STALWARTS from the Bradford area have received OSCAs (Outstanding Service to Cricket Award) from the Yorkshire Cricket Board.

They include former Bradford League secretary Bob Shackleton (Cleckheaton), Les Gudgeon (Haworth Road Methodists), Bradford League umpire Philip Radcliffe and Saltaire groundsman Billy Ricketts.

Shackleton, who has been an administrator for more than 50 years, has won the George Reah Special Award.

The 82-year-old started as cricket secretary at Cleckheaton, where he used to play, and was appointed Bradford League secretary in 1982.

In 2005, after a restructure of officials, Shackleton became chief executive and has been the league’s administration executive since 2010, dealing with player registrations.

He has also managed the league’s under-21 (White Rose) side and was treasurer of that competition for more than 20 years.

He has represented the Bradford League on many external bodies, such as the West Yorkshire Area Council and its predecessor the West Yorkshire League Council and was president of the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions’ Trophy for 25 years.

Someone else who has had a link with an organisation lasting for more than 50 years is Les Gudgeon, who has won the Heartbeat of the Club Award.

As well as keeping Haworth Road’s link with the Methodist Church alive, Gudgeon was initially a player for the Baildon Bottom club, including being a long-standing first or second-team captain, and has been club secretary for more than 30 years.

Some of that time has been spent ‘fire-fighting’ by the 68-year-old, be it helping to replace the collapsed wooden pavilion or getting the ground back into shape after the Boxing Day floods of 2015, where large containers found their way onto the ground.

Radcliffe has won the Derek Shuttleworth Award for Umpiring.

Radcliffe became an umpire in 1986 having finished his playing career in the Bradford League, joining the Bradford League Umpires’ Association.

He is still wearing his white coat in what is now the Bradford Premier League and is chairman of their umpires’ association, also representing them on the league’s management board.

A member of the ACU&S (Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers), he became a member of the ECB Association of Cricket Officials (ACO) at its inception in 2008.

He was elected as the first chairman of their North Region and has represented them on the ACO management committee ever since.

Radcliffe has also been the chairman of the Yorkshire ACO since 2008 and chaired the ECB ACO National Education Committee and the Scorers’ Committee, and he is still a scorers’ tutor and an ECB ACO accredited-umpire tutor and observer.

He was also chairman of the Yorkshire Cricket Board from 2009-16, having previously been vice-chairman, he has been president of the Joe Lumb Cricket Competition and the Yorkshire Junior Cricket Festival and is chairman and treasurer of the Bradford Junior League, with whom he has been involved for more than 30 years

Ricketts has to deal with plenty as groundsman at Saltaire, who are celebrating their 150th anniversary, as they play in Roberts Park, which cannot be closed off to the public.

Other issues the 75-year-old deals with include vandalism, anti-social behaviour, stones, litter, glass, golfers (who cause divots) and footballers.

But the ground not only stages Aire-Wharfe League cricket but also cup finals for other leagues, such as the Quaid-e-Azam.

Others who are down at their ground most days are the Stokes’ and Wells’ at Halifax League club Low Moor Holy Trinity, and they have won the Club Family of the Year award for their dedication over more than 60 years.

Stuart Stokes has held many roles at the club, including second-XI captain, committee member or, currently, league representative.

Helped by his wife Marilyn, they have ensured that the club runs smoothly on match-days – whether that be seniors or juniors.

Their son Mark has been an integral part of the first team for 20 years and has been captain, committee member and social events co-ordinator.

Stuart and Marilyn’s daughter Faye and grandchildren Ethan and Imogen may have a different surname – Wells – but their dedication to Low Moor HT is the same.

Ethan has progressed from the under-11s to u13s and may be ready for senior cricket in 2020 or 2021 but for the moment he is first-team scorer, having taken over from his mum.

Imogen has come through the All Stars programme to the club’s new under-nine programme, while their cousin Harvey Stokes could be the next starlet in line.

Lightcliffe’s Kevin Booth and Bruce Lunn have won the Coaching Young People OSCA.

They have re-organised, re-energised and inspired the provision for junior cricket for the past 10 years, and Lightcliffe now have 10 junior sides.

Over 50 children attend their Friday night coaching programme, where they have roped in parental support.

One benefit has been that Lightcliffe’s under-13 side, which contains county age-group players, reached their Yorkshire semi-final, while a further six play representative cricket at regional level.

In addition they run the club’s Sunday Section, which is a vital step in the juniors’ progression into senior cricket, but have also utilised the loan system to give their juniors the opportunity of Saturday cricket elsewhere.

Leeds City College lecturer Adam Brown, who has assisted with the organisation of live streaming many county age-group matches in 2019, has won the Youth Representative award, and has even made it part of his students’ coursework as analysts.

The Yorkshire under-14 coach has done this by using the Pitchvision system, which has proved helpful to parents and players, and will continue in the winter with the Pathway coaching programme.

Brown is also involved with the creation of an on-line countywide scouting system.