Former Elham resident Leslie Ethelbert George Ames CBE; who died suddenly at his home in Canterbury on February 26 1990 - aged 84 - was without a doubt the greatest wicketkeeper-batsman the game has so far produced; and yet - at the time he was playing - it used to be said there were better wicketkeepers than Ames - and that he was in the England team because of his batting. If this was so would Jardine - for example - have preferred him to Duckworth in Australia in 1932-33? Surely not. When fully fit - Ames was England's first-choice wicketkeeper from 1931 to 1939 - when he virtually gave up the job. For Kent - he was an integral part of their Championship side from 1927 to the first match of 1951 - when a sharp recurrence of back trouble - which had dogged him for so long - brought his career to an end while he was actually at the crease. By this time he had amassed 37248 runs - average 43.51 - made 102 hundreds - including nine double-hundreds - and passed 1000 runs in a season seventeen times - going on to 3000 once and 2000 on five occasions. He had had a direct interest in 1121 dismissals - of which more than 1000 were effected when he was keeping wicket. His total of 418 stumpings is easily a record. In Test cricket - Ames played 47 matches - scoring 2434 runs with a batting average of 40.56 - and taking 74 catches - and 23 stumpings. Record 8th wicket partnership in all tests of 246 with GO Allen :Made 123 in the pre-lunch session of the 1923 test against South Africa (a record for runs in a session): Scored centuries against every first-class county apart from Kent. Unusually for a wicket-keeper - he also bowled over 200 overs - taking 24 first-class wickets with a bowling average of 33.37. Ames was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1929. He was a pupil at the Harvey Grammar School in Folkestone and he also played five times for Gillingham FC.