also took a career-best five for 71 in a drawn County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 1973, his only five wicket haul in 30 first-class appearances.

Marriott’s promise was recognised with the award of his county cap in 1973 but his form fell away the following summer, his last with Middlesex.

Marriott took only six wickets in as many one day matches in his final season and added only four more in his two County Championship appearances.

Marriott continued to play club cricket and he represented the National Cricket Association against the touring West Indian in a one day match at The Oval in 1976.

He was a prolific wicket taker for Mitcham in the Surrey Championship where he bowled his off-cutters with guile and to devastating effect.

In later life he suffered from diabetes and had a foot amputated. He was confined to a wheelchair but, with financial assistance from the PCA Benevolent Fund, a shower and wet room was built on the ground floor of his house.

Dennis’s funeral is on the 30th December at Croydon Crematorium, Mitcham Road, Croydon,Surrey, CR0 3AA  at 12.45. There is an open invitation to celebrate Dennis’s life afterwards.

 



 

Les Angell | 1922 - 2014

Les Angell, the former Somerset batsman, has died in Bath aged 92.

Angell made 132 first-class appearances between 1947 and 1956 with one century in his 4,596 runs, against the touring Pakistanis in 1954.

He had been released after the 1952 season but was re-engaged a year later after Harold Gimblett, his opening partner, retired suddenly.

Angell was a prolific run scorer for the Lansdown club in Bath before and after his Somerset career and served them as captain and president.

He made his first Somerset appearances in the Bath festival in 1947 and again the following year and joined the staff in 1950.

Angell made 1,125 runs in 1954, which was his most productive season, but only 578 in 16 appearances the following summer.

He left Somerset at the end of the 1956 after he had failed to pass 30 in seven matches.

Away from cricket Angell worked as an engineering draughtsman in Bath.

 


 

Phillip Hughes | 1988 - 2014

Phil Hughes, the Australia and former Middlesex, Hampshire and Worcestershire batsman, has died aged 25 from head injuries sustained batting for South Australia against his native New South Wales in Sydney.

 

Hughes was struck as he tried to pull a bouncer from Sean Abbott and died in Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital 48 hours later. He was three days short of his 26th birthday.

Hughes was an attacking and entertaining left hander who  had an unorthodox but effective technique which involved scoring a high percentage of runs through point or cover At 19 he became the youngest batsman to score a century in a Pura Cup final and, after two seasons of Sheffield Shield cricket, he made two centuries in a match against South Africa in Durban in only his second Test in 2009. 

Hughes joined Middlesex at the start of the 2009 to familiarise himself with English conditions ahead of that summer’s Ashes series. But he was dropped after the Lord’s Test and was not recalled for the remainder of the series.

Hughes returned to county cricket for a brief stint with Hampshire in 2010 and came back to England in 2012 when he made 560 runs, including two centuries, for Worcestershire.

That form helped Hughes win a Test recall the following winter for the series against Sri Lanka but he was again dropped after the first two Tests of the 2013 Ashes.

In July this year Hughes became the first Australian to score a double century in a List A match and made his highest first-class score of 243 against South Africa a month later.

He was being tipped for a Test recall after an absence of 18 months when he suffered fatal injuries at the SCG.

Hughes scored 1,535 centuries in 26 Tests with three centuries. He played 114 first-class matches, scored 9,023 runs with 26 centuries and made eight one day centuries, two of them for Australia.

 


 

Michael Mills | 1921 - 2014

Michael Mills, the former Warwickshire and Cambridge University leg-spinner, has died aged 93.

Mills, a product of Oundle School, made his debut for Cambridge against Lancashire in 1946 and in his second match, against a powerful Yorkshire side, he took seven for 69.

Those were to prove the best of Mills’s five first wicket hauls but they could not save Cambridge from an innings defeat.

They did, however, help him to play four matches for Warwickshire in the middle of the 1946 season.

Mills, who was born in Edgbaston, played in the County Championship Essex, Glamorgan and Nottinghamshire – all at Edgbaston – and the tour match against India in early August.

Mills played in three consecutive Varsity Matches and captain Cambridge in the last in 1948 when they were beaten by innings despite having Doug Insole and Trevor Bailey in the team..

Mills played 38 first-class matches, scored 743 runs in 60 innings and took 95 wickets at a cost of 28.86.

He became a teacher at Oundle and became a housemaster. He celebrated his 90th birthday with a lunch at the school in 2011.

Mills’s son Peter also played for Cambridge University and made three first-class and one limited overs appearance for Northamptonshire in 1981.

 



 

MERVYN WINFIELD | 1933 -2014

Mervyn Winfield, the former Nottinghamshire batsman, has died aged 81.

Winfield, who was born and raised in Lincolnshire, made 172 first-class appearances for Nottinghamshire between his debut against Surrey in 1954 and 1966. He scored 6.799 runs including seven centuries with a best of 134 which set up a 111 runs win over Glamorgan at Swansea in 1962.

He topped 1,500 runs in a productive 1959 and 1,000 runs in the next three seasons before he began to struggle for form.

Winfield played only two matches in 1965 and just one in 1966, against Leicestershire at Grace Road. After he left Nottinghamshire, Winfield played Minor Counties cricket for Shropshire for three seasons and then joined his native Lincolnshire for the 1970 and 1971 seasons.

Winfield made two one day appearances for Lincolnshire in the 1971 Gillette Cup, a first round win over Northumberland a second round defeat by Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

 


 


Michael Frederick | 1936 – 2014

Michael Frederick, who played one Test for the West Indies in 1954 and two County Championship matches for Derbyshire in 1949, has died aged 87 after a fall at his home in Jamaica.

Frederick played six first-class matches spread over ten years from his debut for his native Barbados as a 17-year-old in 1944 to his sole Test appearance against England in Kingston.

He came to England in 1946 along with his fellow Barbadian Laurie Johnson and played a lot of non-first-class cricket for the county between 1946 and 1950.

Frederick made his County Championship debut against Middlesex at Lord’s in August 1949 where he made 12 and 2 and retained his place for the next match against Essex at the Ind Coope ground in Burton where he top-scored with 84, the best of his three half centuries, in an innings.

When he returned to the Caribbean, Frederick settled in Jamaica and played two matches against the touring MCC.

He scored a 50 in each match and was then drafted into the West Indies side for his only Test in which he followed a first innings duck with 30 opening the batting in a 140 runs win.




Peter Sainsbury | 1934 - 2014

Peter Sainsbury, the former Hampshire allrounder and coach, has
died aged 80. 

Sainsbury, a right hand batsman and slow left-arm bowler, joined Hampshire’s groundstaff from Bitterne Park School in Southampton and went on to make 593 first-class appearances for the county. Only two Hampshire players, Phil Mead and Alec Kennedy, have made more appearances.

Sainsbury’s playing career stretched from 1954 to 1976,  he then moved into coaching before his retirement in 1991.

Sainsbury appeared as a colt in Hampshire’s pre-season photograph in 1950, but National Service delayed his county debut until 1954 when he played against Oxford University in The Parks.

Sainsbury became the only Hampshire player to appear in two County Championship-winning sides in 1961 and 1973, however, an England cap eluded him although he did tour Pakistan with the MCC – effectively England A – in 1955/56.

In the 1961 campaign, Sainsbury contributed 1,459 runs, took 54 wickets and held 46 catches. He also took the last wicket against Derbyshire which secured Hampshire’s first title. Sainsbury also played a key role in 1973 when he was vice-captain, by taking 107 wickets and scoring more than 900 runs.

During his long career, Sainsbury scored more than 20,000 first-class runs with seven centuries and took 1,316 wickets with 36 five-wicket hauls.

 


 


brian roe | 1936 - 2014 

Brian Roe, the former Somerset opening batsman, has died in Devon aged 75 after a short illness.

Roe, who played club cricket for Barnstaple and Pilton in north Devon until two years ago, made 132 first-class appearances for Somerset between 1957 and 1966 and four more for the Combined Services in 1959 and 1960 while he was serving in the RAF. 

Roe scored more 5,000 first-class runs with four centuries, with a highest score of 128 against Essex at Brentwood in 1962. 

He scored 1,000 runs in three consecutive seasons between 1961 and 1963 and was awarded his county cap in 1962.

Roe was released after the 1966 season and although Somerset offered him the chance to re-join them for the following season he opted for the security of a job in insurance.

He played Minor Counties cricket for Devon and played against Somerset at Taunton for Minor Counties South in the 1973 Benson and Hedges Cup.

During his four appearances for the Combined Services, Roe was the first of ten wickets taken by Warwickshire’s Jack Bannister at Portland Road in Birmingham in 1959.

He also played for the Services against the touring South Africans at Portsmouth in 1960.

Roe was born in Lincolnshire but spent most of his life in north Devon and joined Somerset after he was recommended to the County as a 14-year-old.

After his County career was over, Roe continued to play club cricket for a number of clubs in Devon including North Devon, Braunton and Westleigh. 

 



 

Damian D’Oliveira | 1960 - 2014

Damian D’Oliveira, the former Worcestershire all-rounder and the county’s current academy director and Second XI coach, has died aged 53 after a long battle against cancer.

D’Oliveira, the son of former England and Worcestershire all-rounder Basil, enjoyed a successful county career from 1982 to 1995 as a right handed middle order batsman, occasional off spin bowler and outstanding slip fielder.

He was part of a Worcestershire side that won two County Championship titles, two Sunday Leagues,  the Benson and Hedges Cup and the NatWest Trophy.

He scored more than 9,500 first-class runs, including ten centuries, the best 237 against Oxford University in 1991. D'Oliveira also recorded his best first-class bowling figures, four for 68, against the Dark Blues three years later.

He joined Worcestershire from the MCC Young Cricketers and made his first-class debut against Zimbabwe at New Road in 1982.

Apart from the difficult task of having to follow his famous father into Worcestershire’s first team, D’Oliveira also played most of his Worcestershire career under the demanding coaching of his father. 

He moved into coaching after his playing career ended and proved a successful developer of young talent including his own son Brett, a leg-spinner, who is the third generation of the D’Oliveira family to play first team cricket for Worcestershire.

"It's a very sad moment for the club but let's remember Damian for all the positive things he did with Worcestershire," said former Worcestershire captain Phil Neale.

"Following in big footsteps with Basil - It was very hard for him and always 'he didn't quite measure up to his dad' whenever he got a low score.

"But Damian was his own type of player, he was very dangerous player. When we were successful, the wickets did a bit and sometimes the games were high-scoring games.

"But Damian played his attacking shots and quite often would play a match innings, a quick 50 or 60, which wasworth a 100 of any other flat track in the country.

"He bowled useful off spin and was part of the best slip cordon I've probably ever been involved in, with Rhodes behind the stumps, Damian at first, Hicky at second, Tom Moody and Beefy at third and fourth slip. Basically anything that got nicked, got caught."

 


 

Euros Lewis | 1942 – 2014

Euros Lewis, the former Glamorgan and Sussex batsman and off-spinner, has died in his native Llanelli aged 72 after a short illness.

Lewis began his career as a hard-hitting top order batsman but moved down the order and prospered as a spin bowler, taking 341 wickets in 182 first-class appearances.

He took 13 five wicket hauls with a best of eight for 89 against Kent at Swansea in 1965. His best bowling in his three seasons with Sussex was seven for 66 against Somerset at Weston-super-Mare in 1967.

Lewis was a member of the Glamorgan side that beat the Australians at Swansea in 1964 and played for the MCC against the West Indians at Lord’s in 1966.

He joined Sussex in 1967 and took 188 wickets in 86 first-class matches for his second county.

Sussex capped Lewis in 1967 but he released him two years later. He returned to Wales and played for the Dafen Welfare club.

 


 

John Bartlett

John Bartlett, the former Sussex and Oxford University slow left-armer, has died a few days short of his 86th birthday.

Bartlett was born in Derbyshire but raised in Sussex and made seven appearances for the county between 1946 and 1950.

He made his debut against Worcestershire at New Road and played his final match for the county against Oxford University in The Parks while he was still at university.

Bartlett took 88 of his 107 wickets for Oxford including two five wicket hauls, five for 102 in a victory over Lancashire in 1946 and five for 77 against Hampshire, also in The Parks in 1950.

He played for the Gentlemen against the Players at Lord’s in 1946 and also made four first-class appearances for the Combined Services while he was on national service. Bartlett returned to Oxford in 1949.

