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Village honours hero Jim

A street in Saltaire has been named after one of cricket's greatest legends and a Shipley hero.

The road sign for Jim Laker Place, off Fernhill Road, has now been put in place, naming a road only 100 yards from where the off-spinner worked as a delivery boy in the 1930s.

Members of Saltaire Cricket Club and Councillor Martin Love (Green, Shipley West) are planning an unveiling ceremony next month and will invite Mr Laker's widow Lily from her home in Salisbury to take part.

A new plaque will also be fixed to the scoreboard of Saltaire Cricket Club, in Roberts Park.

By then, a third commemorative plaque will have also been put in place on his birthplace in Norwood Road.

Coun Love, pictured, was pleased that his road-naming suggestion has now become reality.

He said: "I thought it was long overdue that one of Shipley's greatest sons should have been honoured in some way.

"Younger people remember him as a commentator, but older people will remember him in his playing days.

"He probably lived very close to this new road. So it is an appropriate way to honour him."

Jim Laker, who died in 1986, was the first player in the world to take ten wickets in a Test match innings.

He claimed ten for 53 against Australia at Old Trafford in 1956 and took a total of 19 wickets in the match, another world record.

Born in 1922, he was educated at Saltaire High School, then played for Saltaire Cricket Club in the Bradford League from 1938 until he joined the army during the Second World War.

When the war was over, he played for Surrey, then later represented England.

The Anchor Sheltered Housing development on the newly-named Jim Laker Place is in its final stages of development.

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