HAMPSHIRE Cricket are mourning the great Mike Barnard, who has passed away aged 85.

He was born in Portsmouth in 1933 and played a total of 285 matches for Hampshire between 1952 and 1966, totalling 9,629 runs across both First-Class and List A formats for the county with a first-class best of 128 not out.

The right-hander was also an effective occasional medium-pace bowler - picking up 16 wickets at an average of 35.18 - as well as an excellent slip fielder, finishing his career with 312 catches.

Barnard was an important part of the 1961 County Championship winning side - he struck his second career Championship century against Warwickshire, before adding half-centuries against Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire shortly after in the closing weeks of the season to help Hampshire claim their first title.

Mike was an immense character and remains an indelible part of Hampshire Cricket history.

His playing record will be documented elsewhere but as an individual he embodied all the qualities we aspire to; courage, positivity, commitment, compassion and fun.

Despite awful injuries sustained in a road traffic accident in the 1960s, Barney never complained and retained his positive and cheerful demeanour at all times.

He was a regular at ex-players reunions and always enjoyed the camaraderie of his peers and teammates. He will be greatly missed by us all.

Hampshire Cricket Chairman Rod Bransgrove said: “My thoughts, and those of everyone associated with Hampshire Cricket, are with all Barney’s family and friends at this difficult time but none more so than Emma, John and Robert, whose love and dedication to their father was an example to us all.”

Barnard also played professional football, representing Portsmouth FC in more than 100 matches, including a 30-match season for his home city in 1954/5.

Following his retirement, he subsequently coached at the School of Navigation in Warsash and was a regular commentator with BBC Radio Solent and Southampton Hospitals. He also took up bowls and organised several player reunions.