Former Middlesex and England all-rounder Fred Titmus has passed away following a long battle with illness aged 78.
Titmus made his Middlesex debut aged 16 in 1949, going on to play 33 seasons of first-class cricket before retiring in 1982, also representing the MCC and Orange Free State.
The off-spinner made his England debut in 1955 against South Africa at Lord's and the last of his 53 Tests came in January 1975 at the Adelaide Oval against Australia.
His international career garnered him 153 wickets at 32.22 with a best of seven for 79, taken against Australia in 1963, while he also scored ten half-centuries, hitting 1449 runs at 22.29.
He toured Australia three times as well as playing two One-Day Internationals, both against New Zealand in March 1975, before continuing to serve the national team as a selector.
A statement from Middlesex County Cricket Club paid tribute to Titmus as follows:
"Middlesex County Cricket Club are deeply saddened to report the death of Middlesex & England legend Fred Titmus, who died this morning after a long illness. All of our thoughts and best wishes are with his wife Stephanie and family.
"Fred will be deeply missed by all those who played with him and by all those who were fortunate enough to have seen him performing for Middlesex and England."
He played a remarkable 792 first-class matches, hitting 21,588 runs and taking 2,830 wickets at 22.37. His final appearance came aged 50 and he became the oldest player to represent Middlesex at Lord's in the process.
England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive David Collier added: “Fred was simply a master of the art of slow bowling and a very popular figure on both the county and international circuit. He will be much missed and we send condolences to his many friends within the game and his family.”
© Cricket World 2011