DAMIAN Worrad, who played Devon league cricket for Barton and for Dorset in the Minor Counties Championship, died suddenly in late July aged 43.
The father of three, who emigrated to Australia in 2005, is thought to have suffered a heart attack.
Worrad, who worked in the IT industry, initially went out to Australia for six months on a six-month sabbatical to play some cricket. He met his wife-to-be there and settled permanently in Perth.
Worrad played Premier cricket for Barton in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
He took 72 wickets at an average of 20.99 in the 66 games he played – his best day being six for 33 against Exmouth, when he dismissed Nick Folland with the first ball of the game.
Jim Parker, the current Barton chairman, played cricket with Worrad during his time at Cricketfield Road.
Parker said although Worrad had lived in Australia for a number of years, he still had many friends at the club from his playing days.
“Damian’s death has come as a huge shock to everybody at the club,” said Parker.
“He was a popular and well-liked bloke, who played his cricket hard on the pitch and did not like losing. He will be missed.
“Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”
Damian Worrad’s funeral took place at St Lawrence Church, Balcatta on Thursday, August 9
Devon CCC never came calling for the Crewe-born player, who had been through the Glamorgan youth system up to 2ndXI level and also played for Gloucestershire and Worcestershire 2ndXI, so when Dorset offered him and opportunity to play Minor Counties cricket he took it.
Worrad had a reputation for being fiery on the cricket field and was no stranger to league disciplinary hearings.
That may have discouraged Devon from picking him, but was not a problem as far as Dorset were concerned.
“At the time we had no one like Damian available to us – a lively fast bowler with a bit of spirit,” said current Dorset chairman Sean Wallbridge, who was a team-mate at the time.
“We knew he could be a bit fiery at times, but he always channelled it in the right direction playing for us.
“He was just what we needed at the time – an opening bowler who took the fight to the opposition – and he was great in the dressing room.”
Worrad was Dorset’s leading Minor Counties wicket taker in 2003, picking up 18 wickets at 25.72 with a best of seven for 71 against Berkshire at Dean Park, Bournemouth.
Worrad appeared 14 times for Dorset between 2002-04. Playing against Yorkshire in the C&G Trophy he dismissed England players Craig White and Chris Silverwood.
Stuart Rintoul, who skippered Dorset while Worrad played for the county, said it was no surprise to him that he got good players out.
“Damian was tall – 6ft 3, 6ft 4 – he was athletic, he bowled at a good pace and he shaped the ball away nicely,” said Rintoul, who is still turning out for Exmouth 2ndXI when needed.
“When Damian got it right he was a real handful – especially to left-handers – and could bowl electric spells.
“Damian was a character in the dressing room and forceful in his views at times.
“We are all brothers in arms in the dressing room and to lose someone you have been in the trenches with at such a young age is a huge shame.”
Away from the cricket pitch Worrad enjoyed a round of golf and also played football for South Devon League side Hele Rovers.
Cricket ran in the Worrad family. Dad Ian played and brother Barnaby also went through the Wales youth system and played for Gloucestershire 2ndXI over a three-year period.
The brothers played against each other in the Hilda Overy U19 National Trophy in 1993 – Damian for Gloucestershire on that occasion and Barnaby for Glamorgan – and together for Glamorgan Colts the following season.