Charlton and Kent cricketing legend Derek Ufton dies

Tributes are being paid to Charlton Athletic legend Derek Ufton after his death on Saturday, aged 92.

The remarkable sportsman made 277 appearances across 10 years for the Addicks, as well becoming a legendary cricketer for Kent, making 149 appearances.

England’s oldest ever international was a one-club man in both sports, playing centre-back and wicket keeper.

Derek died peacefully in his sleep on March 27 at 92 years old.

Derek Ufton, Charlton Athletic

Derek Ufton, Charlton Athletic

Appearing for Cahrlton between the 1949/50 and 1959/60 seasons, his performances led him to international recognition in 1953 when he won an England cap, representing his country at Wembley against a team from the Rest of Europe.

He then actually served as a club director for 25 years, and he was a regular at The Valley until lockdown prevented him from attending games in 2020.

21st November 1953: Charlton Athletic goalkeeper Sam Bartram is assisted by his centre half Derek Ufton when he punches clear from a shot by Wolves centre forward Swinbourne during a match at the Valley. (Photo by Ron Case/Keystone/Getty Images)

21st November 1953: Charlton Athletic goalkeeper Sam Bartram is assisted by his centre half Derek Ufton when he punches clear from a shot by Wolves centre forward Swinbourne during a match at the Valley. (Photo by Ron Case/Keystone/Getty Images)

Born in Crayford on 31 May 1928, Ufton won a scholarship to Dartford Grammar School.

He also unusually dislocated his shoulder no less than 20 times during his playing days, most famously during an epic 7:6 win versus Huddersfield in 1957 which saw him taken to a Greenwich hospital.

After retiring from playing both sports, Ufton served as Plymouth Argyle manager for three years between 1965 and 1968, taking charge of 115 games in total.

The England team to play the Rest of the World. The score finished 4-4. (back l-r) Jimmy Mullen, Alf Ramsey, Derek Ufton, Gil Merrick, Jimmy Dickinson and Bill Eckersley. (front l-r) Stanley Matthews, Stan Mortensen, Billy Wright, Nat Lofthouse and

The England team to play the Rest of the World. The score finished 4-4. (back l-r) Jimmy Mullen, Alf Ramsey, Derek Ufton, Gil Merrick, Jimmy Dickinson and Bill Eckersley. (front l-r) Stanley Matthews, Stan Mortensen, Billy Wright, Nat Lofthouse and

Fellow Charlton legend and club ambassador, Keith Peacock, paid his tributes.

“I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about him,” he said.

“He was a wonderful man and a gentleman – thoughtful, kind and very intelligent.

“Derek was so unique in that there were very few people who could play at a very high level in football or cricket and he managed both, which shows you what an all-round sportsman he was.

“He had so many stories that he could remember, even until recently, and he was just interesting to speak to. He also always had his opinion on the players of today, particularly the centre-halves!

“It was an honour just to be around him and to have him be such a big part of Charlton and he will always be remembered.”

The club added that the thoughts of everyone at Charlton Athletic are with Derek’s family at this difficult time.

Kent Wicket Keeper Derek Ufton dives through the wicket and sends the bails flying, but his only reward is a grin from Somersets Australian born batsman William Alley, who gets to the crease in time - but only just. Alley was batting in Somersets

Kent Wicket Keeper Derek Ufton dives through the wicket and sends the bails flying, but his only reward is a grin from Somerset’s Australian born batsman William Alley, who gets to the crease in time – but only just. Alley was batting in Somerset’s

A statement from Kent meanwhile said: ‘He and wife Judy were very regular visitors to The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence from their home in Eltham, and all the many people who wanted to stop and talk to him were greeted with a cheery smile and a tremendous fund of stories. Kent will be a much poorer place without him.

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