Duncan Fearnley, bat-maker and Worcestershire legend, dies aged 83

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Duncan Fearnley, the former Worcestershire player and administrator who went on to become one of cricket’s most sought-after bat manufacturers, has died at the age of 83.

Originally from Pudsey, Fearnley moved to Worcestershire in 1960 after beginning his career in Yorkshire Seconds, and went on to make 97 appearances as a left-handed batter across seven seasons, including 687 runs and four half-centuries in the club’s County Championship victory in 1964.

After departing the club in 1968, he returned in 1972 as the Second XI captain, by which stage his Worcester-based bat manufacturing business was thriving, with several of the greatest players of the era using his equipment, including Sunil Gavaskar, Ian Botham, Graham Gooch and Allan Border.

In 1986, Fearnley was named Worcestershire chair, and oversaw a golden era for the club that included two County Championship titles, two Sunday League titles, the Refuge Assurance Cup, the Benson and Hedges Cup, and the NatWest Trophy over a period of just twelve years.

He also served as Club President from 2011 to 2013, and was subsequently elected as an Honorary Vice-President.

“Duncan’s passing is a tremendous loss,” Paul Pridgeon, Worcestershire’s acting chair, said. “His contributions as a player, an administrator, and a passionate supporter of the club were immeasurable. He was the heart and soul of Worcestershire CCC, leaving an indelible mark on the club.

“His legacy as a bat-maker and his profound love for the club will always be remembered. Today, we have lost a true cricketing legend.”

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