A VILLAGE cricket club is in mourning after two stalwarts died just hours apart.
One had just been given the all-clear from cancer.
Shepley Cricket Club is in mourning after 69-year-old Malcolm Hine and Chris Armitage, aged 53, died suddenly from heart attacks over the weekend.
Mr Hine, of Shepley, died on Saturday night and Mr Armitage on Sunday morning.
Club secretary Ian Watkinson said: “We were collecting wood on Sunday morning for the cricket club bonfire when we had two phone calls, 20 minutes apart, to tell us the sad news.
“Both men will be greatly missed by everyone at Shepley and beyond.’’
Mr Hine had been helping club members collect wood for the bonfire and fireworks display, which was held last night.
One of the final photos captured him taking a breather during the work.
He had battled throat cancer for more than a year and had been given the all- clear at hospital just last week.
Mr Hine had been an important part of the club for more than 50 years and in 2003 was awarded the coveted F R Stallard Cup.
This is given by the Drakes Huddersfield Cricket League to someone who has given long and distinguished service to a club.
He had served Shepley as player, committee member, league representative and trustee.
He was at the club most days, including the day he died.
Mr Watkinson said: “Malcolm would cut the outfield, clear rubbish or do any little job he could find.’’
He was married with two children.
Mr Armitage had recently moved to Shelley and was married with four children. He was a massive Town fan, rarely missing a game, home and away.
Also, young players coming to the club used to lodge with him.
They included Phil Starbuck and Darren Bullock.
Mr Armitage – known affectionately as Dill – played for Shepley and became a committee member after his playing days finished.
Mr Watkinson said: “Chris made a big contribution to the development of the club off the field in recent years.
“He took charge of the bar and led the social life with great enthusiasm.’’
Mr Armitage had suffered from diabetes and had scaled down his involvement with the club in recent months due to health problems.