Graham Cowdrey's nephew pays heartfelt tribute to former cricketer, 56

‘The unfathomable pain of grief’: Graham Cowdrey’s nephew pays heartfelt tribute to former cricketer, 56, after his death as they ‘mourn the end of his innings’

  • Fabian Cowdrey, a cricketer himself, paid tribute to his uncle on Friday
  • Graham Cowdrey passed away on November 10 after a short illness at 56
  • Like his uncle, father and grandfather, Fabian played for Kent County Cricket
  • His tribute came after the funeral, writing ‘we celebrated his personal innings’ 

Graham Cowdrey’s nephew has paid a heartfelt tribute to the former cricketer after his death at the age of 56 as his family ‘mourn the end of his innings.’ 

Fabian Cowdrey, a cricketer himself who played for Kent County Cricket Club, took to social media channels to share that the funeral for his uncle had been held on Friday after his death on November 10.

‘Today, we celebrated his personal innings, his momentous moments at Kent Cricket, the unique quirks, his love for Van Morrison & the cherished memories we shall savour forever,’ he wrote.

Graham Cowdrey’s nephew – Fabian Cowdrey – posted a heartfelt tribute to his uncle on Friday after his funeral, writing than the family were mourning ‘the end of Graham’s innings’

Fabian Cowdrey shared a link to the tribute on Twitter, writing: ‘A tribute to my Uncle Graham following his funeral today. Miss you always’

Pictured: The tribute posted by Fabian Cowdrey on Friday to his uncle Graham Cowdrey who passed away on November 10 at the ages of 56

‘This year many of us have experienced loss, undergone heartache & learned the unfathomable pain of grief. During my lifetime, never has a time magnified the importance of mental health, the need for love and kindness.

‘As we listened to each moving tribute pour in for Graham, it alarmed me that often we wait until it’s too late to truly celebrate the contribution they’ve had in our lives,’ he added.

‘In the painful days that follow as we mourn the end of Graham’s innings, I urge you today to cherish those you love, as when the skies turn grey you’ll be forever grateful for that loving call or text that you sent.’

Fabian made history by becoming the first third generation player to play for the county after his father Chris Cowdrey – Graham’s brother – and their father (Fabian’s grandfather) Lord Colin Cowdrey – an England great.

‘Love is more powerful than any business transaction. I will never forget how my Uncle loved us all. People may forget what you do, but they never forget how you made them feel,’ he wrote, before signing off ‘miss you always’.

Graham Cowdrey’s was a much-loved player, an attacking batsman who scored more than 14,000 runs in 450 first-class appearances across 14 years at Kent after his debut in 1984, and hailed from a famous cricketing dynasty.

His father Sir Colin, later Lord Cowdrey, who died at the age of 67 in December 2000, was one of the England greats.

He was the first to play in 100 Tests, a former captain and a batsman of rare elegance and style. Brother Chris, the eldest of four children, captained England, too, and Chris’s son became the third generation of the family to represent Kent CCC. 

Graham Cowdrey and his siblings look at the Wisden Trophy won by his famous father Colin

In 1993, Graham married successful amateur jockey Maxine Juster. Maxine became assistant to celebrated racehorse trainer Lady Herries, who was the second wife of Lord Cowdrey, and Graham’s connections to the racing world meant he was renowned for his racing knowledge, as he was for his love of the music of Van Morrison.

He would accompany Warwickshire and England fast bowler Bob Willis to see his idol Bob Dylan in concert on the understanding that Willis would return the favour when Van Morrison was performing nearby.

A statement released by Kent CCC as they reported his death, yesterday, said: ‘Graham will be remembered for the way he played the game: his vibrant personality at the wicket or in the field, with his sense of fun as clear as his competitive passion.’

Cowdrey was known for his sense of humour in addition to his competitive nature

Yet life has been tough for Cowdrey since the end of his playing career.

Despite his privileged start in life, family connections and his popularity among his peers, he was not immune from the pitfalls that follow professional sport.

His business interests began to unravel in 2013 and his marriage came under strain and, when he split from Maxine, he agreed to let her keep the house to look after their three children: Michael, and twins Alexander and Grace, and suddenly found himself without a home or an income.

Family and friends rallied to support him, and the PCA (Professional Cricketers’ Association) were helpful although Cowdrey was often too proud to go on accepting hand-outs for any length of time.

Following the breakdown of his marriage, Cowdrey’s life slid into trouble, almost by accident 

He was helped back in the game, as one of the ECB’s cricket liaison officers in 2015.

It was a job he enjoyed and he was back on the circuit. Despite covering only six months of the year during the county cricket season, it offered stability and money to pay rent and gave a leg up out of the worst of his problems.

Cowdrey had been living in West Yorkshire, and when the lockdown delayed the county cricket season, he found work as a delivery driver in the area.

It is a sobering reminder of how easily lives can slide into trouble, almost by accident.

Graham died on Tuesday after a short illness.

Cowdrey worked as an ECB cricket liaison officers as he was helped back into the game 

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