Northamptonshire County Cricket Club is delighted to announce that Geoff Cook is the latest inductee into the club’s Hall of Fame.

Following a vote by members of the Supporters’ Club he joins other Wantage Road greats including former team-mates Colin Milburn, Jim Watts, David Steele, Mushtaq Mohammad, Allan Lamb, Bishan Bedi and David Capel.

Geoff, now 72, has made more appearances for Northamptonshire across all formats – 774, including 376 as captain – than anyone else, scoring over 29,000 runs and 37 centuries for the County between 1971 and 1990.

As captain for eight seasons from 1981 to 1988 he is the club’s longest-serving leader of modern times, eclipsed only by Tom Horton (1896-1906) in the all-time list.

He also achieves the notable distinction of featuring in the Hall of Fame at two different counties – after being honoured as one of the six initial inductees at Durham last year.

Born in Middlesborough, Geoff headed to Wantage Road as a 16-year-old trialist in 1968 and made his first-class debut for Northamptonshire three years later.  He moved up from the middle-order to open the innings, forming a memorable partnership – ‘The Old Firm’ – with Wayne Larkins from 1978.

By then he was vice-captain to Jim Watts, having led the side in difficult circumstances at the end of the 1977 season, and in his first summer officially at the helm – 1981 – scored a century in the NatWest Trophy final at Lord’s, only to finish on the losing side as Derbyshire claimed the silverware by virtue of losing fewer wickets in a tie.

He did have the consolation of gaining a place in the England tour party to India and Sri Lanka the following winter and made the first of his seven Test appearances.

Under Geoff’s captaincy the County reached both Lord’s finals in 1987 as well as mounting a strong challenge in the County Championship until overhauled by Nottinghamshire – who also, heartbreakingly, pipped Northamptonshire to the NatWest silverware.

Greatly respected by his fellow professionals – he chaired the P.C.A. from 1984 to 1989 – Durham’s impending elevation to first-class status presented him with a fresh challenge.  He became Director of Cricket in 1991 and later, as head coach, oversaw a period of sustained on-field success for Durham with three Championship titles.

During that time he mentored a generation of outstanding cricketers in the north-east including Ben Stokes, Steve Harmison and Paul Collingwood.

But he remains grateful to Northamptonshire for giving him a start in professional cricket, and has been a welcome return visitor to the County Ground at the last two former players’ reunions.

Geoff Cook commented: “It’s a marvellous honour to be invited to join the many legendary cricketers who make up the Hall of Fame at Wantage Road.

“It was such a pleasure to uproot from the north-east all those years ago, jump on a train and join numerous other players from my part of the country at Northampton.

“The records may show that trophies have been rare, but for me the most remarkable thing about Northamptonshire is the number of world-class cricketers who have been attracted to the club.

“It’s an incredible figure considering we were always known as a “small club” – too many to name but plenty to ponder.  Great memories indeed.”

Geoff’s special Hall of Fame plaque, outlining his contribution to Northamptonshire and the wider game, will take its place of honour alongside the others in the entrance to the Spencer Pavilion.