MICHAEL Sheppard, one of five life vice-presidents of the ENCO Halifax League, has died less than two weeks after being honoured at their annual dinner.

Sheppard, a stalwart of Sowerby St Peter’s Cricket Club, received a memento of his vice-presidency at the yearly bash at The Venue in Barkisland, which was attended by 220.

League chairman Anthony Briggs said: “It is a sad time as we lose another member of the family of the league far too early.

“Mick was just a lovely person and human being who will be missed by all that were lucky enough to know him.

“It was fantastic to see him at the dinner and to have a chat with him, as many of us did.”

League executive member Mohammed Yousaf added: “Mick was a softly-spoken gentleman, with many kind words shared. His presence was giant and humbling.”

Mick, who was the league’s fixture secretary from 1980-2005 and became a life vice-president in 2006, has been associated with the league for many years, initially as a fine batsman at Sowerby St Peter’s.

Their secretary Gordon Akroyd said: “We will miss him at Sowerby, obviously, but he will leave a hole at the heart of local cricket and indeed in football, where he was also a keen player.”

Added to the list of life vice-presidents was former Halifax Courier sports editor Ian Rushworth.

Two club members to receive special awards on the night were Great Horton Park Chapel’s Roger Stephenson and Queensbury’s Neil Myers.

Stephenson took the Maude Trophy, awarded by the Halifax League’s Association of Cricket Officials as their Sportsman of the Year, while Myers was awarded the Frederick Stallard Bowl for long and distinguished service to the league.

Meanwhile, Eric Conyers (Upper Hopton) won the Simon Lees Memorial Trophy for 2020, awarded for more than 25 years’ service to a club as either a player or an official, with Eddie Griffiths (Copley) taking the award for 2021.

Bradshaw took the H Robinson Trophy for the most improved ground.

Josh Hutchinson (Thornton) was awarded the Ronald Wolfenden Batting Trophy for his 976 runs, and also took the Premier Division batting award with an average of 81.33.

Great Horton Park Chapel took three of the four First Division awards – batting (Adam Beesley 571 runs at an average of 47.58; wicket-keeping (Chris Brown, 22 victims, 16 caught, six stumped) and fielding (Dominic Anderson (five marks) – only missing out on the bowling, which went to Clayton’s Sam Wilson (38 wickets at 10.71).

The best Second Division fielder was Jack Clough (Queensbury), also with five marks.

Two First Division second XI awards went to Bradford clubs, with Thomas Rajan (Thornton) taking the bowling with 42 wickets at 12.43, and Jacob Ashbrook (Great Horton Park Chapel) the wicket-keeping award with 14 catches.

Queensbury’s Benjamin Brian won the second XI’s Second Division wicket-keeping award with 13 victims (five caught, eight stumped).

In the Sunday League, Bashir Sidat (Mount) was joint winner of the Division Two fielding award with six marks, while Gary Lewsley (Lightcliffe) won the Division One batting trophy with 489 runs at an average of 48.90.

Chief guest was former Yorkshire bowler Oliver Hannon-Dalby, who is now with Warwickshire, and Master of Ceremonies was Pete Emmett.