Matthew Hobden: Service remembers young Sussex bowler

Sussex cricketer Matthew Hobden Image copyright PA
Image caption The body of Sussex cricketer Matthew Hobden was discovered on 2 January

Family and friends have taken part in a service of thanksgiving to celebrate the life of cricketer Matthew Hobden who was tipped to play for England.

The bowler from Eastbourne was found dead at a private property in the Forres area of Scotland on 2 January.

England players wore black armbands during day two of the second Test match against South Africa in Cape Town the following day.

The service was held at All Saints Church in Eastbourne on Friday.

It followed a private family funeral which was held on Monday.

Image caption Mr Hobden's shirt number - 19 - will now be retired

BBC reporter Adrian Harms said hundreds of people filled the church and some players from Sussex County Cricket Club flew back from Dubai to be there.

He said Mr Hobden's two brothers gave emotional tributes at the thanksgiving service.

One of the local touches included a solo saxophonist playing "Sussex by the Sea", while Zac Toumazi, the Sussex club's chief executive, also paid tribute to the young player.

Mr Hobden's shirt number - 19 - will now be retired and a tree will be planted at the cricket ground in Hove in his memory.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption England cricket players wore black armbands the day after Matthew Hobden died

Mr Hobden was one of six fast bowlers who were due to spend time with the senior England squad in Johannesburg to help with preparations for the one-day international series.

Mark Davis, head coach of the Sussex cricket team, said the "sky was the limit" for the 22-year-old player and he would be sorely missed.

He would have gone on to represent his country, according to England bowling coach Kevin Shine.

The cause of his death remains unexplained but there were no suspicious circumstances, according to police.

He had been celebrating the new year with friends when he died at the property on the Moray coast near Inverness.

Details of the post-mortem examination have been passed to procurator fiscal in Scotland.

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