A FORMER Yorkshire and England cricketer from Bradford has sadly died.

Doug Padgett, who was employed by the White Rose club throughout his working life, passed away aged 89 in a nursing home in Steeton on Saturday (January 20).

Born at St Luke’s Hospital on July 30, 1934, Doug played in the Bradford League for Idle, where he was living at the time, making his first-class debut for Yorkshire in 1951 when he was still playing for the Cavendish Road side.

That initial appearance made him Yorkshire’s youngest first-class debutant at the age of 16 years and 321 days - a record that was broken by Paul Jarvis’s debut in 1981, aged 16 years and 75 days.

Doug, a long-time resident of Micklethwaite, a hamlet near Bingley, captained Bradford Boys at both football and cricket, scoring 140 for Yorkshire Boys against Lancashire Boys at Bolton.

Padgett, whose elder brother Granville was a notable league cricketer for Brighouse, went on to play in 487 first-class matches for Yorkshire before retiring at the end of the 1971 season when he was not retained, despite captain Geoffrey Boycott urging the committee to keep him on because of his experience and batting qualities.

By that time the technically correct Padgett had scored 20,306 first-class runs for the White Rose, including 29 centuries and a top score of 161 not out against Oxford University in The Parks in 1959.

His close association with Yorkshire was still far from over, however, because he went on to captain the second XI with distinction and was appointed club coach - a position he held until his retirement.

Padgett, a players’ player who was not only admired for his exemplary technique, but for his sheer love of the game, played for Bowling Old Lane in the Bradford League, due to his close friendship with club stalwart Michael Hope, and for Marske, for whom he scored 1,000 runs in the 1973 season.

Doug was not a cricketer who yearned for the bright lights on away trips and was never happier than when sitting in the bar on a night to discuss cricket and tactics.

He played in two home Test matches for England against South Africa in 1960, featuring in the fourth and fifth Tests with only moderate success, but many felt that a batsman of his class was deserving of more chances.

Doug, who was one of the best batters on a bad wicket, will best be remembered for the outstanding part he played in Yorkshire’s Championship-winning days, which began in the late 50s and continued well into the 60s by which time they had clinched the title on seven occasions.

And it was he and fellow batsman Bryan Stott, who got the ball rolling with their magnificent stand of 141 in the second innings against Sussex at Hove in 1959 which brought the first of these Championship successes.

Padgett, who generally batted No 3 but did open on occasions, scored more than 1,000 runs in the 1956 season - a landmark he achieved 12 times in all - and over 2,000 in 1959.

However, his conversion rate left something to be desired as he passed 50 on 129 occasions but only made 32 centuries overall.

After retirement from first-class cricket, Padgett captained Yorkshire’s second XI, becoming assistant coach and then head coach, and was responsible for the Yorkshire Academy team playing league cricket and for encouraging his Academy boys to test themselves in the furnace of Bradford League cricket.