Tribute paid to Kings Langley man, David Percy, who 'lived life to the full'

Watford Observer: David Percy after delivering the ball that secured the Watford Observer Knock-out Cup in 2006 David Percy after delivering the ball that secured the Watford Observer Knock-out Cup in 2006

Hundreds of friends, family and sports acquaintances from across south west Hertfordshire gathered at West Herts Crematorium and afterwards at Kings Langley Cricket Club on Friday, May 16, to celebrate the life of David Percy.

David passed away while playing cricket for his beloved Kings Langley Cricket Club on Saturday, May 3. He was just 50 years old.

David was born to Charles and Vida on the March 19, 1964, in Hayes Middlesex. He had two sisters Karen and Sandra.

It was Charles’s decision to take a Youth Officer role at Cassio College Watford that brought the family to Hertfordshire in 1972 when they moved Hunton Bridge.

David attended St Pauls primary school at Langleybury and then went on to Kings Langley School where he formed lifelong friendships and met his wife to be, Tanya.

The couple married 25 years ago this September. They had two children, Cassie and Ben, and the family have always lived in the village.

As well as cricket, Dave was a keen footballer, playing centre forward for many teams including SG Browns, the Old Palace Eagles, The Eagle, Sarratt, Hemel Hempstead, Tring , La Casetta and Kings Langley Cricket Club FC.

David had numerous interests including supporting Watford FC and in recent years, cycling, although, according to friends, it was the "social " side of things that he enjoyed most.

But it is probably cricket that he was best known for. Nicknamed "Percy" or "Perce", he was a one club man starting as a fast bowler and making his debut at a very young age when he travelled with Charles Holroyd and other boys to Ridge Lane to play for Kings Langley’s third team .

He quickly worked his way up the sides to become the strike bowler for the first team.

David was a critical part of the Kings Langley winning teams in the Village Trophy in 1998 and the Watford Observer Cup in 2006.

His finest cricketing day was August 25, 1984, when he achieved the rare feat of taking all 10 wickets in a match, 10-21 v Langleybury. The newspaper headline that week was "Pacey Percy’s Perfect"

Years of pace bowling eventually took its toll and In later years, he turned to a unique form of bowling which we called "sausage".

His legendary status as a local cricketer is demonstrated by the numerous emails and tweets received from other clubs. All said what a fiercely competitive player he was but that he was a gentleman as well.

On May 3 Dave was bowling and about to win another game for Kings Langley when at 6.38pm, with friends and family looking on, he collapsed and died.

His final figures read 6.1 overs, one maiden, 24 runs and four wickets.

Friend Kevin Rolfe said: "While all his friends and family remain in shock Dave will be loved forever and some small comfort has been drawn from the fact that he was doing what he loved best and where he loved best.

"There will no doubt be many lasting tributes to him but two have already been announced to date.

"The first is that every May Day Bank Holiday, Kings Langley Cricket Club will host the Dave Percy memorial cricket match.

"Secondly, as a permanent immediate reminder on Kings Langley common, the end of the ground next to Vicarage Lane has been renamed the Dave Percy End."

He added: "Dave lived life to the full and the huge numbers of well-wisher’s at the funeral was full testament to his personality.

"He has left us with wonderful memories, and he will of course always be loved and will never be forgotten.

"As Dave would have wanted, the celebration at Kings Langley Cricket Club went on well into the night with pictures of Dave and his favourite music to remind us of what a remarkable person he was. "

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