DENIS Pepper, who was one of the leading lights of Wormelow’s early years in league cricket, has died at the age of 81.

Pepper was an opening batsman and wicket-keeper and, at his peak, was viewed as one of the best in the county in both disciplines.

He joined Wormelow in 1975 and remained at Kennel Field until he retired from the game at the end of the 1985 season.

He scored more than 1,000 runs in all matches in Wormelow’s first season in the Herefordshire and District League in 1979, the first person to achieve the feat for the club, and continued to pile up the runs as the villagers progressed from Division Four to reach Division One in his final


His opening partnership with Dave Edmunds was particularly effective with the two batsmen’s styles complementing one another well, one, Pepper, strong on the off, the other strong on the leg.

His record of 99 career stumpings for the club is unlikely to be surpassed.

Denis Pepper came to Hereford after leaving the army and ran a newsagent’s on Whitecross Road before moving on to work at Wiggins.

After retiring from cricket, he continued his sporting activity by playing skittles and golf.

He styled his first name with one ‘n’ in homage to his idol Denis Compton, a Test cricketer and top footballer who spent his football career with Arsenal, another of Denis Pepper’s great loves.

In acknowledgement of that, mourners have been asked to wear an Arsenal shirt or ‘a splash of red’ at his funeral at Hereford Crematorium on Thursday (September 12) at 2.15pm.

Denis Pepper leaves a widow, Mary, four children, 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.