ALEX WHARF reckons that laughter is definitely the best medicine after a memorial match for his dad Derek at Buttershaw St Paul’s.

A chuckle or a chortle was never far away in the 30 overs per side game between a 1980s team captained by Paul Kane and a team from 2000 captained by James Sawyer, spanning the decades in which Derek coached the juniors at St Paul’s Avenue.

Former Woodlands, Shelf, Buttershaw St Paul’s and Fields cricketer Derek died in April aged 79 – hence the number 79 on the players’ shirts – and his son Alex, who played for Glamorgan, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire, as well as England, said of the day: “Derek would have been really proud.

“A lot of people turned out, he was dearly loved and this club meant so much to him, myself and all my family.

“He would have been proud that a lot of people came to laugh and smile at his expense and it has just been great.”

After a minute’s silence in memory of Derek, the youngsters from the year 2000 team, who included Andrew Deegan, Jordan Laban, Ian Carradice and James Crossland, made 236-6 of which Crossland hit 35 and Chris Kellett 28.

Those who retired out or were not out included Daniel Bolland (31), Laban (28 containing four fours and two sixes), Carradice (21), Neil Sutcliffe (21) and Deegan (15).

Andrew Branthwaite took a miserly 3-10 in his three overs, with Gary Wainwright conceding only three runs in his two overs.

The boys from the 1980s then made 85, with Paul Carroll (12), 13-year-old Matthew Long (12) and veteran Bob Cull (10) being the only players to make double figures as Laban (3-6), Ryan Smith (2-1) and Deegan (2-4) tied them down.

Wainwright was pinned lbw by his 13-year-old son Charlie and the match was interrupted for 45 minutes so that people could watch the climax of that remarkable Test match at Headingley.

Alex Wharf, whose fielding looked his strongest suit (he took two catches), added: “I moved away from here in about 2000 and it has been great to see so many people, many of whom I recognise but cannot remember their names!

“Another great thing was to see some of the lads that I used to play with.

“I turned up at 11am and there were already a group of us and just to hear them laugh – I haven’t heard that for decades and that was great and I was just so proud of what people did today.”

Wharf, 44, was bamboozled by Smith’s accurate leg-spin, however, and admitted: “I don’t think that Derek would have been proud of my batting today.

“I probably finished the game how I started it as a junior – swinging and missing!”

A total of more than £1,000 was raised from donations, a raffle and an auction for the Alzheimer’s Society, an illness that Derek suffered from in his later years, and there are plans to erect a bench in his honour at the ground and perhaps to have his ashes scattered there too.

Alex Wharf said: “It would be fitting because he loved this club and spent so many hours here over the years.”

Buttershaw St Paul’s was not the only venue in the Bradford area on Sunday where there was a cricket match to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

There was a bucket collection at Salts where a Shipley Providence XI faced Colin’s XI in a T20 contest to mark Colin White’s 50-year-involvement with Prov.

The outfield was softer at Salts than St Paul’s, and Colin’s XI, who included two juniors as fielders, made 84-4, with opener Colin (13) putting on 37 for the second wicket with Lee Grice (44no, including six fours and a six).

Shipley Providence replied with 85-4 off 14.3 overs, led by Suwanth Krishnamurthy (33no), with Raman Venkatraman and Rafakat Mehmood both making 15 against the ‘old stagers’.

White has been first and second-team captain at Prov, as well as leading their Sunday and Evening League teams, in addition to being chairman, treasurer and groundsman at various times.

He said: “It has been an absolutely brilliant day, but I came down here at 10am to cut three pitches – yesterday’s pitch to clean it up, today’s pitch and next week’s pitch - and by the end of that I didn’t want to play cricket as I was sweltering!

“Lee hasn’t played cricket for 20 years after scoring 146 one week and a golden duck the next week. He scored 44 not out and kept wicket very well and all credit to him.”

Colin’s mum Nellie suffered from Alzheimer’s for 10 years until she died in 2007 and the bucket collection raised £90.