FORMER Somerset cricket captain Brian Langford has died aged 76.

Off-spinner Langford was unlucky never to play for England and once bowled eight maidens in a one-day game.

Born in Birmingham, he grew up in Bridgwater, where he attended Dr Morgan's School, before making his county debut at the 1953 Bath Festival.

He took 1-18 in his first championship appearance against Lancashire, which Somerset lost inside one day.

In the other two festival games he claimed match figures of 14-156 and 11-134.

He went on to play 504 first class matches, scoring 7,513 runs at an average of 13.56 and taking 1,390 wickets at 24.89.

Langford claimed 100 championship wickets in a season five times, with his best year 1958, when he captured 116 victims, including a career best 9-26 against Lancashire at Weston.

He captained Somerset between 1969 and 1971, and holds the record for the most first class appearances for the county, while only Jack White and Arthur Wellard have taken more wickets.

He holds the record for the most economic bowling in 40-overs cricket, sending down eight consecutive overs without conceding a run against Essex at Yeovil in 1969, a record unlikely to be equalled.

After retiring in 1974, he remained involved with Somerset and was chairman of the cricket committee during the controversial sackings of Viv Richards and Joel Garner in 1986, which led to Ian Botham quitting the club.

Former teammate Peter Robinson, said: “Langy was a very fine off spin bowler and for a number of seasons was the almost the county's lone bowler.

“At the time he was in his prime there were a number of good off spinners on the scene, but if he had played in another era he could well have played for England.”