Former Norwich City keeper and Norfolk cricketer dies

Former Norwich City keeper John Greatrex Picture: Archant

Former Norwich City keeper John Greatrex Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Former Norwich City goalkeeper John Greatrex has died. He was 83.

A multi-talented sportsman – he played as a keeper and a wicket-keeper – John played for Norwich City both as an amateur and a professional and represented Norfolk at cricket.

Born in Nuneaton in 1936, John moved to Norfolk in the early 1950s, joining Norwich City as an amateur in 1953 and turning professional in 1954. He made two first team and 61 reserve team appearances, his biggest achievement being saving a penalty from Bobby Charlton in December 1957 while playing for City against the Army, where Charlton was doing his National Service.

In 1959 he signed for Cambridge City and also represented Chelmsford City, Clacton, Bury St Edmunds and Yarmouth before retiring in 1968.

On the cricket field he played for Yarmouth and Ingham. Representing Norfolk over 30 times he scored 400 runs and dismissed 69 victims behind the wickets. He earned his County cap whist saving the ‘follow on’ batting with Bill Edrich against Johnny Wardle at Cambridge in 1969 and the following year played at Lord’s against Middlesex in the Gillette Cup.

For many years John worked for the Inland Revenue as a tax officer. He never lost his Midlands accent or his sense of humour and will be sadly missed by his former Norfolk team-mates who meet biennially as they have since 1986.

Mr Greatrex died from the effects of Parkinson’s Disease from which he had suffered in later life.