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Brian Close 1931-2015

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A tough gutsy cricketer, Brian Close had a long career making his test debut in 1949 aged 18 to facing the West Indian bowling barrage in 1976 age 45. He captained England 7 times and won 6.

He played for Yorkshire 1949-70 and Somerset 1971-77

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RIP Brain I bet even today he wouldn't have considered a helmet. If you don't think about pain you don't feel it

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A tough gutsy cricketer, Brian Close had a long career making his test debut in 1949 aged 18 to facing the West Indian bowling barrage in 1976 age 45. He captained England 7 times and won 6.

He played for Yorkshire 1949-70 and Somerset 1971-77

It's not often you can say I was there but in this case, as a teenager on a school trip I actually was that day.

First ever time at a test match and the atmosphere was very intimidating with a large banner along the top of one of the open terraces saying black wash in huge letters and by the end of the summer at either 5-0 or 6-0 it certainly was.

I remember the newspapers giving Brian Close a bit of a slating when he got recalled to the test side but there was certainly no disputing his resolve against a West Indies team that, at the time was by far the best in the world.

Yet another of the genuinely good sportsman without the oversized ego has sadly gone.

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Even I'm not old enough to have seen him in his prime as a test player, I remember him more as a belligerent batsman for Somerset in the old John Player Sunday League. Of course the bravery he showed against the West Indies, was as commendable as it was unedifying. Just to remind everyone that England selectors have always been prone to panic & stupidity!

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I remember reading a story about BC when he was fielding at silly mid off with Viv Richards batting during that 1976 series.

Apparently he said to one of the other close fielders 'He (Richards) is going to go after one in a minute. When he does, I'll jump in the way of it and you catch the rebound!'

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