THE final whistle has sounded, at the age of 88 for Bill Reynoldson, a prominent Craven sportsman and highly respected craftsman of the building trade, writes Skipton’s sports personality, Roger Ingham.

A much-revered individual, Bill was the oldest of 11 brothers and sisters who grew up in a small terraced cottage in River Place, Gargrave.

After attending the village’s Church of England primary school in Church Street, he figured amongst the earliest intake at the newly built Barnoldswick Secondary Modern School.

Here his sporting prowess began to shine as he starred for the school football team.

Following his education, his employment then started with Gill’s Garage in his home village. Today the site is now a housing complex.

At this juncture, Bill was also making an impressive mark with both the Gargrave football and cricket teams.

Indeed, football-wise to a point of him attracting the attentions of Football League scouts, prior to him answering his National Service call-up where he served with the 62 Regiment Heavy Artillery.

Bill’s sporting prowess in the Army widened his talents further to include non-team activities and resulted in him winning his regiment’s welter-weight boxing title.

After demobilisation, Bill embarked on a new employment career in the building trade as a plasterer, pebble-dasher and tiler with those who knew him knowing precision and neatness were his hallmark.

Meanwhile, he also rekindled his football and cricketing careers and opportunity initially knocked regarding his football as then prominent Accrington Stanley invited him over for trials.

However, between the trials, Bill continued to shine in amateur soccer until an unfortunate clash of heads resulted in him losing an eye, and consequently terminating his ambitions of featuring at the highest level.

In no way though did this regrettable mishap nullify his distinguished character, charisma and working qualities.

As time moved on, outdoor sporting participation gave way to the indoor scene as Bill then proceeded to shine for many years in regional darts competitions.

He also proved to be a singer of some accomplishment and his colourful personality earned him the glowing accolade of the “Karaoke King”.

Never dull - that is for certain - and it was grand to note that his name was still revered in Accrington as the newly formed Stanley club sent him a club shirt bearing his name for his eightieth birthday.

Bereaved by his wife, Doreen, eight years ago, Bill is survived by two sons, five grandsons and a grand-daughter. Also, a memory which should long evoke many smiles and a shed-load of glowing recollections.