PETER James, the president of Lydney Cricket Club and a trustee of Lydney Rugby Club, has died at the age of 81.

His son Steve, the former England and Glamorgan, said he had lost "my best mate and hero".

Mr James of Woolaston, who ran a sports shop in Lydney, died last Thursday (February 13).

Steve is currently writing a book, due out next year, about scoring centuries and the introduction begins with a story about his dad.

"I'd forgotten my socks," the book begins. It tells how, as a 12 year old, I had forgotten my special grey cricket socks for a school match for Monmouth against Brightlands, the preparatory school once in Newnham.

My dad came to the ground to bring my socks and ended up staying to watch me bat. I scored my first century that day.

My dad had always told me that I had to score centuries if I was to get noticed as a batsman. And he was right. He was almost always right when it came to advice about cricket or rugby.

"Never wear a long-sleeved sweater when batting," he used to say to me. "Why?" I would ask. "Because it means that you don't intend staying very long," he would reply with a laugh. He had a rare ability to mix humour and gravity so easily.

I was recently talking to Matthew Maynard, the former Glamorgan and England batsman, and he reminded me how I had once passed that advice on to him, and he had also taken it. My dad did know his stuff!

He loved both cricket and rugby dearly. Family came first, then cricket and rugby. And it was Lydney cricket and rugby before anything else.

Just before he passed away he reminded Adrian Knox, who, given my father's love for him has always been my brother in all but name, that he had been involved with Lydney Cricket Club for 65 years.

He was player, captain, chairman, groundsman and president. And at various stages my late mother, Margaret, was scorer and treasurer!

My dad was a trustee of Lydney rugby club and played as a scrum half for the club, but he would never miss the start or end of the cricket seasons, so that inevitably curtailed his availability.

That family loyalty to the town and its cricket and rugby clubs was instilled in me. Even when I was a professional cricketer and travelling the world, I would always phone my dad on a Saturday evening.

In summer it was to find out how Lydney had got on at cricket, in winter how they had got on at rugby.

I will admit that last Saturday at about  6pm, I went to my phone without thinking. Then I realised that I could not make that call anymore, and also that Lydney's game was off anyway.

As I wrote on Twitter last week when he passed away, I have lost my best mate and hero. I will miss him terribly, but I know that so many other people will too, especially Colin Henderson, Lydney RFC's team manager, who, with his wife Geraldine, did so much to help him in his latter days.

My sister, Karen, and I have received messages from all over the world, and they have all made us realise what a popular and well-liked man my father was. I think I made him proud with my careers in cricket and journalism, and I might have gone further than him in cricket- he was an excellent off-cutter bowler who played for Gloucestershire seconds – but I am not sure I can ever be as fine a man.

A memorial service for Mr James will be held at Lydney Town Hall on Wednesday, February 26 at 2pm. Donations in his memory are invited for Lydney Cricket Club.