Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OBITUARY -

KENT’S great­est post-war bowler, Derek Un­der­wood, led the tributes to his for­mer team­mate Bob Woolmer. Mr Un­der­wood, who played along­side the all­rounder in 16 of his 19 Test ap­pear­ances, said Mr Woolmer had a boy­ish en­thu­si­asm for the game which was in­fec­tious. Re­call­ing the start of Mr Woolmer’s ca­reer, Mr Un­der­wood said: “He be­came a very high qual­ity player. “He scored two hun­dreds against Aus­tralia at Lord’s and Old Traf­ford in 1977 which were pretty in­stru­men­tal in us win­ning the Ashes. “I was stag­gered he only played 19 Tests.” Mr Un­der­wood said Mr Woolmer’s en­thu­si­asm was part of what made him a suc­cess­ful coach. “Gen­er­ally, if the coach is en­thu­si­as­tic it rubs off on the play­ers,” he said. An­other Kent player and Mr Woolmer’s for­mer room-mate, Gra­ham John­son, re­called his love for the game. Mr John­son, now Kent’s chair­man of cricket, said: “He was a fun per­son to be with. “He had a big pas­sion for the game and its tra­di­tions, but at the same time he was al­ways want­ing to move the game for­ward. “He al­ways wanted Kent to do well.” Club chair­man Carl Open­shaw added: “Ev­ery­one at the club is shocked and sad­dened. “Bob was one of Kent’s finest all-round crick­eters and played a key role in the club’s hugely suc­cess­ful side which won so many tro­phies in the 1970s. “He al­ways re­tained a keen in­ter­est in Kent cricket and will be greatly missed by his many friends in Kent.”

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