1962 Ken Palmer

Ken Palmer made his name as a first class cricketer and international umpire. But in 1962-3 he joined Exeter City and played for the reserves.
Born in Winchester on 22 April 1937, Ken mixed playing cricket for Somerset with being on the books at Bristol City. He made his debut for Somerset in 1955 and in his early 20s turned out for Bristol City reserves in the winter. 
The Express and Echo announced his signing by Exeter City at the start of the 1962/3 season saying that "Ken Palmer has not been seen yet at the club - the all rounder is still playing first-class cricket  for Somerset. He joined Exeter from Bristol City as a wing-man". 
Records show Ken playing for the Grecian Reserves at least twice in Western League fixtures, at home to Bridport and away to Taunton in December 1962. The great freeze soon followed.
But it was at cricket that Palmer really excelled. At the age of 24 in 1961 he had become Somerset's first player since the Second World War to achieve the first class double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets. In 1965 he became a Test cricketer playing for England v South Africa in the fifth test at Port Elizabeth, taking one wicket and scoring 10 runs.
Ken played for Somerset until 1969 taking 866 first class wickets including ten wickets in a match five times and scoring 7771 runs including two centuries. He also made 158 catches.
On retirement from playing Palmer took up umpiring and made his international debut in the England v Pakistan Test in 1978. Ken umpired in 22 Test matches between then and 1994 and also stood in 23 One Day Internationals.
Palmer received an MBE for services to cricket in 2002.  His brother Roy was also a Somerset player and international umpire. Ken's son Gary played for Somerset too. 







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