Published: 12:58, 27 March 2021
| Updated: 13:47, 27 March 2021
Tributes have been paid to former Kent cricketer and Charlton and England footballer Derek Ufton.
The 92-year-old, who enjoyed tandem playing careers in both sports, died peacefully in his sleep.
Derek was a remarkable sportsman who played all his cricket for Kent - 149 first-class appearances in total - and all his football for Charlton during an 11-year period from the 1949/50 season, where he made 277 appearances.
In addition, the centre-half also won one England cap at football, representing his country against a Rest of Europe side at Wembley in 1953.
After his playing days, Derek continued to give to both sports.
As well as serving as a Charlton club director for 25 years, he was a regular at The Valley until lockdown prevented him from attending games in 2020.
He was a member of Kent Cricket’s main committee from 1978 to 1983, and from 1985 to 2000, and became president of the club, in succession to Colin Cowdrey, in 2001.
“I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about him," said Charlton club ambassador Keith Peacock.
"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."
A Kent cricket statement said: "Derek and wife Judy were very regular visitors to The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence from their home in Elham, 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."
Former Kent captain David Fulton said: "This is heartbreaking news. One of Kent’s great sportsmen and one of the kindest souls. He was also the voice of reason on Kent’s cricket committee that everyone listened to.
"My heart goes out to Judy, Jonny and Tim and all his loved ones. He will be truly missed."
Charlton said Derek dislocated his shoulder no less than 20 times during his playing days, most notably during an epic encounter with Huddersfield Town at The Valley in December 1957, forcing him off the field with just 17 minutes played. His side went on to come from 5-1 behind to earn a legendary 7-6 victory.
Wicketkeeper Derek was understudy to Godfrey Evans at Kent where he scored 3,915 runs at an average of 20.01 and claimed 313 victims (269 caught and 44 stumped). He was awarded his County Cap in 1956.
His most successful season was 1961, when he scored 668 runs and accounted for 90 opponents behind the stumps.
Crayford-born Derek went to Dartford Grammar School where he was taught PE by Joe Jagger, Mick’s father.
Derek also served as manager of Plymouth Argyle for a three-year period from 1965, taking charge of 115 games in total.