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Eric Burgin, destroyer of the Red Rose, dies at 88

— 20 November 2012

Sheffield-born Eric Burgin, who died on November 16 aged 88, was one of the proudest cricketers ever to play for Yorkshire – as well as being one of several accomplished pacemen to share the new ball with the great Fred Trueman.

Eric, a talented all-round sportsman who was also a former captain of York City AFC after turning out for Sheffield United Reserves, played in 12 First-Class matches for Yorkshire in 1952 and 1953, capturing 31 wickets at a very respectable 25.64 runs apiece.

In the first of those two seasons he enjoyed an outstanding Roses match at Old Trafford, when Lancashire just managed to cling on for a draw with their last pair at the crease. Yorkshire were sent back for 200, but Eric and Trueman decimated Lancashire with five wickets each to despatch them for 65 in 24 overs.

Eric bowled unchanged while conceding only 20 runs, and Trueman claimed 5-26 in 10 overs. Yorkshire then made 163-8 declared, but were left with insufficient time to bowl out their opponents, who closed on 166-9.

Later in the season Eric returned career-best figures of 6-43 as Surrey were beaten by nine wickets at Headingley. Centuries from Vic Wilson and Ted Lester enabled Yorkshire to declare on 423-5, and Surrey were disposed of for 192 - Eric snatching the first three wickets with only seven scored. Surrey made a better fist of it second time around, but Yorkshire still romped home.

Eric maintained his allegiance to Yorkshire CCC for the rest of his life, and was on the General Committee as a Sheffield representative for four seasons from 1980, serving at various times on the cricket, public relations, ground and fundraising subcommittees. He was a devoted founder member of Yorkshire Players’ Association, regularly attending its social functions.

At league level Eric was a former leading fast bowler with Sheffield United, and played a prominent part in their switch from Bramall Lane to Bawtry Road in 1973.

He leaves a widow, Betty, a son and a grandson. His funeral service takes place at Hutcliffe Wood, off Abbey Lane, Sheffield, at 10am on Friday, November 23.

We thank Yorkshire archivist Ron Deaton for making available to this webpage a picture taken at Scarborough 1952, in which Eric, centre, is flanked by Yorkshire captains of the future Brian Close, left, and Vic Wilson.