ONE of the foremost figures in the Drakes Huddersfield Cricket League, Hedley Collins, has passed away at the age of 80.
Mr Collins was honoured by the League in 1999 being made an honorary life vice-president following many years of outstanding service to cricket in Huddersfield.
He served the Drakes League as the fixtures and registration secretary for 31 years, taking over from Colin Garthwaite in 1969, having previously helped in an assistant capacity.
But as well as being a stalwart of the league’s management committee, Mr Collins was also one of the best-known umpires in the Huddersfield League, standing in the middle for 35 years, after taking charge of his first match back in 1962.
He officiated at two Sykes Cup finals, as well as six semi-finals, numerous Paddock Shield, Walker Cup, Champion of Champions and Yorkshire Cricket Conference matches.
As well as being a notable umpire, he also served the Huddersfield Umpires Association as president, taking over in 1992, and was treasurer in the early 1970s.
He retired from the Umpires Association in 1997 and was presented with a plaque in recognition of his service, while he retired as the league’s registration secretary in 1999.
The then league chairman Roger France paid tribute to Mr Collins on his retirement saying: “Hedley is an institution to this league and has always demonstrated total commitment. He has devoted his time entirely and completely to the cricket league.”
Away from sport, Mr Collins was involved in engineering, and began his working career at David Browns, where he served his apprenticeship working on gearboxes for the Aston Martin racing cars.
He later moved to Hopkinsons, and worked in the actuator department, finally retiring from their as a foreman inspector.
Besides cricket and his family, the other great love of his life was the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, and after helping out with Hopkinson’s own G & S Society, he became a founder member, and the first general manager of the Huddersfield Gilbert & Sullivan Society.
Mr Collins lost his wife Pat, just over 12 months ago, and leaves one son, David.