THE third volume in the award-winning series of Somerset Cricketers books has just been published by Halsgrove.

And the authors will be at Somerset's home match with Nottinghamshire this weekend to sign copies.

The two previous volumes – Somerset Cricketers 1882-1914 and Somerset Cricketers 1919-1939 – included illustrated biographies of every player who made his debut for the county up until the Second World War.

Somerset Cricketers 1946-1970 continues the journey with the life stories of every player whether they played only once or hundreds of times.

As ever, the stories are packed with surprising facts the authors have unearthed from original documents and family archives.

It’s also full of rare photos and even copies of the players’ autographs.

All the fondly-remembered, larger-than-life characters are there - players like Harold Stephenson, Bill Alley, Fred Rumsey and Peter Denning.

This time, the authors got to interview a number of cricketers who graced the County Ground, in Taunton, and are still living, so we hear directly from people such as Roy Virgin, Brian Rose, Greg Chappell and even the reclusive Geoff Clayton.

Some mysteries are solved, too. Who was William Dean, who appeared for one match and disappeared into oblivion? The book explains why he had to change his name by deed poll after some dodgy financial dealing.

Joe Buckland was another who changed his name to Paddy Bucklan as he shook off a past he’d rather have forgotten.

There are a number of players better known to local boys as their teachers – such as Roy Smith at Huish’s Grammar School or Tom Dickinson at Queen’s College – whose lives are recalled in full, with a few surprises for their former pupils.

Some ex-Somerset cricketers are now in their 90s and have happy memories to relate of their playing days.

The pen portraits are compelling reads, all written with real warmth, full of quirky facts and often gentle humour.

The book is bursting with new insights and plenty of unseen images provided by the players or their families.

Somerset Cricketers 1946-1970 by Stephen Hill and Barry Phillips can be bought from County Sports at the Cooper Associates County Ground, where you can pre-order signed copies.

Or you can go along to meet the authors on Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10 during the match against Nottinghamshire.

Or you can buy it at most bookshops and amazon. Copies are also available directly from the publisher - click here for a link to the website.