David Pilch was born into a sporting family.

His father, George, played cricket and golf for Norfolk, while his grandfather, Robert George, also played county cricket as well as football for Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich City FC.  

And his mother, Mary Pilch, was named as the first president of Norfolk County Cricket Club in 1981.

It is fair to say sport ran through his veins – but the family connections didn’t stop there. 

Eastern Daily Press: David Pilch

He was also the great great grandnephew of Fuller Pilch (1804-1870), who was born in 
Horningtoft, near Fakenham, and would become one of the first professional cricketers to play for Norfolk, Kent and England.

But it will be his own sporting achievements that he will be remembered for. Put simply, David was a multitalented sportsman. 

He represented Norfolk 225 times at cricket – only Michael Falcon, on 257, has played more games.  

Eastern Daily Press: David Pilch during his cricket career

He also played hockey for the county more than 30 times and golfed his entire life, was a highly active squash player at CEYMS, Lime Tree Road, and Lenwade, and an accomplished skier.  

Educated at Town Close in Norwich and Repton School in Derbyshire, he played in the same Repton XI as England cricketer Richard Hutton.

Following school, he played for the Repton Pilgrims from 1967 to 1985 in the public schools' Cricketer Cup competition and reached the finals in 1967, 1983 and 1985 winning twice and captaining the side from 1975 to 1981.

Eastern Daily Press: David Pilch during his cricket days, pictured centre back looking right

He played for Norfolk as a genuine all-rounder, scoring 6,333 runs for the county with a top score of 102 against Cambridgeshire in 1976.

In seam bowling, he took 222 wickets, his best figures 7-35 against Suffolk at Bury St Edmonds in 1975. He took 145 catches, mostly at slip, and captained the county from 1972 to 1975.  

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He also represented the MCC numerous times, captaining the regional side, and toured South Africa twice with the Swallows.  

In club cricket, he played for Norwich Wanderers for more than 20 years, winning the Carter Cup in 1977.

On the hockey field, he played for Norwich Grasshoppers from 1961. 

He made his Norfolk debut in 1962, played for the East in 1964, and was a trialist in 1967.  

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He was again at inside right when Norfolk narrowly lost to a star-studded Wiltshire side in the 1967 county championship quarter final.  

David played more than 30 games for the county before a back injury brought his hockey career to an end in that season.  

Eastern Daily Press: David Pilch standing outside of Pilch Sports Store in 2005

His longest lasting sport was golf. 

He played from an early age with his parents and later with his late wife, Joss. 

He played to a handicap of five and was a member at Royal Norwich for many years, captaining in 1992 and as its president from 2002 to 2006.  

He was also a member of the Royal West Norfolk Golf Club in Brancaster for 50 years and it was there that he played his final round just over a year ago.  

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The highlight of David’s golfing career came in the Halford Hewitt; an annual scratch foursomes between the old boys of 64 public schools. 

He played in the Repton team from 1979 to 1991 and was captain in 1986, when Repton beat their oldest and closest rival Malvern in the final. The celebrations that followed were described as “legendary”.  

Paying tribute to him, friend Ted Wright said: “His like will not be seen again where in this cut-throat world playing even one sport as an amateur at high level is difficult. He was a true Corinthian.” 

Eastern Daily Press: David Pilch (left)

Away from sports, David worked in the family’s sporting outfitters shop, Pilch Sports Store on Brigg Street, Norwich. 

He ran it with his sister after his father's death in 1979.  

After over a hundred years of trading in Norwich, the business was bought by Jarrolds in 2005. 

David George Pilch died on September 28, aged 80.  

He leaves behind his partner Vicki, sister Marny, children, and grandchildren. His funeral took place on October 20 at Earlham Crematorium.