LOVING tributes have been paid from across the cricket scene in Gwent after the death of a stalwart of the game.

Gerald Kear, 85, was president of Usk Cricket Club since 2010 and has been involved with the team for around 72 years.

Along with his sister, Joan Tilley, he was involved with the club when it returned to playing after the Second World War.

Specialising as a batsman, but also known for his qualities as a fielder, Mr Kear was captain of the first XI from 1960 to 1963 and 1972 to 1974.

In his first season as captain the club achieved the rare feat of going undefeated for a whole season.

Mr Kear was also captain of the second XI in 1983 before he retired from the club as a player in his 50s.

He was also chairman of the club from 1977 to 1981 and 1986 to 1997 before taking up the presidency in 2010.

Amongst those he played alongside was Welsh cricketer Allan Watkins who played for England in 15 test matches from 1948 to 1952 and is known as one of Usk's most famous players.

Mr Kear was also known for his fundraising efforts for the club and for his friendly and polite manner.

"You can tell he was a highly respected man," said one of his three sons, Tony Kear.

"Nobody ever had a bad word to say about him, and he never had a bad one to say about others.

"He was always willing to listen and to give his advice.

"He was at the heart of the club."

Born in Usk, he lived in the town for all of his life, attending primary school in Usk before attending West Monmouth School in Pontypool.

He completed three years of national service from 1951, stationed at RAF Halton.

An all round talented sportsman, Mr Kear was also known as an accomplished badminton player and was on the books of Newport County AFC's youth set up.

Mr Kear worked at Rennie's where he was much-loved by his colleagues.

"He had an exceptional manner and he was incredibly hard-working," added his son, Tony.

Tributes have been paid from cricket clubs across Gwent following his death.

Newport Cricket Club wrote on Twitter: "A very sad day and our thoughts go out to the Kear family.

"Gerald Kear will be remembered as a real gentleman, and for his love of cricket and in particular Usk CC."

Tributes were also paid from clubs including Monmouth, Chepstow, Sudbrook, Ravenshead and Penarth.

Acting chairman of Usk Cricket Club Neil Perrett said Mr Kear was friendly, knowledgeable and had a great love for the game.

He said Mr Kear was involved with fundraising efforts at car boot sales for the club for around 15 years and would regularly give up his time at the weekend.

He died on Wednesday, April 25 and his funeral will be held at Priory Church of St Mary in Usk on May 16 with the time of the service to be confirmed.