<
>

Sunday's game marks the end of an era for umpire Ken Palmer

The final match of the season at the County Ground on Sunday when the Sabres take on Durham Dynamos will mark the end of an era for one of the umpires who will be standing out in the middle.

For Ken Palmer, who played for Somerset between 1955 and 1969 this will be the last match at county level that he ever umpires.

Ken, who was born in Southampton and brought up in Devizes was an all rounder with a considerable pedigree. During his years with the Cidermen he made over 300 first class appearances, scoring over 7500 runs at 20.73 and taking 837 wickets at a cost of 21.11 each.

In 1961 he became the first player since the second world war and the youngest Somerset player ever to achieve the much coveted double when he scored 1036 runs and took well over 100 wickets.

Thirty five years ago Ken played for Somerset in their first ever Lords final against Kent in the Gillette Cup, and his final duty at cricket's headquarters was appropriately enough acting as third umpire in this year's final.

Ken reached the age of 65 earlier in the season, and when the game finishes on Sunday evening he will be hanging up his umpiring jacket for the last time.

Since he first joined the umpires list thirty years ago Ken Palmer has become a familiar figure and as well as umpiring in 22 Test Matches and 23 Limited Over Internationals he has become one of the most respected on the county circuit.

After being involved with the first class game for nearly fifty years when he retires Ken hopes to remain involved with the game that has given him a living for so long.