HARDEN Cricket Club president Leonard Falkingham, who enjoyed a 61 year association with the club, has died aged 89.

Falkingham played a big part in Harden’s progress through the old West Bradford and Bradford Central Leagues into the Aire-Wharfe League as a player and official and his son, Mark said: “The cricket club was his life.”

An off spin bowler and lower order batsman, Falkingham began playing for Harden in 1959 and two years later became secretary, a post he held until 1980 when he became president.

He averaged 9.5 as a bowler throughout his career and in 1963 he and Harry Barlow established a new West Bradford League third wicket record partnership of 203 in a match at Haworth West End.

Off the field, he made a big contribution in developments at Harden’s Cuckoo Nest ground. He was instrumental in obtaining a grant for the building of a new pavilion in 1993 and played a leading part in painting and electrical work.

After retiring as a maintenance engineer at Damart in Bingley in 1994 he enjoyed helping with work on the ground.

Away from Harden, he also played a part in the wider administration of local cricket. He was secretary of the West Bradford League, a life member of the Bradford Central League and president of the Keighley Cup Committee, having helped to revive the competition.

The Falkingham family connection with Harden continues through the generations. Leonard’s son, Mark, 59, is in his 50th year as a player, his two grandsons also play - Richard is second team captain and Martin plays for first and second teams - and nine year-old great grandson Alfie plays junior cricket with the club.