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Robin Marlar

I was sad to hear of the passing of Robin Marlar whom I met just 2 weeks ago at Ted Dexter’s memorial.

Most people cannot manage one successful career but Robin succeeded in three: distinguished cricketer for Sussex; Times cricket correspondent; recruitment consultant.

In all three he was a contrarian never backward in pronouncing his trenchant views.

Born in Eastbourne and educated at Harrow and Magdalene College Cambridge, he went onto captain Sussex and entice another alumnus from Jesus College – Ted Dexter – to Sussex.

He took 970 wickets in all for us and, but for Jim Laker, would surely have earned more caps.

I like to compose two “best ever” Sussex sides – one born abroad, the other in the UK.

Robin was my spinner in the UK origin side though he did not have the magic of Mushy (Mushtaq Ahmed) nor Rashid Khan.

He became President of the MCC and therein lies a story.

The Cheltenham and Gloucester final contested between Lancashire and Sussex was a ding-dong match.

When the red rose county was on top their supporters sang She’s a lassie from Lancashire and, when Sussex were, our supporters responded with Good old Sussex by the sea.

Objection was raised in the Pavilion and a steward dispatched to the Sussex box leading the chanting.

The steward was startled to see ex-President Robin Marlar on a chair belting out the song. That was true, vintage, Robin: unpredictable, outrageous and always fun.

A great servant and son of Sussex who chaired the uprising of members that led to the decade of unparalleled success – we shall all miss him so.

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About Ivan Conway

Ivan Conway will be reporting on Sussex sport. He is a member of the 1901 club at Brighton HAFC, Sussex County Cricket Club and an enthusiastic horse race goer. After selling his freight forwarding and conference business he settled in Hove. His other interests are bird watching, brass rubbing and bridge. More Posts