FORMER Hampshire CCC chief executive, Southern League chairman and outstanding Old Tauntonians cricketer Tony Baker has died after a long illness, aged 77.

In his playing days he was a leading all-rounder, opening the batting and bowling for the powerful OTs side of the Sixties and Seventies and for Southampton Touring Club on Sundays.

As OTs captain in 1972, Tony performed the feat of taking all ten wickets in a cup final in Southampton Parks, finishing with 10-26 as OTs beat Netley Central to win the Hector Young Trophy.

He was also an outstanding batsman as well as being a kind and genial teammate with a great sense of humour.

In 1976 he helped set a new first-wicket partnership for Southampton Touring Club, making an unbeaten 126 in a 235-run stand as Australian Old Collegians were beaten by ten wickets at the County Ground, Northlands Road.

Tall and powerfully built, he was a leading basketball player in the region, playing for the Southampton representative side and Old Tauntonians.

He combined his cricketing talents with organisational skills and, during his time with the Touring Club, was secretary, fixture secretary and treasurer – all at the same time.

His involvement with Southern League cricket was immense, initially as treasurer then the league’s chairman, prior to taking up his role at Hampshire.

Professionally, Tony was a partner with the Winchester-based accountancy practice Brooking Knowles & Lawrence (BKL), a position from which he switched to become Hampshire’s Chief Executive from 1986 to 2001.

He had a leading role in Hampshire’s move to the Rose Bowl and was previously treasurer at Northlands Road for eight years.

Tony is survived by his wife Sally and his sons, Paul and Jonathan.