Tributes to cricket club legend who dies aged 76

Max Eason passed away suddenly while out on a quiet walk on Saturday, March 2, in the village of Brill where he lived.

Mr Eason had been a stalwart of Horspath Cricket Club, working in various roles from player to chairman, secretary, fixture secretary, welfare officer, groundsman, youth cricket manager and bar manager, and captained both the first and second teams.

Growing up in Long Crendon, and having trained as a teacher at Culham College, he was first introduced to the sport he grew to love playing for Lord Williams’s School, Thame.

Mr Eason later transitioned from his primary school teaching job at Wheatley to join the construction industry, ending up employed at Crendon Timber Engineering.

Mr Eason was a significant figure in Horspath’s golden cricketing era in the 1970s and early 1980s, winning eight Oxfordshire Cricket Association Division 1 titles and eight Airey Cups, as well as four Oxfordshire Area finals in the National Village Cup.

His talents as an opening batsman are well remembered, as are his unyielding efforts towards youth cricket and developing the club’s amenities.

The clubroom which saw major renovations in 2013/14 was named the ‘Max Eason Clubroom’ as a tribute to his dedication.

The England and Wales Cricket Board acknowledged Mr Eason’s exceptional contribution to the sport in 2018, leading to a memorable moment when Graham Thorpe, a former England batsman, presented Mr Eason with the ‘Coach of the Year’ award during an international match between England and Australia at Kia Oval.

In September, the Oxfordshire Cricket Board further recognised his work at Horspath with a lifetime achiever award.

Asides from his illustrious cricket career, he was a formidable second row forward for Chinnor RFC’s 1st XV in the 1970s, helping to transform the club into a county heavyweight.

His prowess on the field led to his selection in Chinnor’s all-time best 1st XV to commemorate their 50th anniversary.

Mr Eason had the honour of being Chinnor’s first international player, representing Bermuda during his brief teaching stint there.

He leaves behind his wife, Sandra, his three sons, Alex, Robbie and Will, and six grandchildren.

Mr Eason’s funeral service will be held at the North Oxfordshire Crematorium and Memorial, Tackley, on Tuesday, April 9, starting at 2pm.

The mourning sports community recognises the man who lived his life with a dedication to cricket.

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