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Yorkshire mourns loss of "all-time great" Brian Close

Brian Close

Published at 11:29am 14th September 2015. (Updated at 1:10pm 14th September 2015)

Former Yorkshire and England cricket captain Brian Close has died at the age of 84.

Yorkshire County Cricket Club has described him as one of the greatest ever captains and one of the game's most courageous players.

When Brian made his Test debut for England against New Zealand at Old Trafford in 1949, at 18 years and 149 days, he became the youngest player ever to represent his country - a record which remains to this day.

He played for England in 22 Tests between 1949 and 1976, captaining them seven times, but it was with his beloved Yorkshire that he enjoyed his most outstanding successes.

He played in 536 first class matches between 1949 and 1970, scoring 22,650 runs with 33 centuries and capturing 967 wickets.

Brian captained Yorkshire from 1963 to 1970, when he led them through one of the most successful periods in their history, winning the County Championship title four times and the Gillette Cup twice.

Dickie Bird, President of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, said: "Brian Close was an all-time great, both of Yorkshire and England.

"He will go down as one of the bravest cricketers of all time. He would stand at short-leg, about a yard away from the bat, and would never flinch if the ball hit him. He would take it in his stride and carry on.

"As a captain, his record speaks for itself. He is Yorkshire's most successful post-war captain - winning the County Championship on four occasions and will always be regarded as one of the best skippers in the game.

"He led from the front and never took a back step. He commanded huge respect from his fellow players. He had the ability to get the best out of every player under his stewardship with his fearless and brave approach to the game."

Brian leaves a widow, Vivien, and a son, Lance, and a daughter, Lyn.