Record-breaking Bucks batsman is ‘gone too soon’

John Turner
John Turner

John Turner, the record-breaking Bucks batsman who scored a century in his only first class cricket match, has died at the age of 63.

In 16 seasons from 1968-83, Turner, who was born in Princes Risborough and played his club cricket for Ernest Turners SC in High Wycombe, scored 7,524 runs for Bucks in the Minor Counties Championship – 1,500 more than any other Bucks batsman.

A tall fair-haired opening batsman, Turner made only four Championship centuries, but was a pro consistent scorer.

He was also a member of the Bucks side that won the Championship in 1969.

Turner tended to produce his best innings against the strongest opposition, particularly in the Gillette Cup against first-class counties.

He was man of the match for his innings of 66 as Bucks lost to Glamorgan by just four runs at Amersham in 1972.

The following year he scored 88 in an opening stand of 126 as Bucks made 223-5 against a Kent side featuring Derek Underwood and co at Canterbury.

His prolific scoring for Bucks earned him selection for the Minor Counties team against the Pakistan tourists in 1974.

He scored 106 at Jesmond to become one of the few batsmen to score a century on his first-class debut.

In addition to his batting, Turner was a superb short leg fielder and on four separate occasions took six catches in a single Championship match.

His total of 197 catches is almost double the number taken by a non-wicket keeper for Bucks. At the end of his county career, he went to live in Wiltshire where he died after a short illness.

Former Bucks chairman Stuart York, who played alongside Turner, said he would go down as a county great.

“John was a very good cricketer,” he said.

“I played with him at Northampton and when I moved to Wycombe I found him there too, as well as lining up with him for Bucks!

“He was an excellent batsman and his record says it all.

“But he was good in the field as well, he used to take a number of catches.

“As a man he’ll be sadly missed. The news has saddened me greatly ... he’s gone too early.”