'Genial' cricketer David has died
Friday 3rd February 2017
A “GENIAL” Kent cricketer who was recalled to frontline county duty in his 40th year has died.
David Michael Sayer, who was 80 when he died, was called out of retirement as a right arm quick when a bowler shortage struck at Kent County Cricket Club, 3,277 days after he stepped away from the first class game. His one wicket and 11 runs could not save Kent from a seven-wicket defeat, but he is enshrined in statisticians’ minds and the hearts of cricket lovers for heeding the call-up.
His recall meant his county career appeared to have lasted, on paper, from 1955 until 1976, an impressive if unlikely longevity for a fast bowler of that era. He first played for Kent at 18 as a Maidstone Grammar School student and won his county cap in 1962. Mr Sayer, who lived in Roseacre Lane, Bearsted, retired from the first class game in 1968, preferring thereafter to play for The Mote Cricket Club in Maidstone until 1981.
During his first-class career, he took 613 wickets from 33,482 balls at an average of 23.48 and earned the nickname “Slayer”. There were MCC tours, representing The Rest of England and three seasons playing varsity cricket at Oxford University between 1958-60.
Playing in Maidstone, Mote CC never finished below third in the league, twice won the championship and contested the DH Robins Cup at Lord’s in 1969.
Mr Sayer set up DM Sayer & Co and traded for four decades, focusing on commercial and household insurance. The firm was based in Lenham for many years.
Friend and club mate John Booth described Mr Sayer as a genial man, adding: “He was a gentle giant who stayed in touch with his old friends in cricket and continued playing and umpiring friendlies for many years.”
He leaves his wife Carol and two daughters.
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