TRIBUTES have been paid to Dales Council League chairman and former Bradford League secretary Steve Raistrick, who has died aged 56.

The Pudsey Congs stalwart was Bradford League secretary for ten years until he stepped down two years ago due to ill health.

He joined the Dales Council League's committee in 1995, taking over as results and fixtures secretary, and did that job until 2007, becoming league chairman a year later.

Steve was also on their supplementary umpires' panel, but one of his proudest moments came just last month when he was made Congs president, and he bravely chaired the annual meeting, and did it well, even though he was ill.

Steve had also been secretary at Intake Road, and Congs are holding a tribute evening to him on Monday [February 27].

Bradford Premier League chairman David Young said of Steve: "Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

"Steve had a great love for cricket and made a big contribution to Pudsey Congs, the Bradford League and the Dales Council League.

"He had a cheery personality and will be missed by all who knew him."

Dales Council League secretary Ron Mackenzie said of Steve: "He was an affable and cheerful presence, whether being MC at the league presentation evening or representing the league at Inter-League Cup fixtures or at Area Council meetings, and he helped to make Pudsey Congs our unofficial headquarters.

"He will be sorely missed by all in the Dales Council and will be a hard act to follow."

Congs cricket chairman Ralph Middlebrook said: "Steve was above all a cricket lover, and it didn't matter what standard of game he was watching.

"But he was so much more to us as he was involved in the dominoes team, Pubwatch (a voluntary organisation whose ambition is to achieve a safer drinking environment in all licensed premises throughout the UK) and the social side of the club, including bingo – he loved his bingo.

"He was also a great cricket administrator, such as working on legal requirements for things such as licences, and was unusual in that, although he sometimes moaned about bureaucracy, the harder the task the more he seemed to relish it.

"His father Joe played in the Bradford Mutual Sunday School League, and Derrick Reason, one of our stalwarts, can remember Steve being taken to a match aged five that Joe was playing in.

"Pudsey Congs, who believe that cricket is there for everybody, has a great cricket legacy going back to Sutcliffe and Hutton, and Steve, in his own sphere, has added to that."

Funeral details have still to be announced, but it is likely to be held in the second week in March.