It is with great sadness we announce that Neil Burgess has
died at the age of 52 from Motor Neurone Disease. Neil was an ever
present in the Bayford team from the 1980s until recently, scoring over 12000
runs - more than any other first team player.
Neil was a talented middle-order batsman, and more than just an ‘occasional’ off-spinner (taking over 450 wickets, with a league best return of 7-33 only 3 years ago). He played the game in an unassuming and honest way embodying the ‘spirit of cricket’.
Neil’s ability in the field was what made him stand out as a player, taking catches in the deep, pocketing caught and bowleds, and making the most difficult close catches seem easy. He regularly terrified batsmen, and his own team mates, by standing fiendishly close at short leg almost able to touch the batsman. He took 336 catches in his career, more than any other Bayford player, many of them outrageous. His throwing arm, with pinpoint precision and ridiculous speed from a flick of the wrist, also caught many an opposition batsman half way down the pitch.
Neil had been diagnosed with MND just over a year ago, and although he had not been able to play for a couple of years he still attended games and provided moral support to his team mates.
Neil passed away peacefully in the early hours of Friday 28th of September. The funeral will be held at noon on the 18th of October at the Holy Trinity Church , Bengeo, and afterwards from 1pm at the Mayflower, Hertfingfordbury. There will be a further celebration of Neil’s life that evening at the White Lion, Bengeo.
Neil was a true ‘Nondie’ and a real Bayford legend, he will be sadly missed.