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Handsome Test bowler Norman Gordon who went on to make a century off the pitch

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: September 03, 2014

Norman Gordon, who was the world's oldest Test cricketer, has died aged 103

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Norman Gordon, the former South Africa fast bowler who was the world's oldest Test cricketer, has died aged 103.

Gordon played all five Tests against England in 1938-39, including the famous Timeless Test in Durban that ended in a draw despite lasting ten days.

Gordon, the first Test cricketer to have lived to the age of 100, died at his home in Johannesburg. He only played five Tests as his career was interrupted by the Second World War. He was the last surviving Test cricketer to have played before the war.

Ali Bacher, former CSA chief executive and Test player, told ESPNcricinfo: "He always had a smile on his face. He had one common theme about his life: he always enjoyed the people he met, through cricket and through golf. He lived life to the full."

Gordon was an honorary life member of the Houghton Golf Club and a regular at the club near Johannesburg.

According to ESPNcricinfo, Gordon lived in Johannesburg City's Hillbrow area, close to the centre. It said it was quite upmarket during the 1970s and 1980s but had suffered neglect in the following decades. However, despite the changes in the area, it reported that Gordon remained a popular figure among the residents.

"When I went to visit him I asked him whether he had ever been bothered by living there or felt unsafe," Bacher said. "He said no. He said there was only one occasion when he was bothered by someone at night but in general everybody knew him there and everybody loved him."

Bacher also recalled his memories of visiting Gordon's sports shop as a child and said the former fast bowler was popular with female fans.

"In the 1950s, Norman owned a sports shop in Eloff Street," Bacher said. "Every year my mother would take me there to buy a new bat. I used to look forward to those visits so much. Norman was very good-looking; he always had ladies after him. When I was interviewing him for SuperSport a few years ago, my mother-in-law, who is 98, fairly conservative and of very sound mind, went to my wife with a confession. She said that when she was 17 she had a crush on Gordon. So when I interviewed him I had to ask him whether he knew how popular he was with women. When I put it to him that the ladies seemed to really like him, he said, 'Oh yes, I know.'"

Former South Africa fast bowler, Lindsay Tuckett, is now the oldest living Test cricketer.

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