Former England bowler Neil Foster has paid a glowing tribute to former Essex captain Brian Taylor, following his death at the age of 83.

Taylor chalked up more than 500 first-class appearances for Essex between 1949 and 1973, scoring 18,329 runs.

The wicketkeeper also took 1295 dismissals for the county, which included more than 1,000 catches and 191 stumpings.

Taylor – nicknamed Tonker due to his exuberant approach to the game - had a big influence on the careers of many Essex players.

And ex-seam bowler Foster – who as a youngster played in an Essex second XI skippered by Taylor before going on to play 230 first-class matches and take more than 900 wickets for the county - says he was a pivotal figure at the County Ground.

Foster told the Daily Gazette: “As a young cricketer as Essex, we were made very aware of what Tonker did.

“Around the time that I came through, he was known as Mr Essex.

“He brought through the generation of cricketers before me and I started playing with those players and he was always part of their storytelling.

“He was a former captain who carried a certain weight around the club and senior players would always tell stories that would invariably take the mickey out of him and try and yank his chain but at the same time, there was massive respect for him.

“He could be stern but he was also a soft man and very supportive.

“He was part Sergeant Major, part Grandad – I think that’s the best way to describe Tonker!”