Stuart Symington 1926-2009 December 16, 2009

Leicester veteran Stuart Symington dies

Stuart Symington, who captained Leicestershire in 1949 in what his only full season of first-class cricket, has died at the age of 83. At the time of his death he was the county's oldest living captain, a mantle which now passes to Ray Illingworth.

Symington played for the county in the war - his first outing was as a 17-year-old - and he made his first-class debut in 1948 when he played twice. In 1949 Leicestershire were in need of a new captain and, as dictated by financial and social rules of the time, he had to be an amateur. Symington was a perfect and willing candidate.

A seam bowler and reasonable middle-order batsman, he was a more capable cricketer than many stand-in amateur captains but nevertheless he failed to inspire a weak side. In 21 matches he scored 659 runs at 21.25 and took 30 wickets at 43.73. The highest of his three fifties came against Essex at Grace Road, while his only five-for was against Derbyshire at Ashby-de-la-Zouch when he took 5 for 45.

He stood down in August to resume his Army commitments and played no more first-class cricket. He became ADC to the governor of the Bahamas, and then adjutant to the Kings Royal Rifles in Germany.

On retirement from the Army in 1958, he became a director of R&W Symington in Market Harborough. In the 1970 general election, he unsuccessfully stood as Conservative candidate for North West Leicester.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa