People from across the cricket community have paid tribute to Mr Gidney, who died at the age of 54.

Generous tributes have been paid to Chulmleigh Cricket Club chairman David Gidney, who has died aged 54.

Mr Gidney was a former captain of the club and known all over mid and north Devon for his voluntary work on behalf of cricket, especially with young cricketers and the North Devon Youth League.

Mr Gidney did a lot more than administer teams and competitions; he also trained new coaches to work in their clubs.

Add in being District coaching co-ordinator for North Devon, and cricket was a huge part of Mr Gidney's life.

Further afield he visited Africa in 2015 as part of a health initiative organised by the charity Cricket Without Boundaries.

The charity works in the poorer parts of Africa raising awareness about the dangers of AIDS and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle as well spreading the gospel of cricket.

Clubs in mid and north Devon helped Mr Gidney raise nearly £2,000 for trip to Cameroon in 2015 with the charity.

Jan Witheridge, who worked with Gidney on the North Devon Youth League executive, said: "David was a lovely, warm guy.

"He never had a cross word about anyone - and no one had a bad word about him."

Matt Theedom, the ECB's cricket development manager for Devon, knew David Gidney well as the two worked together on coach education.

Mr Theedom said in his tribute: "David was the heart and soul of Chulmleigh Cricket club and the reason they have such a thriving youth section."

Chulmleigh clubmate Martin Campling said cricket will never seem the same without his friend.

"I have had many messages from younger players who have come through Chulmleigh who are devastated as he meant to much to them for everything he did for them on and off the pitch.

"I just wish he could have known how much he was loved by all.

"We have lost one of the nicest, most gentle men you could ever wish to meet and the world seems a much poorer place."

Mr Gidney had other interests away from cricket, among them producing his own cider in an out building at his home.

Other interests including writing scripts for the annual village pantomime in Morchard Bishop and helping to organise a produce show.

An inquest into Mr Gidney's death was opened and adjourned on March 29. No date for the inquest has been fixed.

Mr Gidney worked from home in the chemical marketing industry. He was 54 and married with two children. Son Tom plays cricket for Sandford.

His funeral will take place at the Exeter and Devon Crematorium in Exeter on April 21 at 12.30. A reception will take place afterwards at the Lamb Inn, Sandford.