Sir Alec Bedser, the Surrey and England stalwart, has died at the age of 91. His close friend and Surrey team-mate Mickey Stewart led the tributes last night to the medium-fast inswing bowler, who took 236 wickets during his Test career.
Stewart said: "This is a very sad day. Alec was an incredibly accurate medium pace bowler and I know he was extremely proud of the great Sir Don Bradman saying he was the finest bowler of his type he played against.
"He was also a great friend. Whenever there were moments of concern, Alec was always the first on the phone to see that everything was OK."
At the time of his death, Sir Alec was the oldest living England cricketer – an honour he assumed at the start of the year following the death of one his former Surrey comrades, wicket-keeper Arthur McIntyre.
During a career that lasted from 1939 until 1960, Sir Alec took 1,924 first-class wickets at an average of 20.41. He was part of the great Surrey side of the 1950s that won eight County Championships.
Sir Alec's life companion was his twin brother Eric, who also represented Surrey for over twenty years. Eric died in 2006 at the age of 87. Speaking of his relationship with Eric, Sir Alec once said: "Our absolute and complete affinity is hard to explain. But it is true and very real to us – so much so that as long as I can remember we have never been happy apart."