Bartlett toured Canada with MCC in 1951 and played his 49th and  final first-class match for Free Foresters against his former university in 1953.

 


 

DON BENNETT

Don Bennett, the former Middlesex all-rounder and the County’s Coach during a period of outstanding success, has died aged 80.

Bennett was born in Wakefield but played most of his career in County cricket for Middlesex between his debut as a 16-year-old against Lancashire in 1950 and 1968.

He made 404 first-class appearances, the last of them for MCC against Ireland in Dublin in September 1968, and nine in one-day cricket with a re-appearance for Middlesex against Essex at Ilford in the Player’s Sunday League in 1969 – his first year as Coach.

Bennett scored more than 10,000 runs, which included four centuries with the best 116 against Yorkshire at Lord’s in 1954. He passed 1,000 first-class runs in a season in 1953 and 1955.

His 748 first-class wickets included 24 five wicket hauls with a best of seven for 47 against Sussex at Hove in 1956.

Succeeding Jack Robertson, Bennett moved smoothly into coaching, and was in charge of Middlesex in a period in which they won the County Championship seven times, once as joint champions, and seven one-day titles.

Bennett retired in 1997 but continued to serve Middlesex as a Committee Member and as County President.

Bennett was also a talented footballer who played 73 matches for Coventry City having been on Arsenal’s books from 1951 to 1958.

 


 

 

David Allen

David Allen, the former England and Gloucestershire off-spinner, has died aged 78, just three months after his County and Test team-mate John Mortimore.

Allen took more than 1,200 wickets in a distinguished career which included 882 for Gloucestershire during 19 years with his native County. He bowled off a short run-up of no more than five paces.

He took 122 wickets for England in 39 Tests, when he faced competition for a place from Mortimore, Fred Titmus and Ray Illingwoth.

Allen took four five wicket hauls for England with a best of five for 30 against Pakistan in Dacca in 1962.

He was voted Cricket Writers’ Club Young Cricketer of the Year in 1962 and the following year helped England to save the Lord’s Test against the West Indies.

Allen helped to shield Colin Cowdrey, who returned to bat with his arm in plaster, and survived the last two balls bowled by Wes Hall.

In the 1965/66 Ashes, Allen made 50 not out in the third Test at Sydney and then took four for 47 to help set up an innings win. His highest score of 88 was made against New Zealand in Christchurch in 1966.

Allen was a useful batsman who made a County Championship century against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 1961.

Allen worked for Harvey’s wine merchants after he retired from first-class cricket and he remained involved with Gloucestershire, serving as the club’s president in 2011.

He coached and was chairman of Thornbury, his local club, well into his seventies.

 

 


 

 

Michael Mence

Michael Mence, the former Warwickshire and Gloucestershire seam bowler, has died on the Isle of Wight aged 70.

Mence played his formative cricket at Bradfield College and made his Minor Counties debut for Berkshire, his native county in 1961.

He joined Warwickshire for the 1962 season and made his first-class debut against Middlesex at   Lord’s that year.

Mence played 31 first-class matches for Warwickshire between 1962 and 1965 and also made his one day debut in a Gillette Cup match against Northamptonshire at Northampton in 1963.

He joined Gloucestershire for 1966 and played two seasons for them before he returned to Berkshire and continued playing Minor Counties cricket for them until 1982, captaining the county between 1976 and 1978.

Mence reappeared in one day cricket for Minor Counties South against Hampshire at Amersham in 1973 and made his final appearance at this level against Durham at Durham in 1979.

Mence died three day after his father Joe whom he played alongside in the Berkshire side at the start of his career.

Mence played 54 first-class matches, including an appearance for MCC against Surrey in 1966, and scored 949 runs with four half centuries, with a highest of 78 against Sussex at Bristol in 1967.

He took 86 wickets with two five wicket hauls, the best five for 26 against Derbyshire at Derby in 1964.

He did not take a wicket in his nine limited overs appearances but he scored 149 runs with a best of 50 against Hampshire in 1973. 

 

Phil Sharpe

Phil Sharpe, the former England, Yorkshire and Derbyshire batsman, has died in hospital aged 77 after a short illness.

Sharpe, who was born in Shipley, was a prolific run-scorer while he was at Worksop College — and went on to play in seven County Championship-winning sides during an illustrious career with Yorkshire.

Sharpe made his first-class debut for Combined Services against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in 1956 and his first appearance for Yorkshire against Sussex at Worthing two years later.

He played 493 first-class matches and scored more than 22,500 with 29 centuries including three double hundreds, the highest 228 for Derbyshire against Oxford University in The Parks in 1976.

Sharpe also took 618 catches, most of them in the slips, where he was the outstanding slip fielder of his era which helped him to win selection for England for the first time against the West Indies in 1963.

He was soon left out by England but his consistent performances for Yorkshire secured a Test recall in 1969 and he made 111 against New Zealand at Trent Bridge.

But there was no England tour the following Winter and the series against the Rest of the World, in which Sharpe played in the first match, later lost its Test status.

Sharpe ended his fist-class career with Derbyshire in 1976 but then played Minor Counties cricket for Norfolk.

He later became a Test selector and, more recently, an England and Wales Cricket Board pitch liaison officer.

GEORGE DOWNTON

George Downton, the former Kent wicketkeeper, has died in Sevenoaks aged 85.

Downton played eight County Championship matches for Kent in 1948 and reappeared for the MCC against Cambridge University in 1957 and again against Oxford University in 1959 with moderate returns.

He mustered just 88 runs in 15 first-class innings with a highest score of 20 against Cambridge University in 1957.

Downton played club cricket for Sevenoaks Vine and was a regular in the Club Cricket Conference side for many years.

He also played regularly for the MCC and continued to make occasional Second XI appearances for Kent until 1954.

Downton’s son Paul, also a wicketkeeper, played county cricket for Kent and Middlesex and in 30 Tests for England between 1981 and 1988. He is currently Managing Director of England Cricket.

Harry Bell

Harry Bell, who had a long career with Durham in their pre-first-class days but who was better known as a footballer with Middlesbrough and Darlington, has died aged 89.

Bell had been suffering from vascular dementia for some time and he passed away at a care home in Newcastle. Bell was born in Sunderland and played some wartime football for his hometown club but then moved on to Middlesbrough for whom he played more than 300 matches as a tough tackling midfielder.

He went on to make more than 100 appearances for Darlington and then managed Spennymoor United in non-league football. As a cricketer Bell played regularly for Durham between 1946 and 1961 and re-appeared for one match in the 1966 season.

Bell made three Minor Counties Championship centuries as a top order batsman including 186 against a Lancashire attack that included future England pace bowler Peter Lever at Darlington in 1960. Bell also played league cricket for several clubs in the North East including Sunderland, Crook, Middlesbrough and South Northumberland.

After retirement Bell worked for Tetley’s Brewery.

 

RAY FLOOD

Ray Flood, a former Hampshire batsman, has died in Lyndhurst, aged 78 after a lengthy battle against cancer.

Flood joined Hampshire at a time when they were building one of the strongest batting sides in the country.

He made his debut in 1956, but it was only in 1959 when Flood made 20 of his 24 first-class appearances that he was given an extended run in the side.

He made a maiden century against Sussex at Hove and five half centuries in 780 runs, but played only once the following Summer against Oxford University.

Flood was released at the end of the 1960 season, a year before Hampshire won the County Championship Title, because of a debilitating knee injury.

He continued to play club cricket for Lyndhurst and also worked as a window cleaner in the town.

Flood was a regular attender at Hampshire’s former players’ reunions.

 

PETER LAKER

Peter Laker, who played two County Championship matches for Sussex in 1948 and 1949, but who was better known as a cricket correspondent for the Daily Mirror, has died at his home in Somerset, aged 87.

Laker, a right-handed batsman and leg-spin bowler, made his Sussex debut against Middlesex at Hove in July 1948, and his second and final appearance against Hampshire at Southampton, in September 1949.

Laker did not bat on his debut and made eight not out in the first innings of his second appearance, before being run out for six in the second innings. He did not take a wicket in the 14 overs he bowled in County cricket.

He played his club cricket for Lewes Priory and was still turning out for the club into his seventies, having first moved to the town in the 1930s when his parents took over a local pub.

Laker’s cricket knowledge served him well in his 25-year career as a cricket correspondent for the Daily Mirror, where he was a respected colleague and well-known as a press box prankster.

 

Norman Whiting

Norman Whiting, Worcestershire’s oldest surviving former player, has died aged 93 after a short illness.

Whiting played 59 matches as a professional for Worcestershire between 1947 and 1952, but continued to give the County outstanding service long after his first-class career was over.

He was second team captain during his fifties in the 1970s and he spent more than 40 years as a committee member at New Road. He was also County President for two years between 2003 and 2004.

Whiting was also a well-known figure in Birmingham League circles and enjoyed a long career with his native Stourbridge, for whom he made his debut in 1936.

Whiting scored 1,583 first-class runs which included two centuries – 118 against Essex at Romford in 1950 and 111 against Oxford University two years later.

He made his debut as an opening batsman against Northamptonshire in August 1947, and made his maiden first-class half century against Combined Services two years later.

He started the 1951 season brightly, with half centuries in his first two matches, but then fell away badly – he scored heavily against the university opposition in 1952, but not against County attacks.

Whiting’s spell at Worcestershire’s second team came at a time when the County entered a side in the Birmingham League and he helped in the development of young players such as Phil Neale, Cedric Boyns and Paul Pridgeon.

 

John Mortimore

John Mortimore, the former Gloucestershire and England off-spinner, has died aged 80.

Mortimore was born in Southmead, Bristol and played for Gloucestershire for 26 seasons, from his debut in 1950, until his retirement in 1975.

He captained his native county from 1965 to 1967 and played nine Tests between 1959 and 1964.

He took 1,807 wickets during an illustrious career, and he was also a capable batsman who scored almost 16,000 first-class runs with four centuries and 65 half centuries. Mortimore did the double in 1963 and 1964, taking 100 wickets or more in one other season and topped 1,000 first-class runs three more times.

The highest of his centuries, 149, was made against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 1963, and his best-bowling, eight for 59, came against Oxford University at The Parks in 1959. Mortimore took 75 five-wicket hauls in first-class cricket and eight ten-wicket match returns.

His career coincided with that of Ray Illingworth, Fred Titmus and David Allen, his Gloucestershire off-spinning partner, so Mortimore’s England opportunities were limited.

He made his Test debut in Melbourne at the 1959 Ashes and also toured India in 1963/64, where scoring was notoriously slow.

Mortimore made his final Test appearance against Australia at Old Trafford in July 1964, but he continued to play county cricket for another decade.

He took four wickets in five balls against Lancashire at Cheltenham in 1962, but suffered at the hands of Lancashire’s David Hughes in the 1971 Gillette Cup semi-final at Old Trafford. Hughes plundered 24 off one Mortimore over, in a famous assault in a match that ended in near-darkness.

Mortimore made his debut alongside brothers Tom and Ken Graveney, and played his final match alongside Ken’s son, David.

 

Michael Melluish

Michael Melluish, a former President of the MCC who played first-class cricket for Cambridge University and Middlesex, has died aged 81.

Melluish was born at Westcliff-on-Sea, but was educated at Rossall School in Lancashire where he set a school record of 913 runs in his final season in 1951.

He was a regular wicketkeeper at Cambridge in his three years from 1954 to 1956, and he captained the side in his final year, including a draw in the Varsity Match at Lord’s.

He made his only appearance for Middlesex in a three-runs defeat by Hampshire at the United Services Ground at Portsmouth in May 1957, when Melluish made one in his first innings and three in the second.

He also played for three matches for the Gentlemen against the Players, for DR Jardine’s XI and for the MCC against Cambridge University at Lord’s in July 1959 in what proved to be Melluish’s final first-class appearance. Melluish scored 524 runs, with a highest score of 36, and held 80 catches and made 35 stumpings in 49 first-class matches.

He played regularly for the MCC and captained the Club on a tour to Holland and Denmark in 1963.

Melluish was elected an MCC member in 1956 and served on the committee from 1974 until 2002. He was, at various times, MCC Treasurer, MCC honorary life Vice President and a trustee of the MCC Foundation.

Melluish was President of MCC in 1991/92, with his role also including the Presidency of the ICC.

He was awarded an OBE in 1999 for his services to cricket. 

