FORMER Worcestershire player and chairman Duncan Fearnley has died aged 83, the club has confirmed.

Fearnley, a revered figure in the Club’s history, was also renowned globally as the premier cricket bat manufacturer, earning the trust and admiration of leading players of his era, including Clive Lloyd and Vivian Richards.

The man from Pudsey moved to Worcestershire in 1960 and made 97 appearances as a left-handed batter, contributing significantly to the 1964 County Championship victory. He returned to the club in the 70s as Second Eleven captain, just at the same time his Worcester-based bat manufacturing business was thriving, with cricket legends such as Sunil Gavaskar, Ian Botham, Graham Gooch, and Allan Border choosing Fearnley bats and equipment.

Managing director of DFCS, Gary Dixon said: "Hearing the news of Duncan's death this afternoon was a real shock to all of us.

"He was a true legend in the cricket manufacturing world and built the Duncan Fearnley brand into the leading force it was and is today"

"We are proud to keep the name of Duncan Fearnley at the fore, so he can continue to be remembered within the cricket world as an innovator and a true craftsman in bat making. Out thoughts are with the Fearnley family."

In 1986, Fearnley was named Chair, leading the Club through a golden era 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.

His tenure as Club President from 2011 to 2013, followed by his election as a Honorary Vice-President, were sources of immense pride for him.

Paul Pridgeon, Worcestershire’s Acting Chair, expressed that Duncan, who also served as an Honorary Vice-President, was "an integral part of our Club for decades". 

"The Club extends its heartfelt condolences to his wife, Mary, and their family during this difficult time," Pridgeon added.

"Duncan’s passing is a tremendous loss. 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.

"He will be profoundly missed by everyone connected with the Club."