Obituary: Glamorgan and England cricketer Peter Walker

Peter Walker: Tribute to former Glamorgan and England cricketer

Former Glamorgan and England cricketer and broadcaster Peter Walker has died aged 84 after a stroke.

Walker played three Tests for England against South Africa in 1960, finishing on the winning side every time.

He spent his entire first-class career with Glamorgan, and after retirement presented sports news on BBC Wales television.

He was appointed an MBE in the 2011 New Year's Honours List and served as president of Glamorgan Cricket Club.

Bristol-born Walker was a true all-rounder - he batted, he bowled and is regarded as the best close catcher to take the field for Glamorgan.

In the 1961 season he completed the double of scoring 1,000 runs and claiming 100 first-class wickets and also took 73 catches - many taken at his specialist fielding position of short-leg.

Walker's main strength was his consistency, and he scored 1,000 runs in a season 11 times during a career which started in 1955.

On two of those occasions - in 1965 and 1966 - he achieved the landmark without scoring a century.

He was a key member of the side - led by Tony Lewis - which won the County Championship in 1969.

Walker retired at the end of the 1972 season to further his already-established career as a broadcaster with BBC Wales.

The director of BBC Cymru Wales, Rhodri Talfan Davies, praised his role as one of Wales best known broadcasters.

"Peter made the switch from cricket to broadcasting in the blink of an an eye - becoming a familiar voice to millions over almost two decades with the BBC," Davies said.

"In a distinguished career, he introduced network television coverage of the Sunday League cricket as well as presenting BBC Wales Today and numerous sports programmes on both radio and television.

"Peter was always the consummate professional - admired for his warmth, intelligence and forensic all-round sporting knowledge.

"We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends."

In later life Walker was appointed chief executive of the Cricket Board of Wales and helped introduce a nationwide coaching framework and plan the National Cricket Centre in Cardiff.

And in 2009 he was elected president of Glamorgan County Cricket Club, but resigned the following year in protest at the way the club was being run by its then-chairman Paul Russell.

Current Chairman Gareth Williams said, "Everyone at Glamorgan is saddened to hear this news. Peter was a club legend, a man who gave everything he could to the club he loved while playing, and later in an off-field capacity.

"He gave so much back to the game, in particular through his work with Cricket Wales and the National Cricket Centre, and through his outstanding service as President of Glamorgan."

Fifty years ago in 1969 Glamorgan won the County Championship in dramatic fashion

The county's Chief Executive Hugh Morris also paid tribute to Walker.

"A combination of world-class catching ability, aggressive batting and accurate spin made him a triple threat and a brilliant all-rounder," said Morris, also a former England test player.

"He helped Glamorgan to win a County Championship title and represented England, making him a true legend of the club.

"We may never see another player quite like him, and he will be missed by everyone at the club."

Walker's former Glamorgan team-mate Alan Jones told BBC Radio Cymru: "He was one of the best cricketers ever to play for Glamorgan, Allan Watkins was a great, but for me Peter was the best.

"He was a great bowler, he took over 700 wickets for the county, and with the bat he scored over 15,000 runs, and as a fielder - close to the wicket, he was the best"

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