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April 17, 2010
Former Surrey batsman Mike Hooper has died from cancer. He was 62.
Hooper came to Surrey's attention while at Charterhouse and played for the county between 1967 and 1971 but did not make much impression and never held down a regular place. He made his debut against Yorkshire in 1967 and played 21 matches for Surrey, scoring 406 runs at 15.61 with a best of 41 not out against Oxford University. He quit at the end of the Championship-winning summer of 1971, during which he played four games, to work in the City.
Hooper played regularly for the 2nd XI and was in the side that won the Second XI Championship in 1968, scoring a career-best 160 against Middlesex at Esher. Micky Stewart, a spectator at that particular match, told the Surrey website: "Mike was a big, strong and powerful looking lad and extremely well spoken. I will always remember what an innings he played at Esher. Off the back of that knock, I brought him into the upcoming match we had against the Australians which was at The Oval the following day."
Against the Australians, however, Hooper struggled to get the ball away. "I remember I was batting at the other end and in between overs, I went up and told him that this was the same game as he was playing the day before at Esher and to just relax. The advice must have worked as the very next over he got off the mark when he smashed Ashley Mallett straight back over his head for six into the pavilion. Hooper made 25.
"Mike was a great lad, extremely well liked by everyone and he will be missed," Stewart said. "His record doesn't look as good as it could have when you consider that most of the wickets he played on were more bowler-friendly than they are today."
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