December 31, 2003

Horner loses battle against cancer

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Norman Horner, the former Warwickshire batsman, died this week at the age of 77 after suffering from cancer. He played two matches for Yorkshire, his native county, before joining Warwickshire in 1951, for whom he played 357 first-class matches.

Horner sits in seventh place of Warwickshire's all-time list of run-scorers, behind the likes of Dennis Amiss and MJK Smith, with 18,217 first-class runs. An aggressive opening batsman who formed a productive partnership with Fred Gardner, Horner hit 25 centuries and scored 92 half-centuries. He was also an athletic fielder, quick over the ground and with a good arm.

Horner's highest score was in fact his only double-century - 203 not out against Surrey at The Oval in 1960. He had added 377 with Khalid `Billy' Ibadulla - still a record first-wicket partnership for Warwickshire - before the innings was declared without a wicket falling.

After retiring from cricket, Horner went on to become a coach and groundsman at Warwick School before returning to Yorkshire, where he died.