Dennis Banton, one of the legendary figures of Oxfordshire cricket and a long-serving headmaster, died on Wednesday, aged 80.

Universally known in the sporting world as ‘Joe’, he played 208 games for Oxfordshire between 1950 and 1973, including a run of 168 consecutive Minor Counties Championship matches.

A genuine all-rounder, he became only the second Oxfordshire player after Charlie Walters to score 5,000 runs and 500 wickets – a rare feat at this level.

As a batsman who rarely gave his wicket away, he scored 5,092 runs, including two centuries, at an average of 21.49.

He took 571 wickets with his right-arm seam bowling and also took a record number of 134 outfield catches for Oxfordshire.

He captained Oxfordshire from 1962-67 and served on the county committee for 40 years, the last ten as chairman, before stepping down in 1994 and being elected a life vice-president.

He played his club cricket for Cowley St John, and during his time as captain, made them one of the strongest sides in the south of England.

A talented sportsman, he was captain of Frilford Heath Golf Club in 1976 and was also a keen table tennis and bowls player.

A schoolteacher, Mr Banton became headmaster of Temple Cowley Secondary School, Oxford, at the age of 36 – a post he held for 21 years before his retirement in 1988.

Former Oxfordshire team-mate Simon Porter, the Minor Counties CA president, said: “Joe was a brilliant player, but not the most popular guy.

“He tended to be suspicious of people like me who had been to Oxford University. But in later life he became a close friend and confidant.

“His motto on the field as captain ‘make sure you don’t lose before you try to win’.”

Rupert Evans, Oxfordshire’s cricket development officer, said: “Joe was responsible for me moving from Cowley Jacks as an 18-year-old, by speaking in a headmasterly way to my mother, even though I was not at his school.

“As a captain, he played cricket hard, and was an astute tactician. He would often suggest something, and invariably it would work out.”

Mr Banton, who lived at Kirtlington in his retirement, leaves a widow Avril, and son, Richard.