Tributes have been paid to former Island sportsman Bill Clutterbuck, who has died aged 73.

Bill was an award-winning groundsman, coach and cricketer and the flag at the Kia Oval ground in London has been flown at half mast as a mark of respect to him.

Bill had been the head groundsman at Guildford — Surrey County Cricket Club’s second ground — for more than 25 years.

He won a number of awards for his work and was recognised as a leading authority on the subject of pitch care.

He was also a renowned cricket coach, notably mentoring former England cricketer Matthew Maynard throughout his playing career.

The two men were close personal friends and Matthew was one of many people who sent affectionate personal video messages to Bill while he was being cared for in a hospice in Woking, Surrey.

Other messages came from former England captain Alec Stewart, and his father, England cricketer Mickey, both of whom Bill had worked closely with over the years.

A group of Island cricketers used to make and annual pilgrimage to Guildford to see Bill and a Surrey match. One of them, Ian Hailes, told the County Press Bill would be missed.

Although most of his working life was spent off the Island, Bill maintained a strong affection for the Island, and Ventnor in particular, where he had played both cricket and football in his own sporting heyday.

He also played for the Island cricket team in the 1970s, and is particularly remembered for his fast bowling.

He married Sue in 1973 in Ventnor and both his children, James and Jenny, were born there.

He was a frequent visitor to the Island in recent years, staying with his brother, Steve, in Niton.

His last visit, before health problems and Covid made travel impossible, was for a few days last summer, when he and Steve watched matches at Newport and Shanklin, meeting up with a number of Bill’s old cricketing friends.

Bill particularly enjoyed a pint in the beer garden of Niton post office.

Bill was a larger than life character, known for his quick wit, joke-telling prowess and readiness with a song.

He joined the Ventnor Comic Jazz Band in the town carnival on many occasions in the 1970s and was a proficient spoons player.

He leaves his wife, Sue, two children and four grandchildren.

It is hoped to scatter his ashes at Ventnor’s Steephill cricket ground, at a later date