FELLOW sportsmen have paid tribute to cricketer Marc Rorich, who they called one of the most talented and exciting players in Banbury Cricket Club's history.

Mr Rorich, the former Banbury Cricket Club all-rounder, was called an "entertaining" sportsman who had the ability to trouble the best players on the circuit.

The father-of-one died earlier this month at the age of 36.

Marc Andrew Rorich was born in Cape Town on June 19 1979 to parents Jennifer and Keith.

After growing up in South Africa, he moved to Banbury during the summer of 1996, at the age of 17, to join his uncle Craig Haupt at Banbury Cricket Club.

The pair had grown up together as brothers under the same roof in South Africa, and their reunion in Oxfordshire led to many more happy years both on and off the cricket field.

Called an exciting and entertaining cricketer by fellow player Jimmy Phillips, Mr Rorich was said to be capable of swinging the ball both ways at pace, was athletic in the field and a capable batsman who scored quickly once he was established at the crease.

He was seen as an invaluable part of the Banbury team that won the inaugural Home Counties Premier League.

He also regularly took the new ball ahead of former England fast bowler Neal Radford.

Mr Rorich made several appearances on the honours boards at Banbury Cricket Club.

He was one of only five players who featured on both the batting and bowling honours boards and also held the second, third and fifth best bowling performances for bowling.

Friend and cricketer Mr Phillips said: "When Marc came to Banbury in 1996, I was 13 and he was 17. He was everything I wanted to be. Effortlessly talented, with the cricket world at his feet."

Outside of his cricketing life, he worked at Norbar Torque Tools in Banbury. He also had one son, William, aged seven. When he was not playing cricket, he enjoyed a round of golf.

His uncle Craig said Mr Rorich was "one of the kindest people you could ever meet" and had the biggest smile.

He said: "He was so jovial and magic. He was just a magical man."

He added Mr Rorich had been married but divorced a year before his death.

Mr Rorich died on Wednesday, June 8 at the age of 36 after a long battle with liver problems.

He is survived by his parents, uncle and son William, as well as other family members in the UK and South Africa.

His funeral details have yet to be announced.