Former fast bowler David Sayer dies aged 80

Friday 27th January 2017

Former Kent fast bowler David Sayer has died aged 80.

The right-armer took 613 first class wickets at an average of 23.48 in a career spanning 22 years for Kent and Oxford University.

Sayer made his Kent debut at The Nevill Ground, Tunbridge Wells aged 18 while he was still attending Maidstone Grammar School.

After a spell playing for the second XI and Oxford University, the Romford-born paceman announced himself on his return to county action in just his third game for Kent.

The tall seamer took a match-winning career-best match figures of 10/67 (including 7/37 in the second innings) to seal a ten-wicket win against Leicestershire at Grace Road in August 1958.

Later that year, Sayer was selected for the MCC tour of South America playing sides in Brazil and Argentina to grow the game in that region.

He continued to play for his Varsity side in 1959 and 1960 before returning to the Kent side later in the season.

Another MCC tour in 1960-61 took him to New Zealand on a three-month trip with a couple of matches in Singapore and Malaysia on the return leg.

1961 was his first year as a full-time Kent pro and featured five-wicket hauls against Derbyshire and Warwickshire.

He also claimed the scalp of legendary Australia opener Bob Simpson in a high-scoring drawn tour match at Canterbury featuring two Colin Cowdrey centuries.

He played in every match except the Lord’s Final of Kent's victorious Gillette Cup run in 1967 before retiring from professional cricket a year later.

After eight years playing club cricket at The Mote, he was recalled to help Kent win at Leicestershire aged 40.

2017 President Charlie Rowe, chairman of cricket Graham Johnson and past presidents Mike Denness and John Shepherd also played as Kent triumphed at Grace Road by 104 runs.

His final match was a three-wicket win against Glamorgan in the John Player League, taking 1/19 in eight tidy overs.

A true club man, he even served as an insurance broker for the club in his retirement.