Marner was the youngest player to represent the county, making his debut against Sussex in August 1952 at 16 years and five months. He was also the first person to win a limited-overs Man-of-the-Match award, and the first two score a hundred, when he made 121 and took 3 for 49 in a Gillette Cup preliminary round tie against Leicestershire in May 1963. In 1965 he moved to Leicestershire, retiring in 1970.
A thick-set and powerful middle-order right-hand batsman, he scored over 17,513 first-class runs at 28.33 with 18 hundreds. An accurate seam bowler, just over medium pace, he took 360 wickets and 379 catches, many of those in the slips where be built his reputation as a fine fielder. One of the hardest hitters of the ball in the game, he was a pugnacious batsman scoring quickly in all forms of cricket.
Marner was an allrounder sportsman. He played rugby union for Oldham at 16 and went on to represent the Army while on National Service, during which time he also played cricket for the Combined Services.