Sir Jack Hobbs spent his long and illustrious career as a cricketer playing for one club – Surrey.

Yet when he retired it was not long before he moved to neighbouring Sussex and was buried in Hove Cemetery.

Why did Hobbs forsake the county he loved? It was because of an even deeper love – for his ailing wife Ada.

They were advised that the sea air would do her good and she did manage to survive for another 17 years thanks largely to the devoted care of Hobbs.

Known as The Master, Hobbs was probably the greatest batsman ever to have played for England. With Herbert Sutcliffe, they made a formidable opening pair.

Hobbs rewrote the record books and at 46 became the oldest batsman to have scored a Test century.

He scored more than60,000 runs in first class cricket and 197 centuries, both records that will never be beaten. Half those hundreds were made when he was over 40.

Had it not been for the First World War and a long-standing injury soon afterwards, Hobbs would certainly have scored many more runs.

He also batted when wickets were not covered and most matches were more low-scoring than they are today. Some of his greatest innings were made in appalling conditions.

Hobbs became a reluctant celebrity but with nothing like today’s media attention. He had little money until he was middle aged when he endorsed some cricketing products and opened a small sports shop in central London.

Only in later life did he and Ada have enough cash to move into a mansion and send their four children to private school.

Hobbs was a shy man who did not much like publicity. He tried to keep his wedding to Ada secret and was mortified when his Surrey colleagues found out.

He came from a poor family and was a professional cricketer, unlike many other greats of the game,because he needed the cash.

I remember seeing him behind the counter of his little sports shop several times. You can’t imagine Ian Botham doing that.

When I asked him if he would become president of the minor cricket club I ran, Hobbs replied with a two page letter in his own hand politely declining.

He was the first professional cricketer to be knighted and it was rumoured he had been offered the England captaincy but had tuned it down.

Hobbs and Ada moved to Palmeira Avenue Hove near the Sussex county ground in later life when she was almost bedridden. He gave up all his other interests to care for her.

She died in March1963 and the grief-stricken Hobbs appeared much older after that. By the end of the year he too had died.

He was 81 and and so modest that despite his fame he would walk down a street without anybody recognising him. He liked it that way.

There is a commemorative plaque on his former home and a Brighton and Hove bus has been named after him.