Tributes are being paid to highly-respected Bradford Premier League umpire Keith Dickens, who died at the weekend.

He twice took charge of the Priestley Cup final, in 2011 and 2013, during 25 years of officiating.

After stepping down in 2013 because he wanted to go out before his skills waned, Dickens served as an observer, watching new umpires and providing them with helpful advice.

He was well respected by the players and his calm and collected manner ensured that games were played in the spirit and to the laws of the game.

Before becoming an umpire, he played for both Pudsey Congs and Spen Victoria and in recent years he has been a regular supporter of Congs home and away.

Pudsey Congs president Ralph Middlebrook posted a moving tribute on his club's website.

He said: "Keith played his sport in a very competitive way, yet with a strong observance to laws/rules and especially sportsmanship.

"A former medium/quick bowler, Keith had a strong action, but never bowled short and tried hard with every ball he delivered.

“In retirement he turned to umpiring, for 25 years! He had a top reputation at that too.

​"Recent years have seen him and his wife attend matches home and away and this year he insisted on buying his fellow spectators a drink, as if he knew the illness news would not get any better.

 "When we bought the former Britannia Ground, Keith readily got stuck into the work of making the most of his talents as a plumber and tirelessly helped, with others, on providing facilities that we enjoy today.

"He certainly left his mark and our condolences go to his family.”

The Bradford Premier League is also mourning the death of Glenn Sewell, who was an active member of the league's umpiring panel.

He started his umpiring in the Bradford Central League and when Buttershaw St Paul’s joined the Central Yorkshire League, he acted as their club umpire initially before joining the umpires’ panel.

Since 2016, he had served on the Bradford Premier League Panel.

He had proved himself to be a reliable umpire, and will be sadly missed by his colleagues.