Tom Poynton has announced his retirement from first-class cricket after a recurrence of the ankle problem he sustained in the car crash that killed his father, Keith, back in 2014. It will require further surgery and Tom has called time on his cricket career to pursue other interests.
That he returned to the first-class game at all was a major triumph. Doing so to little detriment of his wicket-keeping was most definitely so and Tom, a product of the club's Academy, maintained a consistently high standard behind the stumps, missing little enough to make it newsworthy when one did go down.
He was a wicket-keeper in the best of county traditions and, while consistently steady, was occasionally brilliant, especially standing up. He was my kind of 'keeper, undemonstrative and going about his work with the minimum of fuss. He was also loud and if he sees 'town crier' as a potential future career, there is little doubt that he has the pipes to make a good fist of the job. He was a good pupil to Karl Krikken's teacher and they were similar in vocal prowess, keeping the field on its toes and the bowler's going.
As a batsman he could be a doughty fighter, but was also capable of hitting a long ball and played some good cameos for his club. These were perhaps not frequent enough to confirm him as untouchable in the side, but he played for the team and has always been appreciated by his team mates throughout a ten-year association with the club.
Few will forget that wonderful century he made in partnership with Wayne Madsen at Northampton, when he recorded what was his only career century. Had it not been for the injury, which inevitably set him back and caused him to miss a season, who knows how his batting might have developed?
Most assuredly he will be remembered as one of the game's nice guys. There was always a ready smile, a firm, offered handshake and the steady gaze of a man as interested in you as you were in him. He was as fit as the proverbial butcher's dog and looked that way from first ball to last each day.
That he will make a success of whatever career path he chooses is assured. He will be as meticulous in his preparation for that career as he was about his cricket and I am sure that there will be plenty of options available to him.
What Derbyshire do to replace him is open to conjecture, but is a piece for another day.
For now, all that remains is to wish Tom Poynton the very best for that future career, where I am sure he will continue to pay great attention to the fortunes of his beloved county.
Without doubt, he will make his family proud, just as he always has done.
I wish him the very best in those new ventures, as I am sure you all do.
Thanks for everything, TP.