A MALVERN author who has just penned a biography of cricket legend Tom Graveney defied foul weather to attend the book's launch at the "home of cricket".

Andrew Murtagh travelled down to London for the launch of Touched by Greatness at Lord's, and although he made it, several names from the illustrious guest list had to cancel appearances because of floods and storms.

The book tells the story of the much-loved player who opened the batting for England with Len Hutton early in his career and ended it batting with Geoffrey Boycott, thus straddling two generations.

He played for Worcestershire between 1961 and 1970 and later served as club president and as president of the MCC.

Mr Murtagh said: "My wife and I went down to London the night before and that turned out to be the right decision. The Worcestershire contingent, which included Duncan Fearnley and Norman Gifford, were due to come down in the morning - in fact, Duncan rang up to say he could not make it out of his driveway."

But plenty of other famous names made it to the launch, including current MCC president Mike Gatting, who opened the proceedings by paying tribute to Mr Graveney.

Mr Murtagh then spoke about writing the book and Mr Graveney spoke of his great love of the game and of his time at Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.

"Tom is a natural raconteur, so it was a pleasure to visit him at home in Cheltenham and listen to all the stories from his long and eventful life," said Mr Murtagh.

Mr Murtagh was previously a master at Malvern College and before that he played cricket for Hampshire.

His first book, A Remarkable Man, about Malvern resident George Chesterton, was shortlisted for both the Cricket Society and the MCC cricket books of the year.

Touched by Greatness is published by Pitch Publishing Ltd, priced at £18.99.