ALAN Broadbent has decided to finish umpiring after 28 years’ service in the Bradford Mutual Sunday School League.

Broadbent, an opening bowler with St Stephen’s Church (now West Bowling), Haworth Road Meths and Muff Field, took up the white coat when he was 52 and must have umpired in the region of 600 Mutual matches.

“You used to have to go to church on a Sunday otherwise St Stephen’s wouldn’t pick you, but in the later stages of my playing days my two sons were in the same side and said it was time that I packed up as they said I couldn’t bend down and stop the ball,” explained Alan.

“But now that I am 80 I am finding it difficult to do 80 overs a day what with the moving between overs and standing still and getting out of the way of the ball.”

Echoing the comments made a few weeks ago by fellow umpire Alan Carter, who has reached 50 years’ service, mainly in the Bradford League, Broadbent said: “You can count on the fingers of one hand the clubs where players walk now when they are given out.

“Also I don’t like the win-at-all costs attitude these days.”

Broadbent, who is league president and is into double figures in terms of umpiring the league's cup finals (Sir James Roberts Cup and H Broadbent Trophy), added: “I will probably go out with the wife now on Saturday afternoons but may still bob in to see some matches.”

His departure means that Paul Newbould is now the league’s senior umpire in terms of years served with 23 (a total of 544 games).