 

William Goodreds

William Goodreds, who played one first-class match for Worcestershire in 1952, has died in Dudley aged 93.

Goodred, a right-arm seam bowler, played second-team cricket for Worcestershire before the Second World War, but he was 31 when he made his solitary first-team appearance in a six wickets defeat by Cambridge University at New Road in June 1952.

He opened the bowling in both innings, but went wicketless in the match and made four not out in his only innings.

Goodreds, who was born at Pensnett in Staffordshire and educated at Gilbert Claughton Grammar School in Dudley, played Birmingham League cricket for Dudley.

 

Bernard Hedges

Bernard Hedges, a top-order batsman for Glamorgan for 18 years, and the first player to score a limited overs century for the Welsh County, has died aged 86.

Hedges, who was born in Pontypridd, joined Glamorgan in 1950 after he had completed his National Service.

He began his career in the middle order, but spent most of his time with Glamorgan as an opener, forming an effective partnership with Alan Jones. He made more than 17,000 first-class runs, including 21 centuries, which is a figure exceeded by only 11 other batsmen who have played for the County.

Hedges’ highest first-class score of 182 was against Oxford University at The Parks in 1967 (his final Summer), and his Championship-best of 141 came against Kent at Swansea in 1961. He passed 2,000 first-class runs in 1961, and passed 1,000 runs in every season between 1956 and 1963.

Hedges made Glamorgan history in 1963 when he made 103, the County’s first one-day century, against Somerset at The Arms Park.

Hedges, a fine spin bowler, made 422 first-class appearances for Glamorgan and seven in one-day cricket. He is seventh on Glamorgan’s list of all-time run-makers.

Hedges was also a proficient rugby player, playing for Pontypridd and Swansea, and in a Welsh final trial.

 

Alan townsend

Alan Townsend, an important member of Warwickshire’s County Championship-winning side, and later an influential Coach at Edgbaston, has died aged 92.

Townsend was 26 when he joined Warwickshire from his native Durham, for whom he played Minor Counties cricket, but he quickly established himself as an effective allrounder.

He scored more than 12,000 runs in 342 first-class matches and also took 325 wickets with medium pace.

Townsend made six first-class centuries – the highest of them 154 against Worcestershire at Dudley in 1957. The best of his seven five-wicket hauls was seven for 84 against Essex at Brentwood in 1949.

He was an outstanding close to the wicket catcher and held 412 catches during his career, 409 of them for Warwickshire which was a county record, and was later overtaken by MJK Smith.

Townsend held 41 catches during Warwickshire’s County Championship campaign and he also weighed in with 833 runs and 22 wickets.

He passed 1,000 runs in a season five times, with a best of 1,227 in 1953 – his highest aggregate.

After he retired in 1960, Townsend continued to serve Warwickshire as an Assistant Coach and he was particularly effective as an identifier, developer and encourager of young talent in the County.

Townsend, who was awarded his County Cap in 1948, was awarded a benefit in 1960 which yielded £4,143.

 

Graham stevenson

Graham Stevenson, the former England, Yorkshire and Northamptonshire allrounder, has died aged 58 after a lengthy illness.

Stevenson played two Tests for England between 1980 and 1981, against India in Bombay and the West Indies in Antigua, and four One-Day Internationals.

He announced himself to international cricket with a spectacular debut against Australia in Sydney in 1980, when Stevenson clubbed an unbeaten 28 from 18 balls to guide England to an unlikely two wickets win in partnership with his fellow Yorkshireman, David Bairstow.

Stevenson was unfortunate that his career co-incided with that of Ian Botham and he would probably have played more international cricket in another era. Had he been born 30 years later, he would no doubt have been a star attraction in Twenty20 cricket because his game was ideally to cricket's newest format.

Stevenson achieved success in county cricket as a hard-hitting lower order batsman and seam bowler. He took 488 first-class wickets and scored almost 4,000 runs, including two centuries.

He made one of those centuries batting at number eleven against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in 1982, in a partnership of 149 with Geoffrey Boycott

His 18 five-wicket hauls included a career-best eight for 57 in an eight wickets defeat by Northamptonshire at Headingley in 1980.

Stevenson, who came from Ackworth near Pontefract, played for Yorkshire from 1973 to 1986 and ended his County career with Northamptonshire in 1987. He made only one first-class and one limited-overs appearance for Northamptonshire, but took four for 55 against Lancashire at Tring in his final County outing.

After cricket, Stevenson had a number of jobs including working as a bailiff for five years. He was diagnosed with mouth cancer in 2005 and received help for his treatment from the Professional Cricketers’ Association’s Benevolent Fund.

Graham's funeral will take place at 9.50am on Friday 7 February 2014 at St Cuthbert’s Church of England Church, Cross Hill, Ackworth, Pontefract WF7 7EJ, followed by a service at Pontefract Crematorium, Wakefield Rd, Pontefract, West Yorkshire WF8 4HA at 10.40am. 

The celebration of Graham’s life will continue at the Frog and Moose Public House, 62 Wakefield Road, Ackworth, Pontefract WF7 7AZ, which will be open from 10.30am for those not attending the crematorium. 

The Stevenson family have asked for no flowers – donations in lieu of flowers can be made to Cancer Research UK or The Professional Cricketers’ Association Benevolent Fund

 

Peter Jacques

Peter Jaques, who played in one County Championship match for Leicestershire, has died.

Jaques, a right-handed batsman, was born in Aylestone and attended Wyggeston Grammar School and served as a commissioned officer in the Royal Regiment of Artillery in the Second World War.

He made 55 in the first innings of his only first-class appearance against Northamptonshire at Northampton in June 1949.

Jaques, who played as a middle order right-handed batsman, made 14 in the second innings of the drawn match but did not play first team cricket again. He did, however, make occasional appearances for Leicestershire’s second team in the Minor Counties Championship between 1955 and 1959.

He died in Somerset aged 95. His grandson Robin Lett also played first-class cricket for Somerset.

 

Stuart Jakeman

Stuart Jakeman, who played thee first-class matches for Northamptonshire as a left-handed batsman, has died in his native Yorkshire aged 70.

Jakeman was the son of Freddie Jakeman, who played 134 first-class matches for Yorkshire, Northamptonshire and the MCC, and he made his second team debut for Northamptonshire in 1959.

His first-class debut came three years later in a heavy defeat by Leicestershire at Wellingborough School, where Jakeman made 20 in the first innings, his highest first-class score.

Jakeman did not bat in either innings of his next first-class appearance for Oxford University in The Parks in June 1963 and he made two single- figure scores against Pakistan Eaglets in his third and final first-class match.

Jakeman continued to play second team cricket for Northamptonshire in 1964 and had a spell playing for Cumberland in the Minor Counties Championship.

He was a well-known figure in league cricket in Yorkshire for many years after his County career ended and then took up umpiring and stood in many County Second XI and MCC University matches.

 

Ted Williams 

Ted Williams, who played one County Championship match for Leicestershire, has died in Cheshire aged 88.

Williams, a left-handed batsman and right-arm seam bowler, went to Charterhouse School and made his solitary first-class appearance against Gloucestershire at Grace Road in August 1949, after he had played for Leicestershire’s Club and Ground side.

Williams, who was born in Dorset, made 14 in his first innings, batting at ten and three in the second and took two for 33 in 13 overs, opening the bowling as Gloucestershire won by an innings and 82 runs.

 

Ray Weeks

Ray Weeks, the former Warwickshire slow left-armer who was a member of their County Championship-winning squad in 1951, has died at home in his native Cornwall, aged 83.

Weeks was born and raised in Cornwall and played for the County in Minor Counties cricket both before and after his first-class career of 107 matches between 1950 and 1957.

He took five 42 on his first-class debut against Cambridge University at Fenner’s in June 1950, but enjoyed his most successful season the following year, with 94 wickets in his first full season playing a pivotal role in Warwickshire’s second Championship-winning campaign.

Weeks took four of his seven five –wicket- hauls that Summer, including his career-best of seven for 70 against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Weeks was awarded his County cap in 1951, but took only three more five- wicket-hauls after that season, his last being six for 93 against Oxford University at Edgbaston in June 1956.

He played only once in 1957, against Worcestershire at Dudley, in what proved to be his final season.

Weeks played for the MCC against County Champions, Surrey, at Lord’s in 1953 and also for MCC against Cambridge University later that Summer.

He made his debut for Cornwall as a 17-year-old and took six for 74 against Devon at United Services Plymouth in 1948.

Weeks also played club cricket for Camborne and St Gluvias in Cornwall and for West Bromwich Dartmouth in the Birmingham League.

 

Reg Simpson

Reg Simpson, the former Nottinghamshire batsman who was England’s oldest-surviving Test player, has died in Nottingham aged 93.

Simpson’s death came less than a week after that of Cyril Perkins, the former Northamptonshire slow left-armer, who was the oldest surviving first-class cricketer in the world when he passed away in Suffolk. 

Simpson was born in Sherwood and made his debut for Nottingham High School’s first team at 13, having shared an opening stand of 467 in a house match.

He served as a pilot in the RAF during the war but also impressed for Nottinghamshire in wartime fixtures. 

He made his first-class debut in India in 1944 while he was stationed there on wartime service but he did not play a County Championship match for Nottinghamshire until July 1946.

He made an instant impression and was selected to tour South Africa in 1948/49, where he made his Test debut.

Simpson struggled to hold down a regular Test place with competition from Len Hutton and Cyril Washbrook at the top of the order and his 27 England appearances were spread over seven years. 

He made four Test centuries, with a highest of 156 not out in the fifth Test of the 1950/51 Ashes at Melbourne, which helped England to their first Test win over Australia in 13 years. Simpson was eight short of his century when the ninth wicket fell, but Lancashire's Roy Tattersall, the last man, helped him add 74 for the last wicket. Simpson reached three figures on his 31st birthday. 

Simpson, a tall and elegant right-hander, was a prolific run scorer in County cricket and ended his career with more than 30,500 runs including 64 centuries. 

He was named one of the Five Cricketers of the Year by Wisden in 1950 and captained Nottinghamshire for a decade from 1951. 

Simpson retired from first-class cricket in 1963 and served Nottinghamshire as a committee member from 1961 to 1998 and was also president. He was also a Director of bat makers and equipment manufacturers Gunn and Moore.

He was Nottinghamshire’s oldest living player at the time of his death. 

“Reg was a superb opening batsman who excelled against the fastest of bowlers", said Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club Chairman Peter Wright.

"He served Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club with distinction firstly as a player, and then as Chairman of Finance and as President.

“He was an excellent talent and would undoubtedly have achieved even more in the game if his career had not been put on hold for the outbreak of war in 1939. His achievements outside his playing career, firstly during the War as a pilot, and later as Managing Director of Gunn and Moore, will always be remembered.” 

 

Cyril Perkins

Former Northamptonshire slow left-armer, Cyril Perkins, who was the oldest surviving former first-class cricketer, has died in Suffolk, aged 102, after a short illness.

Perkins played 56 matches for Northamptonshire as a professional between 1934 and 1936, and played for the Minor Counties against Kent in 1951 without ever finishing on the winning side – a record for the number of first-class appearances without a win.

Perkins was unfortunate to play for Northamptonshire at a particularly low point in their history, as they went to 99 matches without a win between 1935 and 1939. He took 93 wickets including five five-wicket hauls – the best of them six for 54 against Worcestershire at Northampton in July 1935, when Northamptonshire managed to turn a first innings lead of 78 into a 30-run defeat.

Perkins enjoyed more success in Minor Counties cricket, when he moved to Suffolk to coach at Ipswich School, claiming a County record of 779 wickets. At the age of 55, he made his solitary List A appearance in a Gillette Cup defeat by a powerful Kent side at Ipswich School, where he bowled 12 miserly overs for just 31.

Perkins played his last Minor Counties match in 1967 at the age of 56 and was later given the accolade of inclusion in the Best Minor Counties XI of the 20th Century.

He was later elected Suffolk’s President, a post he held at the time of his death.

Former South African quick bowler, Norman Gordon, also 102, now becomes the oldest living first-class cricketer.

 

Jonathan Fellows-Smith

Jonathan Fellows-Smith, an allrounder who played four Tests for South Africa on the 1960 tour to England, but the majority of his first-class cricket in England, has died in Bedfordshire, aged 79.

