Such was Brian Close's reputation for bravery that he received a call back to the national team at age 45, to face the fearsome West Indian attack.
Ian Botham and Michael Vaughan led tributes to Brian Close after the tough guy of English cricket died from lung cancer, aged 84.
Close was the young Botham's first county skipper at Somerset in the 1970s when the great all-rounder burst on to the scene with his good friend, the swashbuckling West Indies batsman Viv Richards.
'The best captain a young player could ever have wished for! Myself & IVA (Richards) owe you so much,' Botham said on his Twitter account.
'Such a sad day,' said Vaughan.
'He was a true inspiration to all of us. Thanks Brian for helping me as a kid growing up at Yorkshire.'
'I once had an lbw problem. Closey, aged 60, came into the nets and batted without pads "Only way, young man, you will sort your problem".'
Close's autobiography, I Don't Bruise Easily, typified his spirit.
Another Yorkshireman, former Test umpire Dickie Bird, recounted a familiar tale involving Close's fielding exploits at short leg before the invention of helmets.
'He'd take anybody on, he had no fear whatsoever,' said Bird.
'He used to field in front of the bat and was hit on the head once, I remember.'
'The batsman pulled the ball, it hit him on the head and it flew to cover. Somebody dropped it and Brian's first words were, "Have you caught that?".'
Michael Holding was a member of the hostile attack that left bruises all over Close's body when the then 45 year old took on the West Indies.
'He was someone who was very tough,' said Holding. 'When they called him back in 1976 he didn't say "Nno, I'm an old man I can't do that".'
'He was willing to go out there and fight for his country.'