TRIBUTES have poured in for a pillar of the Cumbrian cricket community following his death on Thursday aged 90.

Former North Lancashire and Cumbria Cricket League secretary, Colin Bickerstaffe leaves a legacy behind having held the post for 18 years before retiring in 2015. He also served as an umpire for 42 years, officiating matches even on his 80th birthday.

Son Graeme Bickerstaffe said that the sport was his biggest passion outside of his family: “He loved cricket and absolutely adored being on the field, it was never a chore for him.”

Mr Bickerstaffe started out as a player for Haverigg, West Coast Tannery and Millom Steelworks.

Graeme said: “His passion was Haverigg Cricket Club, that was his first introduction to the sport. He loved to see it do well.”

Mr Bickerstaffe was also president of the league and it was a proud moment when he saw Haverigg, his former side, win promotion to the Northern Premier Division in 2019.

Graeme expressed gratitude for the kind messages. He said: “The messages that we’ve got, it does help the family knowing he was held in such high regard.”

Mark Davidson, honorary secretary for Carlisle Cricket Club said: “Colin will be sadly missed by everyone involved in cricket across Cumbria and beyond. Colin was league secretary for 18 seasons and regarded as one of the finest umpires on the league circuit. I know that Colin always had high praise for Carlisle Cricket Club, particularly following the recovery from several devastating floods in recent years. Our sincere condolences go to Rose, Graeme and the family from us all at Edenside.”

Peter Gardiner took over as secretary of the North Lancashire and Cumbria Cricket League in 2015 and he hailed Mr Bickerstaffe as a mentor. He said: “He was a fantastic help to me when I took over as league secretary. He showed me the ropes and guided me through the bumps, hollows and pitfalls of running the league.

Mr Gardiner added that his absence would be felt throughout the sport.

He said: “He was the person that had the most respect of the whole league, he was great company, he got on well with people of all ages and standards. He was the guiding force that kept the wheels in motion. After he officially relinquished his roles he still continued to do the fixtures for every season.”