DAVID LLOYD: I saw him standing in the field practicing his golf swing! Ted Dexter was a true adventurer, loved by all and not afraid to be different
- Ted Dexter always amused me when he practiced his golf swing in the field
- The former star of England was the best amateur golfer I’ve ever seen
- Ted liked to live in the fast lane and was part rebel, part establishment
- He was a true adventurer and cricket will miss him very much after his death
My first memory of playing against Ted Dexter in a championship game is at Hove in 1966. Brian Statham steamed down the hill to Lancashire, and Dexter stepped on the back foot and knocked it over the head back to the loungers.
He didn’t get many points in that game, but it was an extraordinary shot – and typical of the man. He had this presence: tall, elegant, and with a distinct swagger. But he wasn’t arrogant and he was incredibly popular on the track. He was a real gentleman.
It always amused me to see Ted in the field. He’d stand there, tinker with an imaginary golf club, then make an imaginary swing—and probably land it close to an imaginary pin.
Ted Dexter (left, pictured with Bob Willis) was a true adventurer and lived in the fast lane
The story goes that he once played a round with the great South African golfer Gary Player and regularly outsmarted him. Player considered Ted to be the best amateur golfer he has ever seen.
He wasn’t afraid to be different. When he became the England selectors chairman in the late 1980s, I looked after the national youth teams at a school festival.
We had some good young lads there – Andrew Flintoff and Marcus Trescothick – and Ted popped in to have a look.
He arrived in this drop-top sports car, so I went over to introduce myself and started telling him about Flintoff and Trescothick. To which he replied, “Would you like a ride in my new car?” I politely declined.
I remember practicing his golf swing in the field and it is said that he once surpassed Gary Player
We tended not to mix in the same circles. The story goes that when he and his wife Susan, who was a model, saw each other for the first time – and liked the look of what they saw – this was at a party for the 11th Hussars. My invitation got lost in the mail…
Ted lived in the fast lane. He owned a powerful motorcycle and in his apprenticeship would arrive at Lord’s for meetings. Once inside the Grace Gates, he took them off to reveal a gorgeous pinstripe suit.
That summed up two different aspects of his character: a bit rebellious at times, but also part of the establishment.
It must be said that Ted was prone to a gaffe or two. When he was chairman of selectors, he memorably tried to remember the name of the new Derbyshire fast bowler England had just chosen – and fell for ‘Malcolm Devon’. But no one ever stopped him. He was too loved.
Ted was part rebel, part establishment, and loved by all. Cricket will miss him very much
Over the years, Kevin Pietersen was the English player who most reminded me of Ted. They were both tall and had an aura. They just wanted to tackle the opposition.
Ted’s most famous innings in that regard was against the West Indies at Lord’s in 1963, when he hit Hall, Griffith, Sobers and Gibbs for 70 balls from 75.
At the time, the game was played at a leisurely pace, so if a dasher came in and hit like that, everyone would sit up.
That was Ted – a real adventurer. Cricket will miss him very much.