YORKSHIRE have revealed that the late John Hampshire wanted Richard Hutton to succeed him as president of the club.
The club are recommending that Hutton, the former Yorkshire and England batsman and son of Sir Leonard, be appointed in the wake of Hampshire’s death.
An extraordinary general meeting will be held in the Headingley Long Room at 9am on April 7 to vote on the proposal – two hours before Yorkshire start their County Championship season with a match against Hampshire.
Yorkshire have disclosed that not only is Hutton their choice for the presidency, but also that of Hampshire himself, who passed away on March 1, aged 76, and whose funeral takes place in Rotherham today.
“Richard had actually been John’s nomination as his successor back in November,” commented Yorkshire’s chief executive Mark Arthur.
“John was very fulsome in his support for Richard Hutton to succeed him, whenever that might be, and there would have been another meeting next November to confirm that nomination.
“After John’s passing, the club’s nominations committee made a recommendation to the board that Richard Hutton be the next president.
“If we’d already have started the season, we’d have continued the season without a president, but now we’re going to hold an EGM to discuss this one item, with gates open early for members on April 7 so that they can attend the EGM before the game starts.”
Arthur also revealed that Hampshire felt that Richard Hutton was unfortunate not to have played more for England.
The 74-year-old was a prominent all-rounder and a member – along with Hampshire – of Yorkshire’s great side of the 1960s, but he made only five Test appearances.
“Richard was a fine player for Yorkshire and England, and John Hampshire felt that if he hadn’t been in the same era as Tony Greig, he would have played more matches for England,” said Arthur.
“He was an excellent cricketer, and when you consider that he is the son of Len Hutton, that is quite a tag to carry round with you and he bore it very well.”
Arthur said that Yorkshire have been inundated with messages of sympathy after Hampshire’s death.
His funeral takes place at 1.45pm at The Minster Church Of All Saints on Church Street in Rotherham, and will be followed by a service for family and close friends at Rotherham Crematorium.
“We’ve had a huge amount of messages,” said Arthur.
“Some of the letters that we’ve had have been quite amazing.
“John was extremely popular and gave wonderful service to the game over many years.
“You ask any young cricketer, and he was always very helpful and supportive.”
Yorkshire elect presidents on a one-year term, with the honour typically going to former players.
Steve Denison, the Yorkshire chairman, has written to members outlining Hutton’s wide-ranging skills.
“Richard Hutton was a talented all-rounder who played cricket for Bradford in the Bradford League, Cambridge University, the MCC, Yorkshire and England,” writes Denison.
“As a batsman, he was equally at home as an opener or in the middle order. As a bowler, he had a high, smooth action which underpinned his ability as a medium/fast seamer and made him particularly effective with the new ball.
“Richard was also an excellent slip fielder, a position from which his dry wit could be effectively deployed for the entertainment of incoming batsmen.”
Denison goes on: “Having retired from cricket, Richard pursued a successful career in banking, accountancy and investment consultancy.
“He was also the editor of The Cricketer magazine for seven years, a founder member of the YCCC Players’ Association, the senior trustee of the YCCC Charitable Youth Trust, and he succeeded his father as patron of the Southern Group.
“He lives near Wetherby, is married to Charmaine and they have two grown-up sons.
“The unanimous recommendation of both the nominations committee and the board is that Richard should be appointed president for the coming year until the conclusion of the annual general meeting in 2018.”
Yorkshire hold their annual meeting at Headingley on Saturday, when they are set to elect their first female board member.
Katherine Mathew would join Denison and Arthur on the board, which also includes Yorkshire’s director of cricket Martyn Moxon along with Robin Smith, Stephen Willis and Sir Gary Verity.
“Katherine has been a member of the club since the age of four,” said Arthur.
“She comes from Beverley and has served on the members’ committee. It’s a positive step for the club (to have a woman on the board). It’s not only the right thing to do, but she’s also the right person to come on.
“She’s young, she’s very well educated and she works in the public sector in the East Riding.
“She has all the right qualities and would represent an excellent appointment.”
The annual meeting starts in the Long Room at 10am tomorrow.