Fellows-Smith, nicknamed Pom Pom, was a ‘double blue’ at Oxford University, where he also played rugby union.

He stayed in England after he had completed his studies and played 13 matches for Northamptonshire in 1957, when he helped them reach second place in the County Championship.

Fellows-Smith made a century, followed by a second innings half century on his County Championship debut, in a victory over Sussex at Hove.

Fellows-Smith returned to South Africa to play for Transvaal in the 1958/59 season, and topped 500 runs the following season which helped to secure his selection for the 1960 tour to England.

Fellows-Smith made 863 runs and took 32 wickets on the tour, but was less successful in the Tests where his top score was only 35 and he failed to take a wicket.

He played two more first-class matches in England for the Free Foresters, the last against his old university in 1964. He later played Minor Counties cricket for Hertfordshire and also played in the Birmingham League.

Fellows-Smith made 3,999 runs, including five centuries, and took five five-wicket hauls in 94 first-class appearances. He also played club rugby for Richmond.


David Clark

David Clark, who was Kent's oldest surviving capped player and their second oldest former player, has died aged 94.

Clark played 75 first-class matches for Kent with modest success between 1946 and 1951, captaining the County in his last three seasons, and then became a leading Administrator.

He was chairman of Kent from 1970 to 1974 and County President in 1990.

He was Manager of an MCC tour of India in 1963/4 and of the 1970/71 Ashes tour. He later served as Treasurer and as President of MCC in 1978/9. He also chaired a number of MCC committees, which reviewed the structures of the County Championship, although the counties rejected most of his report's recommendations.

"David Clark was one of the most influential figures in English cricket in the second half of the twentieth century," said Carl Openshaw, who was also a former Chairman and President of Kent.

"He was only the second man after Lord Harris to have held the posts of Captain, Chairman and President of Kent County Cricket Club, and he also played leading roles in the MCC and in the administration of English
cricket."

Clark, who was born at Barming in Kent, scored 1,959 runs in his career as a right hand batsman and occasional slow right arm bowler.

He made ten half centuries with a best of 78, opening with Arthur Fagg in the second innings of a drawn match against Surrey at The Oval in July 1951.

 

Brian Furniss

Brian Furniss, who played four first-class matches for Derbyshire as a right arm seamer between 1955 and 1956, has died in a hospice in Retford, aged 79.

Furniss made his first-class debut against Scotland in Edinburgh in 1955, and played three more matches the following Summer – two in the County Championship and his last appearance against Oxford University in The Parks.

He took seven wickets in his four appearances, with a best of three for 52 in a seven-wickets win over Kent at Gravesend.

 

Huw Jenkins

Huw Jenkins, who played one first-class match and in two John Player League games for Glamorgan in 1970, has died in Somerset, aged 69.

Jenkins made 65 in the first innings of his solitary first-class appearance against Oxford University in The Parks but was less successful in his two limited overs appearances, making a duck against Surrey at Cardiff and eight against Gloucestershire at Neath.

He also played for Wales against the International Cavaliers at Colwyn Bay in 1969 and played club cricket for Swansea and Gorseinon where he was known as outstanding cover fielder.

Jenkins also played rugby for Gorseinon and worked as a police officer in the South Wales force.

He had been in poor health for some time after suffering a stroke.

 

Keith Dollery

Keith Dollery, who played 73 matches for Warwickshire as a professional between 1951 and 1956, has died in his native Australia, aged 88.

Dollery spent two years qualifying to play for Warwickshire and then spent most of his time at Edgbaston in competition with Jack Bannister and Roly Thompson for a regular first team place.

He was awarded his county cap in 1954 the year he took the first of two hat-tricks for the county against Gloucestershire at Bristol. His second hat-trick was taken against Kent at Courtaulds in Coventry in 1956.

Dollery also played two matches for his native Queensland in 1947/48, for Auckland, New Zealand in the 1949/50 season and for Tasmania against the touring MCC side in 1950/51.

Dollery took 227 wickets in 80 first-class matches with a career-best of eight for 42 against Sussex at Edgbaston in 1954.

He also played for Warwickshire in an innings defeat by Surrey at The Oval in 1953, a match that was concluded in one day.

Dollery played against the touring South Africans in 1951 and the Indians in 1952 while he was qualifying to play County Championship cricket for Warwickshire.

He made an instant impact when he became available in 1953 by taking 74 first-class wickets and 72 in 1954 but his returns diminished in his last two seasons at Edgbaston.

 

Paul Robinson

Paul Robinson, a fast bowler who played one County Championship and one John Player League match for Lancashire in 1979 as well as first-class cricket in his native South Africa, has died in hospital in Durban, aged 57.

Robinson took two for 57 in the first innings of Lancashire’s draw with Kent at Maidstone in July 1979 and three for 49 in their defeat in the one day competition over the same weekend.

He also played minor counties cricket for Cheshire in 1978 and 1979 and as a professional for Cleckheaton in the Bradford League.

Robinson made his first-class debut for Northern Transvaal against Western Province B in Pretoria in November 1977 and his final appearance for Nothern Transvaal B against Griqualand West in Kimberley in 1988.

He took 86 wickets in 34 first-class matches with a best of six for 46 against Natal at Durban in 1983.

 

Dicky Mayes

Dicky Mayes, the former Kent batsman, has died in Suffolk aged 90.

Mayes played 80 first-class matches for Kent between 1947 and 1953 and was awarded his County Cap in 1952, the season in which he scored three of his four first-class centuries.

Mayes, a stylish right-handed batsman, made his debut against Northamptonshire at Gravesend in June 1947, but his main breakthrough came in 1951 when he scored 719, including his maiden century, against Hampshire at Southampton.

He followed up with further centuries against Glamorgan, Sussex and Warwickshire in 1952, but his form dipped in 1953 and he was released at the end of the season. Mayes scored 2,689 runs at an average of 19.62.

Mayes subsequently played Minor Counties cricket for Suffolk and worked as Coach at Woolverstone Hall School in Ipswich, where he helped in the development of Graham Barlow, a future England Test player.

He was also a talented footballer, who played for Ramsgate Town and Canterbury City.

One of Mayes’ sons, Brian, also played Minor Counties cricket for Suffolk, as well as making one List A appearance against Sussex in the 1980 Gillette Cup.


Sir Colin Stansfield Smith

Sir Colin Stansfield Smith played 106 first-class matches for Lancashire and Cambridge University in the 1950s but was better-known as a successful architect. He has died at a hospital in Winchester, aged 80.

As a young man, he scored 2,339 runs including a century for Cambridge against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in 1957 – the year he represented the Gentlemen against the Players at Lord’s.

He was also a useful right-arm seamer, who took five wickets in an innings on nine occasions, including a career-best six for 35 for Cambridge against Free Foresters at Fenner’s in 1955.

His father, Stansfield Smith, was a decent league cricketer who played Minor Counties cricket for Cheshire, and his older brother, Donald, played three first-class matches for Lancashire in 1951 and 1952.

As an architect, he worked for Cheshire County Council and then for Hampshire County Architects. He was awarded a CBE in 1988, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Royal Medal in 1991 and a knighthood in 1993. 

He became a Professor of Architecture at The School of Architecture at the University of Portsmouth and designed the University’s Portland Building.


Fred Gibson

Fred Gibson, who was the second-oldest surviving former County cricketer, has died in Rutland, aged 101.

Gibson, who played two matches for Leicestershire as a middle order batsman in 1946, was born in Jamaica but settled in England after he served in the RAF in the later stages of the Second World War.

He was stationed near Melton Mowbray and joined the Egerton Park Club in the town where he was spotted playing by CJB Wood, Leicestershire’s acting secretary during the war, who was given the task of building a side for the resumption of first-class cricket.

Gibson impressed in one-day matches against Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire in 1945, and was offered match terms for the 1946 season.

He made his first-class debut against Yorkshire at Headingley in May 1946, scoring four from 24 balls while Leicestershire lost their last seven first innings wickets for four runs in 39 minutes.

His second and final appearance was against Oxford University in The Parks where he came in on a hat-trick and managed a couple of singles in the first innings and scored eleven in the second of a drawn match.

Gibson suffered arm and head injuries in a car accident midway through the 1946 season and was not re-engaged by Leicestershire.

He subsequently played club cricket for Loughborough Town, Mountsorrel Castle and Carillon Old Boys. Gibson was the first former Leicestershire player to have reached his 100th birthday.

Gibson worked as a technician for Rolls Royce and was elected as a councillor for the Mountsorrel Ward on the local council.

Cyril Perkins, the former Northamptonshire slow left-armer, remains the oldest surviving former first-class cricketer in the world, having celebrated his 102nd birthday last month.

 

Ron Thresher

Former Kent seam bowler Ron Thresher has died aged 82.

Thresher played in two County Championship matches in 1957 as an amateur and took 3-70 on his debut against Yorkshire at Tunbridge Wells.

Kent were beaten by ten wickets after they were made to follow on although Thresher was second top-scorer with 19, batting at number 11, in their first innings 97.

Kent were also beaten by ten wickets in Thresher's second and last championship appearance against Somerset at Taunton in July 1957 although he took 3- 145 from 33 overs in Somerset's first innings.

Thresher made three other first-class appearances for DR Jardine's XI all of them at Eastbourne against Oxford University in 1957 and 1958 and Cambridge University in 1958.

He took career-best figures of 4-29 against Oxford in the 1957 fixture and played regularly for the Club Cricket Conference representative team.

 

Mike Denness

Mike Denness, the former England and Kent captain, has died aged 72 after a brave battle against cancer.

Denness, who also played for Essex, was Kent’s president last year and was awarded an OBE in the last New Year Honours List.

He will be remembered as the first Scotsman to captain England, leading his adopted country in 19 of his 28 Tests between 1969 and 1975.

Denness took over the captaincy from Ray Illingworth and it was unfortunate that his period in time coincided with Australia’s Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson who were both in their prime, and without Geoffrey Boycott, England went into a self-imposed international exile.

Denness made the highest of his four Test centuries, 188, against Australia in Melbourne in the 1974/75 series, but then resigned the England captaincy after they were beaten in the first Test of the following summer at Edgbaston – which proved to be his final Test appearance.

Denness made his first-class debut for Scotland in 1969 and joined Kent three years later. He won the Championship with Kent in 1970 and with Essex nine years later. He was also a member of the successful Kent one day side of the early 1970s.

He scored almost 26,000 career first-class runs, including 33 centuries with a highest score of 195 for Essex against Leicestershire at Grace Road in 1977.

He retired in 1980, but retained a close involvement in cricket until his death, working as a match referee for the ICC and then as a pitch liaison officer for the ECB – a role he relinquished when he was appointed Kent’s president.


Douglas Freeman

Douglas Freeman, who was Kent’s oldest surviving cricketer, has died in Bristol aged 96.

Freeman, the nephew of legendary leg-spinner ‘Tich’ Freeman, is the fourth longest lived player in Kent’s history. His death means that there are no longer any surviving players from the county who played before the Second World War.

Freeman played one match for Kent in 1937 against Somerset at Bath. A left-handed batsman, he batted at seven and made four and six in a crushing 419 runs defeat.

He played Minor Counties cricket for his native Dorset between 1934 and 1948, with a highest score of 89 against Devon at Sherborne School in 1935.

 

Ted James

Ted James, a Sussex stalwart in the 1950s, has died aged 88.

James, who was a seamer, played Minor Counties cricket for his native Buckinghamshire, before he joined Sussex in 1948,where he took four wickets in his first match against Yorkshire.

He went on to play 299 first-class matches over the next eleven years and took 843 wickets, including a career-best nine for 60 against Yorkshire at Hove in 1955.

Yorkshire was dismissed for 157 in their first innings and the only wicket to elude James was Brian Close, who was bowled by Robin Marlar.

James was awarded his County cap in 1950 and took 100 wickets twice in a season. 1955 was his most prolific season with 111.

He took 27 five-wicket hauls during his career, including two in tour matches, against Australia in 1953 and India six years later.

He was also a useful lower order batsman. His 3,411 career runs included four half centuries, with a best of 63 not out against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 1950.

James was awarded a benefit in 1961 and he later worked as a popular coach at Eastbourne College for many years.

 

Peter Hearn

Peter Hearn, a first team regular for Kent in the 1950s, has died aged 87.

Hearn made 200 first-class appearances between 1947 and 1956, including two for the Combined Services in 1947.

