Tributes to cricket leg­end

Accrington Observer - - FRONT PAGE - BIANCA MUR­RAY bianca.mur­ray@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @Bian­caMur­ray88

TRIBUTES have been paid to a for­mer cricket club pres­i­dent fol­low­ing his death aged 98.

Les­lie Pilk­ing­ton, of Eachill Gar­dens in Rish­ton, passed away peace­fully in hos­pi­tal on July 23. He was a life­long mem­ber of Bax­en­den Cricket Club and served as pres­i­dent for more than 50 years.

His son David said that de­spite his age his fa­ther didn’t want to go into a home.

He said: “He was still fully aware of ev­ery­thing that was go­ing on. He was a leg­end and a true gen­tle­man and a lovely man, he never said a bad word about any­body.

“We lost my brother when he was 51 and then lost my mum in 2011 to can­cer, but he bat­tled on. We didn’t get a chance to say good­bye to him.

“He was 98 he had a full life and he passed away peace­fully in the end.”

Les­lie started his work­ing life as a liner type op­er­a­tor at the Ac­cring­ton Ob­server where he met his late wife Vera.

Af­ter leav­ing the Ob­server he worked for the fam­ily busi­ness ST Pilk­ing­ton which sold bed­ding and tow­els.

Bax­en­den Cricket Club posted a tweet fol­low­ing Mr Pilk­ing­ton’s death which said: “RIP Les Pilk­ing­ton. Pres­i­dent of 50 years sadly passed away to­day.

“Thoughts are with the fam­ily. Will be sadly missed by all at Bax­en­den CC.”

David, for­merly of Bax­en­den, said: “They wouldn’t let him go de­spite his ad­vanc­ing age, he loved cricket and football but he was a keen cricket player.

“He was good enough to play for Lan­cashire but that went out the win­dow when war was de­clared.

“He served in the army dur­ing the Sec­ond World War as part of the East Lan­cashire Reg­i­ment and he was based up in Scot­land.”

David said his dad’s love of sports was passed down to him from his own fa­ther.

He said: “My grand­fa­ther Sa­muel Pilk­ing­ton was chair­man of Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley, a chief mag­is­trate and chair­man of the football league third di­vi­sion.

“My dad fol­lowed in his foot­steps, but my dad was a bet­ter crick­eter than foot­baller.

“When the war fin­ished he cap­tained Ac­cring­ton Cricket Club, and then went to Bax­en­den and took them from the ju­nior to se­nior league and went two years un­de­feated.”

A ser­vice to celebrate Les­lie’s life will take place at Ac­cring­ton Cre­ma­to­rium on Fri­day July 31 at 12.20pm.

MR Les­lie Pilk­ing­ton, of Rish­ton and for­merly of Bax­en­den, died peace­fully in hos­pi­tal on July 23, aged 98.

The de­voted hus­band of the late Vera, much loved fa­ther of David and the late Stephen, dear fa­ther-in-law of Sylvia and San­dra, cher­ished ‘gramps’ of Sara, Michael, Steven, Joanne and Karen, great-grandad of Nixon, Ka­rina, Ge­or­gia, Ri­ley and Talia, also a much loved rel­a­tive and good friend to many.

Les­lie started his work­ing life as a lino­type op­er­a­tor at the Ac­cring­ton Ob­server it was at work he met the love of his life and wife to be, Vera. They mar­ried in 1941 and en­joyed a happy mar­riage for 69 years.

A true sports en­thu­si­ast Les­lie’s life re­volved around his beloved cricket and football. A life long mem­ber of Bax­en­den Cricket club, he served as pres­i­dent for over 50 years and still re­mained in his po­si­tion. He was also a for­mer cap­tain of both Ac­cring­ton and Bax­en­den cricket teams. In his later years Les­lie still fol­lowed his sport but from the com­fort of his arm­chair on his favourite Sky Sports chan­nels.

Les­lie served in the Army dur­ing WW2, fol­low­ing the war he joined the fam­ily busi­ness S T Pilk­ing­ton Ltd on Tay­lor Street West and fol­low­ing the death of his fa­ther, Sa­muel Tur­nell Pilk­ing­ton, he took over the daily run­ning of the com­pany.

He loved to take hol­i­days to Spain in his younger years with his wife Vera, and of­ten trav­elled with good friends Harold and Mar­garet. Les­lie was a true gen­tle­man and a lo­cal leg­end who de­voted his time to oth­ers and al­ways looked for­ward to fam­ily vis­its.

A ser­vice to celebrate Les­lie’s life will take place at Ac­cring­ton Cre­ma­to­rium to­day at Fri­day, July 31 at 12.20pm. Fam­ily flow­ers only please, with do­na­tions in mem­ory on be­half of Can­cer Re­search UK and East Lan­cashire Hos­pice via www.champ­fu­ner­als.com/obituaries.

Fu­neral di­rec­tor: Champ Fu­neral Ser­vices.

An­thony Pooler

Les­lie Pilk­ing­ton joined the Ac­cring­ton Ob­server as a 15-year-old ap­pren­tice but is bet­ter known for his as­so­ci­a­tion with cricket

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