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Full name Ashley John Harvey-Walker
Born July 21, 1944, East Ham, Essex
Died April 28, 1997, Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa (aged 52 years 281 days)
Major teams Derbyshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium, Right-arm offbreak
|List A span||1971-1978|
HARVEY-WALKER, ASHLEY JOHN, was shot dead in a bar in Johannesburg on April 28, 1997, aged 52. A gunman apparently walked in, shouted his name and fired when he responded. It was a bizarre end for an engaging cricketer associated with the good humour of the Derbyshire dressing-room in the 1970s. Harvey-Walker made an immediate impact when he became the first Derbyshire player to score a century on debut. This came on the less than fierce occasion of a match against Oxford University at Burton-on-Trent in 1971 when he was already 26. Though he played 81 matches over eight seasons, he was rarely sure of his place, and his successes were spasmodic. He was a fine striker of the ball and once hit Pat Pocock on to the top deck of the Oval pavilion; the fast bowlers, however, usually found him out. John Arlott once christened him Ashley Hearty-Whacker, though the Derby press box usually preferred Ashley Harvey-Wider, a reference to his occasional off-breaks. These, however, came good spectacularly at Ilkeston in 1978. Derbyshire went into the match without a recognised spinner and found themselves on a disintegrating pitch; Eddie Barlow gave Harvey-Walker the new ball, and he took seven for 35 as Surrey collapsed for 77 - though Derbyshire still lost. Harvey- Walker will be best remembered for the incident in the famous match at Buxton in 1975, when Derbyshire were caught on a snow-affected pitch with the ball bouncing dangerously. He handed something wrapped in a hanky to umpire Dickie Bird: his false teeth. As the ball looped to short leg when he was seven, Harvey-Walker is supposed to have let out a gummy cry of Catch it! After retirement, he played in the Bradford League then emigrated to South Africa. He worked as assistant groundsman at The Wanderers and only a month before his death helped prepare the pitch for the Test against Australia. He also had an interest in an inner-city bar, a business prone to produce murderous disputes.
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