He played as a middle order left-handed batsman and an occasional slow arm bowler. He scored more than 8,000 runs, including seven centuries, and took 22 wickets.

Hearn, a native of Tunbridge Wells, made his first century in his first innings on his debut against Warwickshire at the Garrison Ground in Gillingham, in early June 1947.

He scored the biggest of his seven centuries (172) against Worcestershire at Dudley in 1954 when he made almost half of Kent’s runs in their first innings.

Hearn, a professional, made 1,000 runs in a season on three occasions and was known as an excellent cover point fielder.

 

David Mills

David Mills, who played one first-class match for Gloucestershire in 1958 and another for Free Foresters two years later, has died in London aged 75.

Mills was better known as a rugby player who played for Cambridge University, Harlequins, Clifton and Cornwall.

A product of Clifton College Green, he made his solitary appearance for Gloucestershire against Cambridge University at Stroud in 1958, where he made 17 when opening the batting in his only innings in a drawn match.

He found himself down the order at nine when he reappeared for Free Foresters against Cambridge at Fenner’s in June 1960. Mills bowled eight wicketless overs of medium pace in Cambridge’s first innings and did not bat because the Foresters, who included Henry Blofeld, made 409 for six declared.

Mills won a Blue in the 1958 Varsity Rugby Match where Cambridge won 17-6, and also played for Cornwall in their 1958 County Championship Final who were defeated by Warwickshire at Coundon Road in Coventry.

 

Neil McCorkell

Neil McCorkell, a former Hampshire wicketkeeper, has died just three weeks short of his 101st birthday.

McCorkell played for Hampshire between 1932 and 1951, a career that was interrupted by the Second World War during which, he worked as a fire fighter at a factory in Newbury.

Until he was overtaken by Bobby Parks, McCorkell was Hampshire’s most successful wicketkeeper in first-class cricket and ended his career with 532 catches and 185 stumpings in 396 first-class matches, with 677 of his dismissals for Hampshire.

He also made 17 first-class centuries and scored 1,000 runs in a season, on nine occasions.

Despite his fine record, McCorkell never played for England, although he did tour India with an unofficial England XI in 1937 and played for the Players in the Gentlemen vs Players Match.

McCorkell, who was born and educated in Portsmouth, made his debut for Hampshire against Somerset in 1932 (aged 20) and quickly established himself as a first team regular.

After he retired from playing, McCorkell worked as a coach at Parktown Boys' High School in Johannesburg for 30 years.

He celebrated his 100th birthday on 23 March 2012 and passed away on 28 February this year.

 

Brian Langford 

Brian Langford, former Somerset captain and the third leading wicket-taker in the county’s history, has died at the age of 77.

Langford held the record for first class appearances for Somerset – 504 in a 22-year career – and he later served the county as Cricket Chairman, although his tenure coincided with the acrimonious departure of Viv Richards, Joel Garner and Ian Botham.

Langford was born in Birmingham but his family moved to Bridgwater, Somerset when he was four.

Having attended Dr Morgan’s School, he made his Somerset debut as a 17-year-old off-spinner against Lancashire in the Bath Festival in 1953 in Bertie Buse’s Benefit Match which finished in a defeat inside a day for the hosts.

Langford took his first wicket in that match and ended his career with 1,390 behind Jack White and Arthur Wellard in Somerset’s list of wicket-takers.

In the second game of the Bath Festival, Langford took 14-156 against Kent, and until James Harris in 2007, he was the youngest man to take a ten-wicket match haul in the County Championship.

Langford took 11 wickets against Leicestershire in the third match of the Bath Festival at the start of a career that lasted until 1974.

Langford captained Somerset between 1969 and 1971, a period that saw the likes of Brian Rose and Peter Denning, who were to become key members of the successful side of the late 1970s and early 1980s, introduced to county cricket.

Langford still holds the record for the most economical bowling in what is now the CB40 competition. He bowled eight consecutive maidens against Essex at Johnson Park in Yeovil in 1969, the first year of what was then the Players’ Sunday League.

Langford took 100 first class wickets in a season on five occasions with his 116 in 1958 his best. His tally that year included a career-best 9-26 against Lancashire at Weston-super-Mare.


John Josephs 

Former Leicestershire player and Chairman, John Josephs, has died aged 88.

Josephs had an association with Leicestershire that lasted 66 years, which began with his first-class debut against Oxford University at The Parks in June 1946.

He made nine first-class appearances for Leicestershire as an amateur between 1946 and 1953, positioned as a middle-order batsman and occasional slow left-armer.

He only scored 116 runs in 14 first-class innings with a highest score of 25 not out, and took one wicket in that time.

He combined cricket with a successful business career, running a leather company in Leicester. Josephs was also a keen squad player.

Josephs played club cricket for Leicester Ivanhoe and served Leicestershire as a committee member, having the distinction of being Chairman of the County during the County Championship-winning seasons of 1996 and 1998.

Leicestershire’s annual award for Best Personal Performance in a first-team match is named after John Josephs and is presented at the County’s annual presentation night.

Josephs, who died on Christmas Day, served as a magistrate in Lutterworth for many years and was a member of Leicester Rotary Club for more than 30 years.

 

Tony Greig

Tony Greig, the former England and Sussex captain and a leading but controversial figure in the establishment of Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket in the late 1970s, has died from a suspected heart attack suffered at his home in Australia, aged 66.

Greig had been diagnosed with lung cancer in October 2012, and died the day after the traditional Boxing Day Test at Melbourne in the country where he had made his name as a trenchant commentator with Channel Nine.

Greig was born and raised in South Africa but moved to England to develop his career, first in County Cricket with Sussex and then in Test cricket. He played 58 Tests before he accepted the chance to help Packer set up World Series Cricket (WSC), the tournament which helped revolutionise cricket and the broadcasting of it.

Greig was initially criticised by the cricketing establishment for his role in establishing WSC, but was forgiven over time. Earlier this year he was invited to deliver the MCC’s Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s, where he explained his reasons behind deciding to join WSC.

Greig played first-class cricket for Border, making his debut in 1965, before he decided to use his Scottish ancestry to qualify for Sussex. He made his debut for them in 1967 and went on to play for the Rest of the World in England in 1970 and in Australia in 1971/72.

He made his Test debut for England in 1972 and captained them in 14 Tests before his involvement with WSC brought his career to an abrupt end.

Greig, who was 6ft 6ins tall, had a high backlift as a right handed batsman and was a versatile bowler – being able to bowl seam up or off spin as conditions demanded.

He scored 3,599 runs, including eight centuries, in his Test career and 16,660 in first-class cricket with 26 centuries. His career-best score was 226 against Warwickshire at Hastings in 1975.

Greig took 856 first-class wickets, 141 of them in Test Matches, which included 33 five wicket hauls.

Greig was a competitive player and his courage against the pace of Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee won grudging respect from the Australians. However, his ill-judged comment during a television interview where mentioned how he wanted to make the 1976 West Indians ‘grovel’ was to haunt him.

Greig’s played his last Test against Australia at The Oval in 1977 and his first-class career ended at the age of 32 in 1978. 

 

Philip Taylor 

Philip Taylor, who played one County Championship match for Gloucestershire in 1938, has died aged 95.

He was better known as a footballer and he played three times for England, as well as for Bristol Rovers and Liverpool. He later went on to become Liverpool’s Manager.

At the time of his death, Taylor was believed to be England’s oldest surviving international footballer.

His solitary first-class appearance came in a ten wicket defeat by Kent at the Wagon Works Ground in Gloucester in June 1938. He opened the batting for Gloucestershire’s Second XI but Taylor went in at 8 in this match and made 2 and 12.

He began his football career as an apprentice at Bristol Rovers and made 21 league appearances before he was signed by Liverpool in March 1936.

He was signed as an inside forward but was switched to wing-half and played an important role in Liverpool’s Championship-winning side of 1946-47.

He made his England debut against Wales at Cardiff in October 1947 and he captained Liverpool in the 1950 FA Cup final when they were beaten by Arsenal.

He retired from playing in 1954 but then moved into coaching and was appointed Liverpool Manager two years later.

He resigned during the 1959/60 campaign after he had failed to achieve his aim of winning promotion back to the top flight. He was succeeded as Manager by the legendary Bill Shankly.

 

Michael Crawford

Michael Crawford, who captained Yorkshire in his only first-class appearance, has died aged 92 in York District Hospital.

Crawford captained the county’s Second XI in 1951, and was joint captain of the second team with Ronnie Burnet in 1952.

He was called up to captain the first team against Worcestershire at Scarborough in 1951, and made 9 and 13 as the visitors squeezed home by eight runs.

He later served Yorkshire as Treasurer and Chairman, but his reign in the latter role ended in January 1984 following a vote of no-confidence in the general committee, after a decision had been taken not to re-engage Geoff Boycott.

A members’ revolt led to the re-instatement of Boycott after a Special General Meeting.

Crawford, who was educated at Shrewsbury School and Magdelene College in Cambridge, won a football Blue in 1947 alongside Trevor Bailey and Doug Insole.

He saw active service during the Second World War in the Middle East and returned to Cambridge in 1946.

Crawford played Second XI cricket for Yorkshire between 1947 and 1953 and he captained Leeds in the Yorkshire League from 1949 to 1962.

One of Crawford’s sons, Neil, played 22 first-class matches for Cambridge University between 1978 and 1980 and also played for Yorkshire’s Second XI.


Eric Burgin

Eric Burgin, a seam bowler who played 12 matches for Yorkshire between 1952 and 1953, has died in his home county, Sheffield, aged 88.

Burgin was a talented all-round sportsman who played league football as a centre half for York City, and previously for Sheffield United reserves.

He also played league cricket for Sheffield United and his consistent performances at that level brought him to Yorkshire’s attention.

He shared the new ball with Fred Trueman and helped to dismiss Lancashire for just 65 in the Roses Match at Old Trafford in August 1952.

Trueman took 5 for 26 and his less well-known new ball partner bowled unchanged to take 5 for 20. Lancashire held on for a draw with their last pair at the crease.

Two games later, Burgin took his career-best figures of 6 for 43 against Surrey at Headingley.

Although Burgin only made three first-class appearances in 1953, he retained a lifelong involvement with Yorkshire and served on the county’s general committee as a representative for Sheffield in the 1980s.

He was also a founding member of the Yorkshire Players’ Association and an active member of Sheffield United’s Senior Blades Club.

 

Ray Carter 

Ray Carter, who has died aged 79, was a versatile bowler who played for Warwickshire as a seamer and off-spinner between 1951 and 1961.

Carter, who attended Billesley Secondary Modern School, played two first-class matches in 1951, including his debut against Scotland at Edgbaston, but he did not feature in their County Championship winning side that season.

He became a first team regular in 1957 when he took 70 first-class wickets, and again in 1958 when he took 81 including his best figures of 8 for 82 in a match haul of 14 for 136 against Somerset at Edgbaston.

Unfortunately Carter was troubled by injury thereafter, and he was forced into early retirement by a back problem following seven first-class appearances in the 1961 season.

Carter played Birmingham League cricket for Mitchells and Butlers and later worked as the groundsman at Kings Heath, for who he also played hockey for.

Ray Carter took 243 wickets with seven 5 wicket hauls in 89 first-class matches, which included one appearance for Combined Services while on National Service with the Army in 1952. His 635 runs included a highest score of 37 against Cambridge University in his farewell season.

 

George Chesterton

Worcestershire are mourning their former seamer, George Chesterton, who was president of the county from 1990 to 1993.

Chesterton, who played 72 first-class matches between 1949 and 1966, has died aged 90.

As a student at Malvern College, Chesterton made his first-class debut for the Free Foresters against Oxford University in The Parks in 1948.

The following year he featured regularly in the Oxford side, and won a Blue in the 1949 Varsity Match before making his Worcestershire debut later that summer.

Chesterton was capped by Worcestershire in 1950 when he took 38 first-class wickets, including six-wicket hauls against Lancashire and Somerset.

His county career ended after the 1957 season, but Chesterton continued to play regularly for the MCC on their annual trip to Ireland, and recorded his career-best bowling figures of seven for 14 in the match at College Park in Dublin in 1956.

Chesterton ended his first-class career with 263 wickets at an average of 22.78, but he only averaged 8.79 with the bat in 102 innings with a highest score of 43.

He remained an active member of the Worcestershire Old Players Association, having served as county president for three years.

