Norman Upton, the former president of Bingley Rugby Club and current president of Myrtle Park Bowling Club, has died following a short illness.
A well-known figure in the local community, he passed away just five days short of his 91st birthday.
Born in Liversedge, Norman moved with parents Herbert and Evelyn to Crossflatts as a child. He was educated at Myrtle Park Primary School and Bingley Grammar School before moving to Fox’s School of Commerce, where he met his future wife Barbara. They were married at Bradford Cathedral in 1951.
Norman saw action in Europe, Africa, India, Egypt and Italy during the 1939-45 war. He was wounded on the Belgian/Dutch border before finally being demobbed in 1947.
Following the war, he was a regular fixture in the Bingley first team as second row or back row. He became treasurer of the club in 1947, when club headquarters were at the Midland Hotel in Bingley, and moved with the club to their then new headquarters at Hall Bank Drive (Lyndhurst) in 1962 and then to the current headquarters at Wagon Lane.
He served in that office for 50 years and a special This is Your Life-style tribute was held at the club to mark his achievement when he finally stepped down.
He was president of the club from 1975 to 1978 and brought the traditional Yorkshire values of hard work and thrift to his continuing contribution as a member of the committee, eventually being made a life member.
He continued to be a spectator in later years, always enjoying going into the clubhouse after the game to enjoy a drink with old friends.
A keen crown green bowler, Norman had been president of Myrtle Park for more than 40 years, taking over the office when his father, who was manager and projectionist at the Hippodrome Cinema until it closed in 1954, died.
He played for Myrtle Park for many years and, after retiring from playing, remained an ardent supporter, attending as many games as possible.
In his professional life, Norman worked in sales with Bradford shipping company P&M Transport, which later became Transflash McGregor and finally Ocean. He retired as sales director of the company in 1988, having travelled to many places in the world on behalf of the firm.
A loving family man, Norman – whose wife Barbara passed away four years ago – leaves children Pamela, Michael and Christine, seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He will be sadly missed by all his friends and neighbours in the Aire Valley.
A funeral service will take place at St Luke’s Parish Church, East Morton, on Wednesday at 10am, prior to cremation at Nab Wood Cemetery.