TRIBUTES from within the county and across the cricket world have been paid to the Yorkshire president, John Hampshire, whose death at the age of 76 was announced by the club yesterday.

Hampshire passed away surrounded by his family after a long illness which he had borne with the courage and bravery which were his trademarks both as a cricketer and a man.

A high-class batsman who played in five Championship-winning teams, a former Yorkshire captain, an England batsman too soon discarded and a successful Test umpire, Hampshire’s life was devoted to cricket in general and Yorkshire cricket in particular.

"John epitomised everything that's good about Yorkshire County Cricket Club,” said the Club’s chairman Steve Dennison. “Brave, talented and with a heart of gold, he captained Yorkshire, scored a century at Lord's on his Test debut and became a highly respected umpire after hanging up his playing whites.

"Loved by players and Members alike, John capped his wonderful life in Yorkshire cricket as our club President last year. On behalf of everyone involved with and connected to the Club, I would like to extend our most sincere condolences to John's wife Alison and two sons Ian and Paul. He will be sorely missed by all at Headingley."

John Hampshire, the son of a Yorkshire bowler of the same name, was born in Thurnscoe in 1941 and made 61 against Leicestershire on his White Rose debut when aged 20. He soon became a regular in the Yorkshire side and played in five County Championship-winning teams, four of them skippered by Brian Close.

He marked his England debut by making a century against the West Indies at Lord’s in 1969 but was dropped after one further appearance. Many in Yorkshire wondered how a player who had made a hundred in his first Test could be left out after his second but Hampshire eventually played eight Tests and three one-day internationals.

In a 23-year career that also included spells with Derbyshire, Tasmania and, briefly, Leicestershire, Hampshire scored a total of 28,059 first-class runs at 34.55, including 43 hundreds - the vast majority of those coming during his 456 appearances for Yorkshire.

He was Yorkshire captain in 1979 and 1980 but that was a period of discord at the club and, very probably, the unhappiest period of Hampshire’s career

Just a year after the end of his playing career in 1984, Hampshire became a first-class umpire, and stood for the first time in a Test match at Old Trafford during the 1989 Ashes.

Later that year, he and John Holder were invited by Pakistan's captain, Imran Khan, to stand as neutral umpires during Pakistan's home series against India, a move that helped pave the way for that to become the standard across all international matches. In total, Hampshire stood in 21 Test matches and finally retired from the county circuit in 2005.

More recently, the Yorkshire Presidency proved to be a fitting finale for Hampshire, who took up the role in March 2016.

Speaking about his final role in the game he served with selfless dedication, Hampshire said: “From a personal point of view, things have gone marvellously and I’ve been a bit taken aback by the reception my wife and I have had, both at Yorkshire and around the grounds that we’ve visited.

“I’ve found it very heart-warming, and we’ve had a tremendous reception from the chief executive, Mark Arthur, and the Yorkshire board. I was quite surprised when Colin Graves telephoned me a couple of years ago to tell me I was the prospective president.

“It is very much the icing on the cake of a Yorkshire career - from a very humble beginning, getting trains, trams and busses to Headingley to practice in the winter in hope of getting a game for Yorkshire Seconds, to being president. I think it’s quite an achievement.”