Chesterton, who taught at Malvern College and became Deputy Head Master, wrote a book with Alan Duff on coaching young people, entitled, ‘Your Book of Cricket.’ He was also co-author with Hubert Doggart of ‘Oxford and Cambridge Cricketers.’

He founded the Chesterton Cup, an annual competition involving schools from the Midlands with the final at New Road.

 

Jim Galley 

Jim Galley, who played three County Championship matches and one John Player League match for Somerset as a middle-order batsman in 1969, has died on his 68th birthday.

He was better known as a rugby player and made more than 100 first team appearances for Bath as a scrum-half. He also played county rugby for Somerset.

Galley attended the Cathedral School in Bristol and qualified as a teacher at St Luke’s College in Exeter. He later taught at Oldfield School in Bath and Monkton Combe School.  

He made his rugby debut for Bath in March 1965 at a time when the now-famous club was going through a particularly lean period, helping them to secure an unexpected win over Bristol the following month.

He established himself as Bath’s first-choice scrum-half over the next two seasons and combined his rugby with occasional cricketing appearances for Somerset’s second team between 1964 and 1973.  

All of his first team appearances were made towards the end of the 1969 season, including his first-class debut against Yorkshire at Headingley – where Galley and Roy Palmer batted out 15 runless overs to secure a draw.

Galley made just 27 runs in six innings, with a highest score of 17 in his  final match against Kent at Dover. His solitary one-day appearance came against Derbyshire at Buxton.

He played Minor Counties Cricket for Wiltshire in 1980 and 1981.

Galley, who worked for IBM from 1969 until 1992, was also Captain and Managing Secretary of Bath Golf Club.  

 

Tony Pawson

Tony Pawson, the former Kent and Oxford University batsman and a former cricket correspondent of The Observer has died aged 91.

Pawson, whose father Albert played for Oxford University and Worcestershire, played 69 first-class matches between 1946 and 1953, and made seven centuries, including a career-best for Oxford against Worcestershire in 1947.

Pawson made his debut for Kent against Hampshire at Canterbury in August 1946, and played seven more matches that season before he was awarded his county cap.

He won Blues in the 1947 and 1948 Varsity Matches, and also played for the MCC against the touring South African team at Lord’s in 1947.

Pawson made 3,807 runs in 69 first-class matches at an average of 37.32, and took seven wickets with his occasional off-spin.

A gifted all-round sportsman, Pawson also won a Blue for football, and played two league matches for Charlton Athletic.

He was also a keen angler, and was World Individual Fly Fishing Champion in 1982. Pawson was awarded the OBE for services to angling in 1988.

During his time as cricket correspondent at The Observer, Pawson was Chairman of the Cricket Writers’ Club. He was the CWC’s oldest member at the time of his death.

 

Kevin Curran

Kevin Curran, former Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire and Zimbabwe all-rounder, has died aged 53 after collapsing while jogging in Mutare.

Curran, a former Zimbabwe, National Coach, was coaching the Mashonaland Eagles at the time of his death.

Curran made his first-class debut for Zimbabwe, in a side captained by Duncan Fletcher, against Leicestershire in Salisbury in 1981.

He was part of the Zimbabwe side, again led by Fletcher, who beat Australia by 13  runs at Trent Bridge in the 1983 World Cup.

That was one of eleven one-day internationals played by Curran between 1983 and 1988, the peak of his career coming at a time when Zimbabwe did not have Test status.

He played for Gloucestershire from 1985 to 1990 and for Northamptonshire from 1991 to 1999 as an effective overseas player.

Curran passed 1,000 runs five times with a best of 1,353 in 1986. He made 25 first-class centuries including a career-best 159 against Glamorgan at Abergavenny in 1997.

He scored 15,740 first-class runs and took 605 wickets  as combative fast-medium bowler.

Curran, who also played for Boland in South Africa, played 324 first-class matches and 407 in one-day cricket and then moved into coaching.

He was Assistant Coach of Zimbabwe before he took charge of Namibia. Curran returned home to head up the Zimbabwe academy in 2004 and a year later was appointed as National Coach as successor to Phil Simmons.

Curran was replaced by Robin Brown as Zimbabwe coach in 2007, and took over from Grant Flower as Mashonaland’s Coach last winter.

 

John Turner - 27/09/12

John Turner, who made a century on his first-class debut for Minor Counties against Pakistan at Jesmond in 1974, has died aged 63.

Turner, a tall right-hander, played for Buckinghamshire from 1968 to 1983, and made 151 appearances in the Minor Counties Championship for his county.

He also made 20 List A appearances for Buckinghamshire, Minor Counties South and Minor Counties West and made four 50s with a best of 88 against Kent in a Gillette Cup match at Canterbury in 1974.

His only first-class appearance came against Pakistan the same season, when Turner followed up his first innings 21 with 106 out of 194 in the second before he was caught behind off-seamer, Asif Masood. The Minor Counties were beaten by five wickets.

Turner played county Second XI cricket for Northamptonshire between 1965 and 1967, and toured with the Club Cricket Conference.

 

Lewis McGibbon 

Lewis McGibbon, who played for Northamptonshire and later served as the county’s Treasurer and Vice Chairman, has died a month short of his 81st birthday after a lengthy illness.

McGibbon was a native of the North East and played for Northumberland before he joined Northamptonshire as a seamer in 1957.

He made his debut against Somerset at Wantage Road and claimed his career-best figures against the same county at Glastonbury in 1958.

McGibbon left Northamptonshire at the end of 1958 after he had taken 33 wickets in 13 firstclass appearances.

He then worked as an accountant and was elected to the county’s General Committee in 1962, serving until 1980.

He was Honorary Treasurer from 1971 to 1974 and was also the county’s Vice Chairman.

 

Harry Pilling 

Harry Pilling, the diminutive batsman who was a key member of the Lancashire side that dominated one-day cricket in the early 1970s, has died aged 69 after a short illness. Pilling, who was 5ft 3ins tall, helped Lancashire win the first of three consecutive Gillette Cups by making an unbeaten 70 against Sussex in the 1970 final at Lord’s, and winning the Man of the Match Award.

He was also part of the Lancashire side that won the first two John Player League titles in 1969 and 1970 and was the first batsman to top 1,500 career runs in that competition. Pilling, who was born in Ashton-under-Lyne, joined Lancashire on trial in 1959 and played for their second team in the Minor Counties Championship before he made his first-class debut against Sussex at Old Trafford in 1962.

He quickly established himself as a first team regular and made his maiden first-class century against Hampshire at Portsmouth in June 1963. Pilling made 24 more centuries including a career-best 149 not out against Glamorgan at Liverpool in 1976 and two in a match against Warwickshire at Old Trafford in 1970.

He made 333 first-class between 1962 and 1980 and 173 more in one-day cricket with his final appearance coming in a Sunday League match against Somerset in 1982 while he was Lancashire’s Second XI captain.

Pilling’s only one-day century was also made against Glamorgan at Old Trafford in 1973.He was awarded his county cap in 1965 and had a successful benefit in 1974.

He was Lancashire's Second XI captain and coach until 1985. In 1984, Pilling made 181 and shared a seventh wicket partnership of 423 with David Varey to help Lancashire's second team recover from 53 for 6 against Derbyshire at Blackpool. The partnership is still the second highest for any wicket in the Second XI Championship.

Shortly before his death, Pilling was due to attend a reunion of the Lancashire side that won the hat-trick of Gillette Cups but he had to withdraw because of ill health.

Pilling, whose wife Yvonne died in 2009, leaves two children, Gary and Julie, and two grandchildren Max and Harriet. 

 

Ron Tindall 

Ron Tindall, who has died in Western Australia aged 76, was a talented all-round sportsman who played for Surrey as a batsman and off-spinner from 1956 to 1966 and as a professional footballer for Chelsea, West Ham, Reading and Portsmouth.

Tindall scored 5,446 first-class runs, and took 150 wickets in a cricket career that was squeezed between his football commitments.

He was capped by Surrey in 1962, the season he took both of his five wicket hauls which included a career-best 5 for 41 against Cambridge University at The Oval. Tindall took 66 wickets that summer.

Tindall also scored two first-class centuries, the first in 1961 and his career-best of 109 against Nottinghamshire at The Oval two years later. Tindall also scored 1,000 first-class runs in 1963.

He was better known as a footballer, and struck up a potent striking partnership with Jimmy Greaves at Chelsea, for whom he scored 69 goals in 174 appearances.

Tindall played only a handful of first-class matches for Surrey until 1960, when he broke into a side that was rebuilding after dominating the County Championship through the 1950s.

He stopped playing cricket at the end of 1966 by which time he was playing football for Portsmouth, a club he later managed.

Tindall emigrated to Australia in 1975 to become Western Australia’s Director of Football and remained there for the rest of his life.

 

Geoffrey Lees 

Geoffrey Lees, who made one County Championship appearance for Sussex in 1951 having played two first-class matches for Cambridge University, has died aged 92 after a lengthy illness.

Lees was born in Lancashire but educated at King’s School, Rochester and made his first-class debut as a right-handed batsman and leg spinner against Essex at Fenner’s in May 1947.

He made 12 in the first innings and a duck in the second of the draw, and two weeks later, in a defeat by Middlesex, he scored 15 and another second innings duck.


Lees’ only County Championship appearance came against Leicestershire at Hove in 1951 while he was teaching at Brighton College. He made a single in his only innings before being stumped in a match that Sussex won by an innings.

Lees taught at Brighton, where he was head of English, from 1948 to 1963, and was later Headmaster at St Bees School in Cumbria from 1964 to 1980.

 

Barry Trapnell 

Barry Trapnell, who has died aged 88, played for Middlesex, the Gentlemen and Cambridge University in 1946.

He made nine appearances in a brief first-class playing career which included a solitary County Championship match in a draw against Yorkshire at Bramall Lane in Sheffield.

Trapnell made his first-class debut for Cambridge against Lancashire in May 1946 and won a Blue in the varsity match two months later after he had taken a career-best 5 for 73 against the MCC at Lord’s the week before. Trapnell took 3 for 41 in the first innings of the varsity match but Oxford won by six wickets.


He returned to Lord’s later in July 1946 to play for the Gentlemen against the Players where his only wicket was Cyril Washbrook who made a century to set up an innings victory for the professionals.

Trapnell became a chemistry don at Worcester College, Oxford, a researcher at Liverpool University and then worked for ICI. He later became Headmaster of Denstone College in Staffordshire and Oundle School in Northamptonshire.

He was President of Cambridge University’s Rugby Fives Club from 1989 to 2004 having been National Singles Champion in 1949 and National Doubles Champion twice in 1949 and 1953.
Trapnell was the oldest surviving former National Rugby Fives Champion at the time of his death.

 

Frank Forster 

On June 23rd 2012, Frank Forster died at the age of 81. Forster was a medium-fast opening bowler for Durham County, playing for eight years between 1957 and 1965. In 29 Minor Counties Championship matches, he took 78 wickets, and also took five wickets for Durham in the match against the full Indian touring side at Ashbrooke, Sunderland in 1959.

In league cricket, Forster played at Seaham Harbour, in the Durham Senior League, before starting his club professional career at Benwell Cricket Club in the Northumberland County League.

After three years, he returned to the Durham Senior League as club Pro with spells at Wearmouth, Philadelphia and Burnmoor, taking a total of 1314 league wickets, with a season best of 103 league wickets in 1965.

Known for always observing the spirit of the game, and allowing the ball to do the talking, Forster became one of the most popular and successful cricketers in the history of local cricket. He continued his connection with Durham County throughout his time in first-class cricket, with a lifelong membership to the club.

 

David Thomas 

David ‘Teddy’ Thomas, the former Surrey and Gloucestershire all-rounder, has died aged 53 after a long and brave battle with multiple sclerosis.

David was first diagnosed with MS when he complained of a neck injury he sustained in a car accident during his Surrey career. Though he was wheelchair-bound for several years, David remained cheerful and upbeat, and worked hard to raise public awareness of multiple sclerosis.

He set up his own corporate hospitality company, Sporting Certainty Ltd, with his wife Louise and raised funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre.

David, who was born in Solihull, played for Surrey from 1977 to 1987 and was an aggressive left arm pace bowler who formed an effective new ball partnership with Sylvester Clarke. He was also an attacking lower order batsman who was good enough to score two first-class centuries in the 1983 season against Nottinghamshire at The Oval, and Sussex at Hove.

