Tributes have been paid to ‘inspirational’ umpire and former cricketer Phil Hamer who has lost a brave battle against motor neurone disease.
Phil, 65, of Elland, died at Overgate Hospice in the town on November 6.
A stalwart of the Halifax Cricket League and Blackley Cricket Club in particular, he was instrumental in encouraging talent amongst young players. He set up both the junior and Sunday sections of the league.
Confined to a wheelchair after being diagnosed last spring, he had been involved in cricket since first picking up a bat at Barkisland Cricket Club aged 11.
And it was only just over one month ago that members of the league rallied together to raise £2,000 for adaptations so he could stay in his own home.
Halifax Cricket League chairman Anthony Briggs led the tributes and said: “Phil has been a fantastic servant to the cricket league and will be sorely missed by everyone.
“It’s a cruel disease and it was a shock how suddenly it happened.”
The secretary of Blackley Cricket Club, Julie Pearson, added: “He was a long time member and his involvement in junior cricket was inspirational.
“He went out of his way to encourage the development of junior cricketers by introducing both sections, with the Sunday one providing great opportunities for junior members to play with older members of the team.
“He was such a character and brought a smile to everyone’s face.”
Phil leaves a wife Josie, daughters Clare Hamer and Rachael Newbould and four grandchildren.
Clare, 37, said: “We were fortunate to be able to go on holiday with him to Filey the weekend before he died, an opportunity we’re so glad we had, even though we hoped that we would get one last Christmas together.
“He was a totally unique person and a great family man.”
Wife Josie, 63, added: “He was the happiest, loveliest, friendliest guy you could hope to meet. Everyone close to him knew that.”
The funeral service will take place tomorrow at All Saints Church in Elland at 1.45pm followed by cremation at Parkwood Crematorium at 3pm.
Donations in lieu of flowers should go to Overgate Hospice or Motor Neurone Disease.