David Lupton, a popular Cumbrian cricketer, has died just days after his 75th birthday.

‘Luppy’ played for his home-town club Millom and represented Cumberland in 48 Minor Counties fixtures between 1975 and 1985 as well as in four MCCA Trophy matches.

In the Championship he took 146 wickets at 24.22 with best figures of 8-50 against Durham. His highest score as a tail-ender was 69.

Another achievement came in 1984 when he was the first Cumberland bowler to take a hat-trick in a Minor Counties Championship game, achieved against Durham at Hartlepool.

He appeared for Cumberland in the 1985 Nat West Trophy game with Derbyshire taking the wicket of Kim Barnett, after the England international batsman had earlier dismissed him with his leg breaks for nought.

Luppy was in the Millom first team as a teenager and grew into one of the most respected bowlers in the North Lancashire League. He played for the club for 25 years between 1969 and 1997, although he did spend three seasons – 1978-1980 as pro for Kendal.

He captained Millom in 1987 and 1988 before later winding down his career with Millom A and the County Over 50’s side.

The Mail: Bat versus ball: David Lupton bowls to Robin Dunn as Millom take on Furness MAIL ARCHIVE

During his career he played in 12 Meageen County Cup finals, winning four of them (three with Millom, once with Kendal).

He also appeared in seven Higson Cup finals, winning five of them with Millom. He topped the League bowling averages three times in a row – 1991-1993.

Former team-mate Peter Brockbank said: “He had particularly long arms so that he almost touched the ground in his action but he was very accurate and got bounce with his deliveries.

“I remember one particular game with Workington they were 8-0 and then 8 all out. ‘Dinger’ Bell took 5-3 and Luppy had 5-5.

“He had a spell away from Millom when he was pro at Kendal but after a few years he was back to finish his career at Millom where he was a true legend.”

Another Millom team-mate Ian Sharp said: “He was always a pleasure to captain him in the side. He was always willing to bowl, one of the very best. A fantastic bloke, who will be greatly missed, with a record which speaks for itself.”

Tributes have poured in from former teammates and opponents, who regarded ‘Luppy’ as an outstanding fast bowler and also a gentleman.

Former Surrey and Cumberland all-rounder Graham Monkhouse said: “Very sad news. A fine opponent and a valued team-mate. RIP old boy.”

Dominic Chambers of Whitehaven said: “Very, very sad news. As a young lad to face Luppy was like playing against a giant, both physically and his reputation within the game but I found out quickly he was also a gentleman.”

Colin Knight of Lindal: “Luppy was one of the best, always took time to have a chat and a pint after the game and after he’d given me a real tough time facing him. Lovely bloke, true gent.”

Eric Field of Workington: “Absolutely gutted. Honour to play against him and later in the same team as him. Nothing was ever too much troubler to him and always willing to help you in any way.”

Scores of other team-mates and rivals on the field were all unanimous in their praise of “an outstanding cricketer, but most of all a great bloke.”

An outstanding servant on and off the field to the Millom club, he was a former Sellafield employee during his working days, and he leaves behind his wife Susan.