Norman Gordon dies aged 103

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The world's oldest living Test cricketer, South Africa's Norman Gordon, has died peacefully at his home in Johannesburg.

Born on the 6th August 1911 in Boksburg, Transvaal, Gordon played five Test matches for his country and represented his state on 29 occasions, taking 126 wickets.

Gordon is the only Test cricketer to reach 100 years of age and became the oldest ever
when he overtook the late New Zealand cricketer Eric Tindall who passed away in August 2010, just four months before his own century. Gordon was also the first cricketer to openly admit that he was Jewish.

Timeless Test

The right-arm fast-bowler played in the famous 10-day Timeless Test against England in Durban in 1939 where he bowled a staggering 92.2 eight-ball overs in the match, 738 balls, a fast-bowling record that is never likely to be beaten.

Gordon was only prevented from bowling more as the teams decided, during his 93rd over, that the game should end in a draw as England had a boat to catch home.

Gordon's Test career only spanned five matches, all of them against England in the same
series in 1938/39, as the outbreak of war seriously curtailed what had the potential to be a very successful career. He continued to play for Transvaal until the end of the 1948/49 season, after which he retired.

In those five Tests Gordon took 20 wickets with his fast, accurate bowling and finished as the leading wicket taker in the series. Despite only playing five Tests Gordon will be forever known in both South African and world cricket.

100th birthday

On his 100th birthday in August 2011 Gordon was afforded a lavish celebration at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg. The celebration was hosted by close friend and former Test cricketer Dr Ali Bacher and was attended by numerous cricketing stars such as Peter Pollock, Mike Proctor, Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini, to name just a few.

In his later years Gordon kept himself active and was a keen golfer and would often be seen at his local golf course, almost on a daily basis. Astonishingly, at the age of 87, Gordon even managed a hole-in-one.

He died in his sleep, in the early hours of this morning, at his Hillbrow flat in Johannesburg where he lived for over 60 years.

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