In 1983 he was named in England's 12 for the Trent Bridge Test against New Zealand where he took 50 wickets twice in a season; an impressive feat that he repeated the following summer.

David played first-class cricket in South Africa for Natal and Northern Transvaal, and had a season with Gloucestershire in 1988 before he announced his retirement from first-class cricket.

David scored more than 3,000 runs and took 336 wickets in his 150 first-class matches. He also scored 1,556 runs and took 142 one-day wickets. He retained close links with cricket after his retirement, and was a past chairman of Surrey’s Old Players’ Association.

David’s funeral will be held at 11am on 15th August 2012 at St Michaels and All Angels Parish Church, Hughenden Valley, Buckinghamshire, HP14 4LA. Flowers are welcome and the family has requested donations to be made to MSCR and/or the PCA Benevolent.

 

Don Wilson

Don Wilson, the former Yorkshire and England left-arm spinner, has died in York hospital at the age of 74.

Wilson played in seven County Championship-winning sides in the 1960s, playing his part by taking 100 wickets in three of those campaigns. He took 100 wickets in a season on two more occasions.

Wilson, who was born in Settle in the Yorkshire Dales, made his first-class debut in 1957 and played for Yorkshire until his retirement in 1974.

He continued his involvement in cricket as the MCC Head Coach from 1974 – 1991, where he helped to encourage and inspire many future county and international players.

When he retired from Lord's, Wilson returned to Yorkshire and coached at Ampleforth College. He retained his links with Yorkshire until his death, and was president of the Yorkshire Players' Association in 2008.

Wilson was unfortunate that his career coincided with that of Derek Underwood, so his Test career was restricted to just six appearances, all of them overseas.

He played five Tests in India on the 1963-64 tour and his last in New Zealand in 1970/71. He also played in two matches against the Rest of the World in 1970, but those were subsequently stripped of their Test status by the ICC.

Wilson was a tall and wiry bowler who relied on accuracy and bounce rather than sharp turn for his wickets. He took 1,189 first-class wickets at 21 apiece in 422 matches including 50 five wicket hauls.

Wilson's best first-class figures of 8 for 36 were taken for the MCC against Ceylon on a tour of the Far East in 1970. 

 

Tom Maynard 

The PCA has expressed on behalf of all professional cricketers its great sadness at the tragic death of Tom Maynard, the Surrey and England Lions batsman, at the age of 23.

Maynard, a richly talented cricketer, died in an incident at Wimbledon Park tube station in the early hours of 18 June 2012. He had played for Surrey in a Friends Life t20 match against Kent at Beckenham the day before.

Vikram Solanki, Chairman of the PCA, said "Tom was a truly gifted player, and one who was universally respected as a formidable opponent. His death is devastating, and our heartfelt condolences go to his family and team-mates at this terrible time."

Maynard was the son of former Glamorgan and England batsman, Matthew, and made his first-class debut for Glamorgan in 2007 while his father was coach of the Welsh county.

Matthew Maynard’s departure from Glamorgan in the winter of 2010/11 led to Tom requesting his release from his contract.

He decided to join Surrey where Rory Hamilton-Brown, a close friend from their schooldays at Millfield, is captain.

Maynard’s talent began to flourish at Surrey and he was a key figure in helping them secure County Championship last season.

He marked his return to Cardiff by scoring a maiden first-class century against his former county, and added two more centuries during the season.

He was selected to tour Bangladesh with England Lions last winter and gave further evidence of his talent with a career best 143 against Worcestershire at New Road last month.

Maynard is the third Surrey player to die in tragic circumstances in the past 17 years following wicketkeeper Graham Kersey and England all-rounder Ben Hollioake, both of whom died from injuries sustained in car crashes in Australia.

Tom Maynard scored 2,384 runs in 48 first-class matches, a further 1,763 runs in one day cricket, including two centuries, and 1,034 runs in his 50 Twenty20 appearances.

Statement on behalf of the Maynard family can be read here...

 

David Gibson

David Gibson, a member of Surrey’s County Championship-winning sides of 1957 and 1958, has died in Australia aged 76.

Gibson made 185 first-class appearances between 1957 and 1968 and later served Surrey as Second XI coach, under Micky Stewart.

He made his mark early, in his second first-class match and his County Championship debut, by taking ten wickets in the match in a defeat by Gloucestershire at Bristol.

Gibson took six for 53 in the first innings and four for 73 in the second. That proved to be Gibson’s only Championship appearance in 1957, but he played 14 times the following summer because Alec Bedser was sidelined for half the season by illness.

Gibson took 90 wickets in 1960, including a career-best seven for 26 against Derbyshire. Although he was best known as a fast medium bowler, Gibson was a good enough batsman to fall just four runs short of 1,000 in 1965.

A knee cartilage injury restricted Gibson to just one first-class appearance in 1966 and he played little thereafter, although he scored 300 runs and took 18 wickets in eight matches in 1967.

He retired from first-class cricket in 1969 and later moved into coaching. He was living in Bowral in New South Wales at the time of his death.

 

Frank Parr 

Frank Parr, who briefly enjoyed success as a Lancashire wicketkeeper before becoming a better-known jazz musician, has died in a London hospice aged 83.

Parr played 48 matches for Lancashire between 1951 and 1954 as a wicketkeeper and a useful lower order batsman, and was awarded his county cap in 1953, during his first full season.

He was tipped for higher honours but his face did not fit in the Lancashire dressing room when Cyril Washbrook, a strict disciplinarian, took charge as the county’s Captain in 1954.

Parr played trombone part-time in the Merseysippi Jazz Band, something which was frowned upon by Washbrook, and he was not offered a new contract at the end of the season.

Parr moved to London where he became a full-time musician, playing trombone in the Mick Mulligan Band alongside lead singer, George Melly.

He later worked as Acker Bilk’s manager and later for an advertising company.

Frank Parr took 71 catches and made 21 stumpings in first-class cricket between his debut against Cambridge University in May 1951 and his final appearance against Gloucestershire at Bristol three years later.

His highest score of 42 was made against Sussex at Hove in August 1952.

 

Martin Stovold 

Martin Stovold, the former Gloucestershire batsman who played for the county alongside his elder brother Andy, has died aged 56 after a lengthy illness.

Stovold played 25 first-class matches for Gloucestershire and 34 one-day games between 1978 and 1982. His highest first-class score was 75 not out against Oxford University in The Parks, April 1980.

Stovold, a left handed batsman and occasional off-spinner, followed Andy to Loughborough Colleges in 1974 where he qualified as a teacher and then joined the staff at Cotham Grammar School in Bristol where he taught PE and geography.

He made his first team debut against Essex in a Player League match at Gloucester in 1978 and combined playing for Gloucestershire with coaching at Wynberg School in Cape Town, where he nurtured the talent of the young Jacques Kallis, during the winter months.

Stovold continued to coach at Wynberg after he was released by Gloucestershire but he returned to England as cricket professional at Cheltenham College in 1986 and became master in charge of cricket seven years later.

Cheltenham produced future Gloucestershire players, Mike Cawdron and Dominic Hewson, while Stovold was in charge of cricket, and improvements to the pavilion and scoreboard at the College Ground were driven by him.

He also taught geography at Cheltenham and was a much respected Housemaster of Newick, carrying out his College duties until a few days before his death, from a debilitating lung disease.

Dr Alex Peterken, Headmaster of Cheltenham College said, “Martin was one of the most dedicated teachers in the College's long history and inspiration to generations of young people as a Housemaster, Geography teacher and Master in charge of Cricket.

“Just last week he emailed staff from his hospital bed to lament the effect the wet weather was having on the College’s cricket schedule. ‘The tide will turn and the sun will shine’ he said. These proved to be his last public words and the sun now shines on his memory.” 

 

Louis Vorster 

Louis Vorster, who was shot dead by armed robbers at a petrol station in between Pretori and Johannesburg, was a batsman who played one first-class match for Worcestershire against the West Indies at New Road in 1988.

Vorster, 45, also played county Second Xi cricket for Worcestershire in 1988, as well as for Warwickshire in 1987.

He enjoyed a long and varied first-class career that began with his debut for Transvaal B against Eastern Province B at the Wanderers in 1985 and ended in October 2009, during a spell as player/coach with Namibia in October 2009.

Vorster played first-class cricket for ten different sides in four countries and scored almost 2,000 runs in 95 matches, including seven centuries. His highest score was 188 for Northern Transvaal B against Orange Free State B in 1993.

His only appearance for Worcestershire came in rain-blighted tour match, dominated by Graeme Hick’s 172.

Vorster, who worked as a cattle and game farmer, was shot dead on Tuesday April 17 as he pulled out of a filling station.

 

Jack Watson

Durham is mourning Jack Watson, who was their oldest surviving former player and President of the Durham Old Players’ Association, who has died at the age of 90.

Watson played Minor Counties cricket for Durham and Northumberland but his career also included two List A matches, both in the 9164 Gillette Cup.

He did not bat or bowl in the seven wickets win over Hertfordshire in the first round at Darlington and he went wicketless and finished two not out as Durham were beaten by 200 runs by Sussex at Hove in the next round.

Watson, an off-spinner, played 131 matches for Durham between 1945 and 1966 and 75 matches for Northumberland between 1949 and 1955.

His best Durham figures were eight for 88 against Staffordshire at Walsall in 1953 with his highest Minor Counties  score of 102 coming for Northumberland against Lancashire’s Second XI at Jesmond in 1954.

He continued to play league cricket into his seventies and also worked as a football scout for a number of clubs including Middlesbrough, Darlington and Sunderland. 

 

Geoff Hill

Former Warwickshire left arm spinner, Geoff Hill, has died aged 77 after a lengthy illness.

Hill made the first of his 42 first-class appearances for the Combined Services against Warwickshire at the Mitchells and Butlers’ Ground in Edgbaston in 1957 when he opened the bowling and claimed Tom Cartwright as the first of his 108 wickets.

He made his Warwickshire debut against Leicestershire at Edgbaston the following summer and went on to play 41 times for the county, scoring 247 runs and taking 107 wickets for them.

Hill took three five wicket hauls, the best of them eight for 70 in a draw with Gloucestershire at Cheltenham in August 1958 when his victims included Arthur Milton, Tom Graveney and George Emmett.

Hill played for Warwickshire until 1960 but he retained close links with the county as a regular attender of Warwickshire Old County Cricketers’ Association functions.

His funeral will take place at Whitechapel Church near Preston in Lancashire on March 27 (12 noon).

 

Simon Massey

Simon Massey, who spent three seasons on Hampshire’s staff between 1980 and 1982, has died aged 50 from a suspected heart problem.

Massey, a right hand batsman and off-spinner, took four five wicket hauls for Hampshire’s Second XI, three of them in 1980 including seven for 49 against Essex at Northlands Road.

After he was released by Hampshire, Massey had second team trials with Worcestershire, Somerset and Derbyshire and he also played Minor Counties Cricket for Berkshire from 1987 to 1988.

He played club cricket for New Milton, with whom he won the Hampshire League Batting Award in 1999, and Finchampstead.

Massey later qualified as a coach and he worked at the Ken Barrington Centre at The Oval and in Surrey’s coach education programme.

 

Northamptonshire are mourning three of their former players, whose deaths have just been made known to the club.

Doug Greasley, a middle order batsman and slow left-arm bowler, died in Northampton last month, aged 85.

Greasley, a Yorkshireman from Hull, made his debut against his native county in 1950 and went on to make 58 appearances for Northamptonshire.

He scored 1,659 runs - including 104 not out against Leicestershire in 1951, in only his fourth Championship match - and also took 16 wickets.

After he was released at the end of the 1955 season, Greasley spent a decade playing and coaching club cricket in Scotland.

 

John Swinburne

 John Swinburne, another Yorkshireman, passed away in September aged 71.

Swinburne, a schoolteacher, joined Northamptonshire in 1970 after he impressed playing Minor Counties cricket for Devon.

He played 29 times for the County, mostly in 1970 and 1971, and claimed 83 wickets, including 6-57 against Warwickshire in 1971.

Swinburne returned briefly to the club in 1974, taking 5-22 to help Bishan Bedi dismiss Nottinghamshire for just 67. He later returned to Minor Counties cricket with Shropshire.

