The man in charge of running courts in Huddersfield for more than two decades has died.

Alan Kay, 80, of Almondbury, was Clerk at the former Huddersfield Magistrates Court for 23 years, between 1969 and 1992.

During that time, he conducted many thousands of criminal cases ranging from speeding motorists to murders.

He was also the man who ran one of the country’s first courts for dealing with Poll Tax defaulters.

Mr Kay grew up in Oldham and went to Count Hill Grammar School. He left at 16 and started work in the local public health department before doing two years’ National Service with the RAF.

When he returned he got a job at Oldham Magistrates Court and decided to study law.

His son Simon said: “He was one of the few who put himself through night school, firstly getting a diploma, then getting a law degree and then completing his solicitor’s examination, while holding down a job during the day.”

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In 1967 Mr Kay became deputy clerk at Oldham but moved to Huddersfield two years later as Clerk.

He retired in 1992 but spent several years sitting on various panels and tribunals, as well as volunteering to work helping children read at local schools.

He and his wife Kathleen were married for 56 years and have a daughter Helen and a son Simon, and three grandchildren Edward, Agatha and Isabelle.

Away from work Mr Kay was a keen cricketer and played for much of his life. He was a renowned opening bowler, playing with Oldham and with Delph before spending 25 years with the Old Almondburians Club in Huddersfield.

“He always referred to himself as a demon opening bowler and a committed Number 11 batsman,” said Simon.

Mr Kay also loved reading, especially history and current affairs.

His funeral takes place today, June 7, at 10.30am at Huddersfield Crematorium.