'Beautiful' Maynard had a 'heart of gold'
JASON Roy has paid tribute to Surrey team-mate Tom Maynard, who died when he was hit by a tube train in the early hours of Monday morning.
Roy regarded 23-year-old Maynard as one of his best friends and believed the Surrey professional was certain to have starred for England in the future.
"Tom definitely wasn't far off playing for England," Roy explained. "He was a huge talent. I've known him since before he came to Surrey, but once he was at Surrey we clicked, especially when we went on tour together to Bangladesh.
"Tom was such a beautiful guy and had a heart of gold."
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Roy, who also plays for Reigate Priory, admits the Surrey squad are struggling to deal with Maynard's sudden death, with the batsman having played for the county's T20 side only hours before the accident.
"Tom and I were only on CricketAM together on Saturday, which doesn't seem that long ago at all," Roy said. "At the moment I'm at Rory's (Surrey captain, Hamilton-Brown) family house and we have just been chatting about it all. It is shocking, I just can't believe it's happened.
"I feel bad for all his family in Cardif."
Matt Spriegel, who knew Maynard for five years, believes the charismatic batsman's death will leave a hole in the Surrey squad.
"When I received a call from Surrey team-mate Gary Wilson with the news I went numb, I just couldn't comprehend it," Spriegel, who also plays for Banstead, explained.
"A group of us from Surrey all met up in Clapham at a cafe and talked for hours, telling stories about Tom.
"He was a big character. I just can't imagine walking into the dressing room and him not being there."
Spriegel believes Maynard was not a talented cricketer, but also wise beyond his years.
"It sounds strange for me to say this as I'm two years older, but I looked up to Tom," Spriegel said.
"He was always someone you could talk to whether it be about cricket or just things that were going on.
"He was the life and soul of the party, but also just a brilliant guy. No one had a bad word to say about him. We are all devastated, but I can't even begin to think what his family must be going through."
Surrey team director Chris Adams also paid tribute, saying he was an "amazing person" and that it was a "privilege" to have known him.
He said: "Tom was one of the most exciting players I have ever seen and it has been my privilege to have spent time as a coach with such a special talent. Perhaps more importantly, Tom was a truly amazing person and personality, whose mere presence would just light up any room.
"He will be sorely missed on every level, but at the moment my thoughts can only focus on the sheer loss for his family and close friends.
"My thoughts are with them."