Ex-Norfolk cricket skipper Paul Newman hangs up his boots

Former Norfolk cricket captain Paul Newman has played his last competitive game.

The 53-year-old ex-Derbyshire opening bowler hung up his boots after playing for Acle in Saturday's Norfolk Alliance Premier Division draw against Diss.

Newman, who first appeared for Leicestershire in the Second Eleven Championship in 1976, played first-class cricket for Derbyshire from 1980 to 1989. His first wicket, against Middlesex, was that of former England captain Mike Brearley.

He took more than 500 wickets in first-class and limited-overs cricket and played at Minor Counties level from 1990 to 2003 with Durham, Staffordshire and Norfolk.

Newman played in seven Lord's finals in his career, skippering Norfolk to victory in the Minor Counties one-day competition in 1997 and 2001, and captaining them to the Eastern Division title in 1996 and 2002.

In club cricket in the county, he played for Norwich Barleycorns, Norwich, Horsford and Acle.

Writing in his Evening News column, Judge's Verdict, he said: 'It has been a wonderful life, playing first-class cricket with and against some of the all-time greats, playing another 14 seasons in the Minor Counties game, and playing at club level, the last 15 years of which have been in Norfolk.

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'It's now 36 years since my first game for Leicestershire seconds and that's a very long time ago. A lot of today's opposition players weren't even born when I started. But you know instinctively when it's time to go.

'I think I've bowled OK this year without pulling up any trees and could carry on in Division One next year but there are a lot of young and eager players coming through now and I don't want to stand in their way.'

Wisden records that Newman was close to selection for England's tour of India in 1981-82, but international honours eluded him.

But he said: 'There have been so many matches, so many memories – and I've loved every minute of it.'