A CRICKETING community is mourning the loss of a legend following the death of Geoff Turner.

Geoff, 70, of Manor Road, Taunton, died in Musgrove Park Hospital on Saturday night after a long battle with cancer.

He leaves a widow, Lyn, and his two children from his first marriage son Lance and daughter Heidi.

Geoff, known as GT or Mr Christmas from his time running WestCountry and Wales Wholesale, which sold festive decorations from the Malt House, opposite Taunton’s County Ground.

He used to go around the country decorating large stores with their Christmas decorations ahead of the festive season.

In his sporting capacity, Geoff originally played for Taunton Radiac throughout the 1970s and 1980s before joining Taunton Deane Cricket Club in the early 1990s.

He played mainly for the third and fourth teams, the Cavaliers and the Crusaders, as an enthusiastic wicketkeeper and captained the Crusaders in 2008.

He also captained the Sunday team in the early 1990s as well as playing for Lynton and Lynmouth in their Sunday league games.

Off the pitch, he was heavily involved in acquiring key sponsors for Taunton Deane Cricket Club, along with organising fundraising events and sorting out kit for players.

Club president Pete Warren said: “When Geoff joined, he helped to restore the financial stability of the club through his obtainment of sponsorship from local businesses. For ten years he attracted 70 to 100 sponsors to help fund the club each year.

“The connections he established through his personal contact with sponsors have stayed with the club for many years, helping to drive the club to prosper to the stage we are at today.”

Geoff was on the committee board for the Somerset Stragglers cricket club and was instrumental in selecting their teams over the last 15 years, maintaining their fixture list and helping to keep the team going.

He played skittles in Burnham for the Snurgers and was a fan of all the carnivals, working his way up to become a judge on the carnival circuits.

Geoff was an avid Taunton Town Football Club fan and helped with their sponsorship activity, along with sponsoring player Owen Irish, who was best man at his wedding last month.