Tributes have been paid to popular former Bradford League umpire Geoff Robertshaw, who has died after a long illness aged 75.

Chairman of the Umpires Association Alan Carter said: “We always knew him as whispering Geoff (because of his soft voice). It was an affectionate name. He was a great guy, a very nice man in the way he did his umpiring.

“He loved the stage of entertainment. He liked to be noticed. He loved being in the centre with the big clubs, the big players in the league and enjoyed his cricket.

“Geoff was a great guy to be with, a good colleague on the field and he was very laid back.”

Robertshaw, who always umpired in his trademark panama hat, officiated in the Bradford League for more than 20 years, becoming a life member of the umpires association after 21 years' service before ending his umpiring career in the Aire-Wharfe League. He gave up umpiring two years ago.

In his younger days he played cricket for Clayton Methodists and Low Moor Holy Trinity in the Bradford area before taking up umpiring.

He was also a keen football fan, supporting Bradford City and Bradford Park Avenue, and was a long-serving member of Clayton Church Choir.

In his working life, he was employed in the wool trade for many years in the clerical and financial side of the industry before becoming a shipping representative for Sealand and Hapag-Lloyd.

He later moved into insurance with Royal Insurance in Bradford and then Eagle Star in Leeds before retiring 15 years ago.