Langford passes away
Former Somerset captain Brian Langford, an accomplished off-spinner who has the most first-class appearances for the county, died earlier this week aged 77.
Langford played for his only county from 1953 to 1974, as skipper from 1969 to 1971. He took 1,410 wickets in his 510 first-class games at an average under 25. He also claimed 65 scalps in 66 List A matches. Only Jack White and Arthur Wellard have more wickets for Somerset.
Langford created an unbreakable 40-over record by bowling his allocation of eight overs for no runs, albeit with no wickets, in a John Player League win over Essex at Yeovil in 1969.
Born in Birmingham, Langford grew up in Bridgwater, Somerset. His county debut came in Bertie Buse’s famous benefit game, a County Championship match at Bath that Lancashire won inside a day.
In his second appearance, four days later, he picked up a stunning 14 wickets in victory over Kent. His third yielded 11 scalps and created a Bath festival record for wickets taken.
That was the start of a successful career in which Langford five times collected 100 championship wickets in a season, his best haul being 116 in 1958 including a career-best 9-26 versus Lancashire at Weston-super-Mare.
After retiring from playing, Langford remained involved with Somerset and was chairman of the cricket committee in 1986.
Former team-mate Peter Robinson, who regularly travelled to away fixtures with Langford and bowled at the other end during his 40-over record, said: "Langy was a very fine off-spin bowler and for a number of seasons was almost the county's lone bowler.
“At the time that he was in his prime there were a number of good off-spinners on the county scene, but if he had played in another era he could well have played for England."
Somerset chief executive Guy Lavender said: “Brian's contribution to Somerset County Cricket Club was enormous. He was a remarkable player, an outstanding leader and a charming individual.
“He will be sorely missed by all of Somerset's members and supporters and we would like to extend our sincere condolences to Brian's wife Maureen and all of his family at this immensely sad time."