GORDON Prosser, former head groundsman of Worcestershire County Cricket Club, has died at the age of 82.
Prosser, who was born and had grown up in the shadow of Bredon Hill, was WCCC’s head groundsman from 1970 to 1976 and during his time at New Road won the county groundsman of the year title three times in four years.
As a result of his achievements at New Road he was appointed head groundsman for Lancashire CCC at Old Trafford, before going on to fill the same role with the Somerset club at Taunton from 1979 to 1989.
During his time at New Road, the pitches gained a reputation for being hard, with plenty of pace and bounce and were among the quickest on the county circuit.
Batsmen enjoyed batting on them and bowlers who bowled well were able to take advantage of the pace and bounce.
In Prosser’s first season at New Road, five of Glenn Turner’s record 10 centuries were scored at Worcester and in 1974 Worcestershire won the County Championship. In later years his advice was often sought by other groundsmen.
After his time as a county cricket groundsman, and before easing into retirement, Prosser was also groundsman for Yeovil Town FC for a short time.
His funeral is at Taunton Deane Crematorium, on Wednesday, August 27, at 1pm.
In recent years Prosser successfully underwent treatment for cancer of the throat, though this resulted in his voice-box being removed and his use of an artificial voice-box. Former Worcestershire secretary, Mike Vockins, with whom Prosser had maintained a regular correspondence in recent years, said: “Gordon was a splendid and highly-regarded groundsman, very much a man of the soil, with a great understanding of nature.
“To him groundsmanship was an art, not a science – though he was always ready to take note of the scientific advances there were in soil science and pitch preparation.
“He was a great believer in the use of the heavy roller in pre-season preparation, and it was not unknown for him and his team, wrapped in great coats galore, to be going up and down the square at snail’s pace in March, or even late February if conditions allowed.
“Our players loved playing on his pitches. They were ‘real belters’.