Worcestershire are mourning their former fast bowler Graham Dilley who passed away at a hospice in Leicester earlier today (October 5) aged 52 after a short battle with cancer. The England paceman also began his career with his native county Kent.
Dilley joined Worcestershire in 1987 and helped them to win the County Championship in 1988 and 1989 where he played alongside David Leatherdale, then an all-rounder and now the chief executive at New Road.
“Having had the pleasure of playing in the same team as Graham in the late 1980s, it is a very sad day for both the club and cricket as a whole,” Leatherdale said.
“Graham was well liked by all his fellow team-mates of that time and the hundreds of members and supporters at Worcestershire and was an integral part of the team during probably the most successful period for Worcestershire cricket.
“His record speaks for itself and nobody can forget his contribution to the famous 1981 Ashes series victory against Australia at Headingley. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this sad and difficult time.”
Dilley’s career ended through injury in 1992 and he later worked as a successful coach with spells at Surrey, as bowling coach to the England women’s team and the England senior side in India in 2001-02. Most recently he was director of cricket at Loughborough MCCU where he was taken ill.
Twice married, Dilley had four children - one of whom is Chris Pennell, is the captain of Premiership rugby club Worcester Warriors.
MCC Head of Cricket, John Stephenson, was another contemporary of Dilley, and said: “I’m extremely sad to hear of Graham’s death. He was a world-class bowler who I played against many times and he became a very good friend. As a coach, he made a huge impact as part of the MCC Universities programme. He was central to the progress made at Loughborough over the last decade and he will be much missed by all of us at MCC.”
Loughborough Director of Sport, Chris Earle, said: “We are devastated to hear the news that Graham has passed away. He has made his mark on the world of cricket, not just through his success as a player, but also for his contribution as our cricket coach over the last 11 years.
“Graham will be sadly missed, but his legacy at Loughborough will remain thanks to the excellent cricket environment that he played a significant role in creating.”