Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club today announced that their former captain Reg Simpson has died, aged 93.
Simpson was Nottinghamshire’s oldest living player, and England’s oldest surviving Test player.
“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 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.”
ECB chief executive David Collier was quick to add his voice to the tributes, saying: “Reg Simpson was an elegant opening batsman who served his country with distinction both as a pilot in the Second World War and as a fearless player of fast bowling ,” said David.
“His 156 in Melbourne led England to our first post war Test victory in Australia and Reg succeeded Sir Alec Bedser as England’s most senior player in 2010.
“He held a deep passion for the game and for his beloved Trent Bridge. On behalf of everyone at ECB we extend our deepest sympathy to Reg’s family.”
Born on 20th February 1920 in Sherwood Rise, Reg was educated at Nottingham High School before developing as a talented opening batsman. His Nottinghamshire debut came in 1940 against the RAF, who he would go on to serve with during World War II.
Simpson impressed during 27 Test appearances for England, scoring 1401 runs with an unbeaten 156 his highest score. His exploits in domestic cricket were astonishing, playing 495 first class matches. He had 30,546 runs to his name, at an average of 38.32.
“Reg purposefully embarks on his cricket with the ardour of a man for whom the game is life, enjoyment, with a zest and keenness for it which nothing will ever diminish,” reported A.J Turner, on Simpson’s Test debut in 1949.
“For him all cricket hours are happy hours, even the weary ones of the endless chase on a baked surface when other batsmen are rampant and ruthless.”
Time didn’t dampen Simpson’s enthusiasm for the game, and on his retirement from professional cricket he became a member of Nottinghamshire’s committee, on which he served for 37 years, between 1961 and 1998.
He has regularly returned to Trent Bridge, most recently to take in the Investec Ashes Test in July.