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Somerset saddened by the passing of David Foot

Somerset County Cricket Club was saddened to hear of the recent passing of David Foot.

Renowned local journalist, Richard Walsh has written the following tribute to one of the game’s best-loved contributors.

The Somerset sporting community is mourning the sad loss of David Foot, the outstanding cricket writer of his generation who passed away peacefully earlier this week at the age of 92.

David appeared regularly in The Guardian covering cricket in the summer, rugby and football in the winter months as well as supplying theatre reviews. In addition he wrote for the Western Daily Press, particularly about his beloved Somerset as well as penning a weekly column aptly entitled Foot Notes.

However, he was so much more than just a sports writer. He was kind, gentle and caring and never too busy to stop and chat to his growing number of followers as he strolled round the County Ground at Taunton or the Rec at Bath.

Personally I owe David a huge debt of gratitude for the support and encouragement he gave me when I started out on my own personal journalistic journey.

David was a very perceptive man and wanted to chat to the players to find out more about themselves and their backgrounds, and these insights were reflected in the way that he wrote. Reading a David Foot report was never dull. There was so much more to it than just the cricket.

He wrote a number of mainly cricket books, the first couple of which were ghosted with Bill Andrews and Viv Richards. However, the outstanding one of these was about his boyhood hero- which he entitled ‘Harold Gimblett- tormented genius of cricket’ which was based on a series of taped conversations with the Somerset batsman who is part of The Club’s folklore.

David was Somerset through and through. He was born and raised in T S Eliot’s village of East Coker, a short bus ride from Yeovil. At the age of 11 he won a place at Yeovil Grammar School, and when he left he joined his local paper the Western Gazette.

He learned the tools of his trade by cycling round the South Somerset area covering fetes and funerals and whenever he could he would sneak away to watch Yeovil Town and Somerset CCC.

He moved to Bristol to join the Evening World and from the early 1960s worked mainly as a freelance covering a whole range of subjects as his career flourished.

David became a regular in the old press box at Taunton and he also could be found at Eastville, the former home of Bristol Rovers, or on occasions at the Memorial Ground covering Bristol Rugby Club, which is where I first met him back in the 1970s.

I last saw David in Bristol when I joined him along with a group of cricket writers to celebrate his 90th birthday.

David Foot was a huge Somerset supporter and nothing gave him more pleasure than seeing his home county enjoying a run of success in the late 1970s and early 80s under the captaincy of Brian Rose.

With the passing of David Foot, Somerset has lost one of its keenest followers and many of us have lost a genuinely good friend.

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