SIMON Porter, who had died aged 66, was one of the leading figures in Oxfordshire cricket for more than 40 years and will be remembered for his leadership and vision.

As a player he won the Minor Counties Championship twice, in 1974 and 1982, and sits seventh on the list of all-time wicket-takers for Oxfordshire.

But it is as an administrator where he was even more influential to the sport in the county.

He was instrumental in forming the Cherwell League, and was chairman for more than 20 years before initiating a merger with Trinity League - a move that has seen the number of teams rise from eight to around 100 across Oxfordshire and neighbouring counties.

Oxfordshire Cricket Board (OCB) archivist Julian Lawton-Smith said he was 'the most influential person Oxfordshire cricket has ever had'.

He served as chairman of OCB from 1996-2006 and remained on the committee until 2010. Dr Porter also managed cricket in University Parks as treasurer and chairman of Oxford University Cricket Club.

In his playing days, he represented Oxford University, winning a blue, and captained Headington United from 1973-85 winning the Cherwell League title three times.

Simon Porter was born in Oxford on August 9, 1950, the only child of George and Cecile Porter.

He was exceptionally bright and went to Littlemore Grammar School - now Oxford Academy - and won a place at Oxford University aged just 16.

His impressive achievement made national headlines at the time and he would go onto secure a first class degree in Engineering and complete a doctorate by the age of 22.

In 1977 he became Bursar at St Cross College and later moved to a similar role at Nuffield College.

He would retire aged 46 and devoted the rest of his life to his antique coin business and his many cricketing roles.

It is this devotion to the game of cricket in Oxfordshire he will be most remembered for.

The off spinner's 355 wickets for Oxfordshire places him seventh on the county's all-time list and he was useful batsman as well, scoring 1,840 runs.

Dr Porter was appointed treasurer of the Oxfordshire County Cricket Club (OCCC) in 1974, another position he was also to hold for 20 years.

During this time, he facilitated the merger of the OCCC with the Oxfordshire County Cricket Association (OCCA) to form the OCB, the organisation that oversees all cricket in the county today.

More recently he had the honour of being elected the Minor Counties President from 2009-11.

His wife of more than 30 years, Rosalyn remains a keen supporter of cricket in the county and his two daughters Genevieve and Eloise have both played for the Oxfordshire Women's team.

He died at his home in Headington Quarry on February 9, aged 66.

Dr Porter is survived by his wife Rosalyn and his two daughters Genevieve and Eloise.