Cricket community saddened by death of stalwart supporter

Philip Akroyd
Philip Akroyd

The county’s cricket community has been saddened by the death of a stalwart supporter of its sport.

Former Yorkshire County Cricket Club vice-president Philip Akroyd, of Mirfield, died aged 80 on January 5.

He was a well-known supporter of sport in Batley and Mirfield.

Chairman of Mount Cricket Club Hanif Mayet said: “We are saddened to hear that Philip has passed away.

“He was a wonderful, wonderful man who loved his cricket. He couldn’t care less about colour or creed as long as they played the game properly.

“There was always a smile and joy on his face. We will miss him – a gem of a guy.”

Mr Akroyd was associated with the club for around 15 years, during which he developed a close bond with members. He also spoke at the club’s presentation evenings.

Mr Mayet said: “He has been a strong supporter of Mount Cricket Club and was the one who helped immensely when we set up the junior team.

“He not only passed on his vast knowledge of the game and gave encouragement, but he always helped us financially with the junior team. We are always indebted to him.”

Philip and his devoted wife Patsy travelled far and wide to watch matches.

Mr Akroyd joined the Yorkshire committee as the Dewsbury district representative in 1984.

He served in this position until the committee was amended in 1993 and he was returned as a West District representative.

Philip then sat on the Finance and Marketing sub-committee between 1995 and 2001.

He later resigned from his West District seat in protest over cuts made to playing staff – but remained active and became known for encouraging youngsters involved in the sport.

It was during this later period that he developed his close relationship with Mount Cricket Club in Batley.

He was elected vice-president of Yorkshire CCC in 2006.

Philip was also a former president of the Joe Lumb Competition for under 17s teams from around Yorkshire.

As a young batsman, Philip was closely connected with Hanging Heaton Cricket Club and he also played for Yorkshire Owls.