A CLAYTON man celebrated his 80th birthday in style with a trademark innings to lead his club to victory.

Keith Holdsworth, known as Chiefy by his teammates over the years, received an engraved tankard from his Clayton-based club Mayfield CC in a special presentation before the Mayfield seconds’ home game against St Chads Broomfield fifths.

Holdsworth began his cricketing league career in the early 1960s at the age of 21 by playing for Bulmer and Lumb CC in the Bradford Amateur Council League.

He said: “I started playing league cricket and never looked back.

“I’m still playing at 80 because I enjoy the game. It’s a good crack with friends and teammates.”

He then played for Daisy Hill Methodists in the Bradford Mutual Sunday School League, then Girlington in the Bradford Central League before returning to the Sunday School League in 1984 with Odsal CC, where he played for 28 years.

Many of his Odsal teammates came to Mayfield to watch Holdsworth play his trademark defensive innings as an opening batsman and take the field at point.

Holdsworth scored 12 but batted for more than 15 overs to hold together the Mayfield innings as they finished on 125-9, and went on to beat St Chads by 31 runs.

Steve McKenney, his teammate at Odsal for many years, said: “I can’t believe he’s still playing at 80. He hasn’t changed a bit. He was a good player and we had a good crack.

Clive Paget, who played with Holdsworth at Odsal and then Sunday School League side Great Horton Methodists, said: “I played with Chiefy for over 30 years. We were always the two oldest players in the team.ort

Paget then joked: “I opened the bowling and he always fielded at point. He took a lot of catches but he always used to drop them off me.”

After playing at Great Horton Meths for a few years, Holdsworth moved to Mayfield CC when they joined the Dales Council League in 2018.

First team captain Paul Cuthbertson, who played with Holdsworth at Odsal, Great Horton Meths and Mayfield, said: “Chiefy has always been a good batsman and fielder but he likes the social side of the game as well. It’s been a pleasure to play alongside him.”

Cuthbertson said Holdsworth, whose top score over the years is 72, finished third in the batting averages to help Odsal win the league title in 2002.

“He’s had tremendous longevity. How many people do you know who could play cricket at 80? It’s a fantastic achievement in his career.”