A former winner of the Huddersfield Merit crown green bowling title, John Aspinall, has died.
Known to his friends as ‘Aspy’, he passed away on holiday in Malta last week aged 70.
Born and bred in Lindley, John lived in Longwood and enjoyed travelling, having retired from the Yorkshire Electricity Board some years ago.
He excelled in bowling, having taken up the sport as a teenager when, in those days, it was generally considered an ‘old man’s game’.
As a young man, he played at Lindley Liberal Club and then moved to Crosland Moor, but 25 years ago he started playing at Longwood, where he has remained a member.
He played more than 50 times for the Yorkshire County side and won the prestigious Huddersfield Merit title in 1983, beating Peter Leah in the final at Linthwaite Hall.
In 1992, he won the Huddersfield William Stones Handicap (formerly the Bass North), beating Barry Gibson in the showpiece at Almondbury Liberal Club, and he landed the Yorkshire Hills Supplies Handicap crown in 1999, defeating Graham Blenkinsop of Ossett Flying Horse in the final at Halifax Bowling Club.
At the Griffin Bowling Club, he was a legend.
He won the Champion of Champions title three times at the Colne Valley winter venue, where they held a minute’s silence for him before play at the weekend.
In addition to winning numerous Sixteens and the Griffin Classic, he was twice a winner of the club’s Pairs competition and twice a winner of the Rosebowl.
A close friend of the late Brian Starkey – they were great rivals on the green who became good mates off it – he enjoyed nothing more than bowling and was a regular on the old Examiner bowling trips to Portugal, where he was also a winner.
Griffin president Alan Hirst paid tribute to John, saying he would be sadly missed by all who knew him.