Essex Cricket is sad to announce the death of former Essex player, Mike Denness OBE, after a long battle with cancer. He passed away aged 72 years old.
Mike Denness was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland and played for England, Scotland, Essex and Kent during his illustrious 21 year career.
In a career that included 501 appearances in First-Class cricket and 232 more in one day matches, Denness was highly regarded as the ‘model cricketer’ representing Essex County Cricket Club from 1977 to 1980. A right handed opening batsman, he bought a wealth of experience to the Essex side and with over 4,000 runs across 83 matches, he was a prominent member of the side which won the Championship and the Benson & Hedges Cup in 1979.
Prior to his success with Essex, Mike Denness played 28 Tests for England and led as Captain on nineteen occasions. Denness represented Kent County Cricket Club for 14 years, Captaining the side from 1972 to 1976. He was instrumental in winning 6 domestic titles during this time, including the John Player League, Benson & Hedges Cup and Gillette Cup, and also became President of Kent County Cricket Club earlier this year.
Mike Denness’ contribution to the rise of Essex cricket was immense and he remained with the Club for some time as Second XI Captain and Coach following his retirement. Mike was awarded an OBE in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List for his services to sport.
Derek Bowden, Chief Executive of Essex County Cricket Club said, “Mike Denness was clearly a cricket legend at Essex, our thoughts will be with his family and friends at this sad time”
Doug Insole, President of Essex County Cricket Club said, “Mike Denness came to Essex at a time when what was needed to turn a team of many talents into a team of match-winners, was just that – a match winner. His influence was immediately felt and as we had dared to hope, success followed quickly.
“He was of course, a very good and determined player and he was also an extremely likeable man, much respected throughout the game. His contributions both on and off the field for Essex were invaluable, and a deep sense of loss will be felt by all friends he made in the County.”