Derek Underwood dead: Legendary England cricketer dies aged 78 as emotional tributes pour in


LEGENDARY England cricketer Derek Underwood has died aged 78.

The spinner’s death was announced by Kent Cricket, who called him an “icon of the club”.

Cricketing legend Derek Underwood has passed awayGetty

GettyUnderwood took 297 wickets in 86 Tests for England during his career[/caption]

Underwood took 297 wickets in 86 Tests for England, and a total of 2,465 first-class wickets in 676 matches.

Kent Cricket chairman Simon Philip today paid tribute to the legend.

He said: “The Kent Cricket family is in mourning following the passing of one of its greatest ever players.

“Derek was an outstanding contributor to both Kent and England, winning trophies for Club and country and etching his name in the history books forevermore.

“Watching Derek weave his unique magic on a wet wicket was a privilege for all who were able to witness it.

“His induction into the ICC Hall of Fame shows the esteem in which he was held in world cricket.

“An advocate for growing our game worldwide whilst protecting our sport’s rich heritage, Derek also made substantial contributions off the field as well as on it, and he will be sorely missed by everyone at Kent Cricket.”

Wisden Cricket also paid their respects to the star in a heartfelt tweet.

They wrote: “Former Kent and England spinner Derek Underwood has sadly passed away at the age of 78.

“He took 297 wickets in 86 Tests for England, and a total of 2,465 first-class wickets in 676 matches. May he rest in peace.”


DEREK Underwood is a legendary figure in cricket thanks to his exploits with England and Kent.

The spinner earned the nickname ‘Deadly’ thanks to the havoc he used to wreak on wet pitches.

There was even a saying that England would carry Underwood “like an umbrella in case of rain”.

Although he was listed as a slow left-armer, he often bowled at medium pace with unerring accuracy and boasted a lethal inswinging arm ball.

Underwood took 296 wickets in 86 Tests for England and was ranked the world’s No1 bowler from September 1969 to August 1973.

He retired in 1987 at the age of 42 having taken almost 2,500 wickets.

Appointed as an MBE in 1981, Wisden named him in a XI of England’s greatest post-war cricketers in 2004.

Underwood was one of six English cricketers to feature in World Series Cricket and also went on the rebel tour of South Africa.

More to follow…