 

Eddie Davis

 Eddie Davis, the younger brother of another County stalwart, Percy, died in July at the age of 89. Brackley-born Davis made 104 first-class appearances for Northamptonshire as a batsman, between 1947 and 1956, scoring just over 4,000 runs including three centuries. His career-best score of 171 came against Leicestershire at Northampton in 1949.


After leaving Wantage Road, Davis became a club professional at Wisbech CC and turned out for Cambridgeshire in the Minor Counties Championship.

 

Roy Tattersall Obituary

Roy Tattersall, the former Lancashire and England off-spinner, has died aged 89.

Bolton-born Tattersall played a prominent role in helping Lancashire share the County Championship with Surrey in 1950, by taking 193 wickets at an average of 13.59. He was voted the first-ever Cricketers' Club Young Cricketer of the Year for his efforts, in 1950.

He was called up as a replacement for the following winter’s Ashes tour and made the first of his 16 England appearances in the fourth Test in Adelaide.

He took four five wicket hauls in Test cricket, including seven for 52 and a match return of 12 for 101 against South Africa at Lord’s in 1951.

Tattersall was eventually replaced by Jim Laker as England’s first choice off-spinner but he continued to play for Lancashire until 1960. He came out of retirement to make a farewell appearance for the MCC against Lanacsshire at Old Trafford in 1964.

Tattersall took 1,369 first-class wickets, with a career-best of nine for 40 against Nottinghamshire at Old Trafford in 1953.

Tattersall subsequently settled in Kidderminster with his wife Phyllis, and continued to follow Lancashire's fortunes with keen interest.

He recently contributed a foreword to a book, that has just been published, to celebrate Lancashire's County Championship success last season.

 

Basil D’Oliveira Obituary 

Basil D’Oliveira, the former Worcestershire and England all-rounder who unwittingly found himself at the centre of a political stand-off, has died aged 80 after a lengthy illness.

D’Oliveira passed away in his adopted city of Worcester from Parkinson’s disease, said his son Damian, a former Worcestershire batsman and now the county’s academy director.

D’Oliveira found himself in the headlines in the autumn of 1968 when he was surprisingly omitted from England’s squad for their winter tour of South Africa, but then called up as a replacement, after Warwickshire seamer Tom Cartwright withdrew because of injury.

But, South Africa’s right wing regime under Prime Minister John Vorster announced that they would refuse D’Oliveira entry to his native country and the tour was called off by the MCC, beginning many years of cricketing and sporting ostracism for South Africa.

D’Oliveira had few opportunities to progress as a cricketer in a segregated sporting system, though his performances for the St Augustine’s club and the South Africa Non-European team brought him to the attention of cricket broadcaster John Arlott.

With the help of John Kay, then cricket correspondent of the Manchester Evening News, D’Oliveira was offered a professional’s job at Middleton in the Central Lancashire League. With the fundraising efforts from his team-mates at St Augustine’s he was able to start a new and successful life in England.

England batsman Tom Graveney persuaded Worcestershire to sign D’Oliveira, having played alongside him in representative sides in Kenya and Pakistan, though he had to spend a year qualifying to play competitive county cricket.

D’Oliveira divided his time between county Second XI cricket and Middleton and was 32 when he made his county debut against Australia at New Road in 1964.

Within two years he was playing for England as a powerful back foot batsman and useful change bowler who could bowl swing or off-spin as conditions demanded. He averaged 40 in his 44 Tests and helped England win the Ashes in Australia in 1971/72 and retain them the following summer under the captaincy of Ray Illingworth.

He was dropped after the first Test of the 1968 Ashes but recalled for the fifth at the Oval on the recommendation of Graveney, after Roger Prideaux withdrew through injury.

D’Oliveira made 158, his highest Test score, but was not included in the tour party for South Africa which was announced shortly afterwards, ostensibly because his bowling would not have been suited to South Africa conditions.

During a 25 year career D’Oliveira scored almost 19,500 first-class runs and took 551 wickets. He scored 3,770 runs and took 190 wickets in one-day cricket.

D’Oliveira retired from playing at the end of 1979 but continued his involvement with Worcestershire as senior coach.

Damian D’Oliveira followed his father into Worcestershire’s first team and there is now another D’Oliveira on the county’s staff. Damian’s son Brett, a talented leg-spinner, made his senior debut in a CB40 match against Yorkshire at Headingley in August.

Brett is spending the winter playing for his grandfather’s old club St Augustine’s in Cape Town but will fly home to attend the family funeral.

 

Peter Roebuck Obituary 

Peter Roebuck, the former Somerset captain and batsman, has died in Cape Town aged 55.  

Roebuck, who was covering the South Africa v Australia Test series for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, died at a hotel close to the Newlands ground. He is believed to have committed suicide.

Roebuck was a solid but effective batsman who scored more than 17,500 first-class runs in a 17 year career that began at Cambridge University where he graduated with a first in Law.

He passed 1,000 runs nine times in 12 seasons and given his solid dependability it was a surprise that he did not win a Test cap though he did captain England XI in two one-day matches in Holland.

He was part of the star-studded Somerset side that won five limited overs trophies between 1979 and 1983 but Ian Botham, Joel Garner and Viv Richards could not prevent them from slumping to bottom of the County Championship in 1985.

Roebuck took over as captain the following season and Somerset rose only one place in the table. Civil war broke out when Roebuck secured backing for Richards and Garner to be sacked as overseas players which prompted Botham to resign in support of his friends.

The departure of Richards and Garner was confirmed at a special general meeting and Botham subsequently signed for Worcestershire.

Roebuck was billed as the villain of the piece but he remained a consummate professional and averaged 40 in four consecutive seasons from 1984 to 1987. He was named as one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year in 1988.

Millfield-educated Roebuck retired from first-class cricket but he enjoyed a successful career in Minor Counties cricket with Devon, captaining them to four successive championships from 1994 along with two one-day crowns.

He forged a new and successful career as a cricket journalist and broadcaster, writing perceptively and trenchantly for a number of publications including the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age. He also wrote a number of well received cricket books.

Peter Roebuck was one of six children born to two teachers. One of his brothers Paul also played first-class cricket for Cambridge University, Gloucestershire and Glamorgan.

 

Graham Dilley 

Graham Dilley, the former England, Kent and Worcestershire fast bowler, has died aged 52 after a short and brave battle against cancer.

The father of four passed away at a hospice in Leicester after he was taken ill in Loughborough, where he had spent eleven years working as the director of cricket at the university.

Dilley played 42 Tests and 36 One Day International for England between 1979 and 1989 but he is probably best remembered for the innings he played in the 1981 Ashes Test at Headingley.

Dilley matched Ian Botham blow-for-blow in his swashbuckling 56 - his highest Test score - in an eighth wicket partnership of 117 in just 80 minutes which transformed the match in the most dramatic fashion. Dilley ‘s lack of wickets in the series meant that he was dropped for the next Test.

Born and raised in Dartford, Dilley trained as a diamond cutter at a Hatton Garden jewellers from where he was called up by Kent for his first-class debut in 1977.

Within two years he was making his international Test debut in Australia as a 20-year-old. If it wasn't for neck and knee injuries, Dilley would probably have played more international cricket.

He took 138 Test wickets including six five wicket hauls, the best being six for 38 against New Zealand in 1988.

He left Kent for Worcestershire in 1987 and helped his second county win successive County Championships in 1988 and 1989 during a golden era at New Road.

Injuries brought Dilley's playing career to a premature end in 1992 and he then forged a second career as a coach working at various times for Cheltenham College, Surrey, England Women and as a bowling coach to the England senior side in India in 2001/02.

He settled longest at Loughborough where the University attained first-class status during his time in charge and he was responsible for the development of the likes of Monty Panesar, Jimmy Anyon, Ruel Brathwaite, Jimmy Adams and, mostly recently, Leicestershire allrounder, Rob Taylor.

Graham Dilley was twice divorced and leaves four children including Chris Pennell, captain of Premiership Rugby Club, Worcester Warriors.

 

Elvis Reifer 

Elvis Reifer, who played for Hampshire as an overseas player in 1984, has died at his home in Barbados aged 50.
 
Reifer was a surprise choice as a locum overseas player while Malcolm Marshall was touring England with the West Indies as he had played no first-class cricket before he joined Hampshire.
 
He took eight wickets in his debut match against Cambridge University but his figures in the students' first inning s- four for 43 - proved to be his best in his 20 matches for the county.


Reifer was not retained at the end of 1984 and he went on to play one more first-class match, for Barbados against Trinidad & Tobago in 1986.
 
He came from a well-known cricketing family in Barbados five of whome played for first-class cricket for the island. His brothers Leslie and George played for Barbados, his nephew Floyd captained the West Indies against bangladesh two years ago and one of his sons Raymon plays for the Combined Campuses and Colleges.
 
Elvis Reifer's wife Carol Roberts is a well-known radio and television personality in Barbados.

 

Allan Watkins 

Former England and Glamorgan all-rounder Allan Watkins has died in hospital in Kidderminster aged 89 after a short illness.

Watkins played 15 Tests between 1948 and 1952 and became the first Glamorgan player to appear in an Ashes Test and the first to score a Test century.

Watkins made his England debut against Australia at The Oval in 1948 where he made 0 and 7 and was struck on the shoulder by a Ray Lindwall delivery which restricted his bowling in the match to just four overs.

But he could claim to be the last man to field a ball from Don Bradman in his final Test innings. Watkins fielded a defensive push from Bradman and returned the ball to Eric Hollies who then bowled a googly to dismiss Bradman for a duck and prevent him taking his career average to three figures.

Watkins toured South Africa the following winter he made 111 in the Johannesburg. He made a second Test century against India in Delhi three years later.

Watkins, who was born in Usk, made his first-class debut in 1939 but his career was interrupted by the second world war.

He made his maiden first-class century against Surrey at Cardiff Arms Park when the County Championship resumed in 1946. Watkins went on to make 407 appearances for Glamorgan in which he scored almost 17,500 runs and took 774 wickets.

He scored 1000 runs in every season except  one from 1947 to 1960, and claiming 50 or more wickets eight times between 1949 and 1956.

He did the double in 1954 and 1955, excelling in the former when he made a career-best 170 not out against Leicestershire in 1954 and followed that with his best bowling of 7 for 28 against Derbyshire at Chesterfield, which included a remarkable spell of four wickets in five balls.

Watkins, who also played football as a winger for Plymouth Argyle and Cardiff City,  retired from first-class cricket in 1962 and went on to enjoy a successful coaching career at Oundle School.

 

Neal Abberley

Warwickshire are mourning their batting coach and former batsman Neal Abberley, who died in hospital this morning aged 67.

Abberley had been battling with a lung condition for some time, but he had been working on a part-time basis in recent years. He was at Edgbaston for Warwickshire's most recent home championship match against Sussex.

Flags will be lowered to half-mast at Edgbaston for this week's third England v India Test, and England batsman Ian Bell, one of Abberley's many protégés, will wear a black arm band. India's fielding coach Trevor Penney also played for Warwickshire in the late 1980s, when Abberley was Warwickshire's Second XI coach.

Though Abberley's 16-year first-class playing record was modest (10,082 runs at an average of 24.47 and three centuries) he did tour Pakistan with a strong MCC Under-25 side – effectively England A – in 1967, though he suffered ill health on the trip.

He moved into coaching in 1980 and served Warwickshire for more than 30 years as Second XI coach and more recently with a roving brief working at all levels from senior to youth sides.

"To me he was a mentor, a confidante but, most of all, a friend," said Warwickshire's director of cricket Ashley Giles.

"We knew he was getting a little bit fragile but we didn't realise how fragile so his death has come as a shock to everyone.

"When I last spoke to him last week his concerns were for the team, not his own health, which typified Neal. The team always came first.

"He gave his life to Warwickshire and there are a lot of players who owe a huge debt of gratitude to him. He got a lot of us through.

"Without Neal Abberley I would not be Warwickshire's director of cricket and I would not have played 54 Tests for England.

"When I was first met him I was an 18-year-old triallist and I was still wet behind the ears having come from living at home with mum and dad.

"He helped me to grow up. He was old school and it was a tough school at times and a steep learning curve.

"But Neal was a great influence on me, and he set me on the road to where I am now."

Abberley passed 1,000 runs in a season three times, his best in 1966 when he made 1,315 runs including his highest score of 117 against Essex at Edgbaston.