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