Moving tributes are being paid to the highly-respected umpire and Altofts stalwart Peter Burns who died on Boxing Day.

Many who have shared his cricketing journey have spoken of his warm heartedness, kindness and sense of fair play.

Peter was a life vice-president of the Bradford Premier League Match Officials Association, and was a man who loved to talk about the game he had a deep love for.

When he was unable to umpire in recent years, he would often be seen walking round the boundary at a match chatting to many of his old companions.

Peter played at Altofts from the 1960s until the 1980s, when he became a committee member and then an umpire.

He soon became an extremely popular and highly-regarded umpire in the Central Yorkshire League and his passing is going to be felt hugely by both Altofts and the Bradford Premier League Match Officials Association.

Altofts captain Jordan Carter spoke warmly about the help he received from Peter.

He wrote on Facebook: “I’ve known Peter for 13 years and he was the umpire when I made my first team debut at 16 back in 2011.

“Throughout my senior cricket career down at the Lane (Altofts’ ground Lock Lane), Pete has been a mainstay and always kept in touch to see how I was doing.

“Three years ago, when I was appointed first team captain, Pete was the first person to call me to offer any help and then again to congratulate us on our success (in being promoted from Division Three of the Bradford Premier League) only a few months ago.

“Whenever umpiring us, Pete always remained completely unbiased despite his close connection to the club.

“It was a treat when we saw Pete on a game day. He will be sorely missed by everyone at Altofts and the local cricketing community.”

Peter had an impact on umpiring both on and off the field. He was knowledgeable, wise and often provided much-needed common sense guidance.

He was always admired for being a perfect gentleman and a wonderfully loyal colleague.

Nigel Thornton, interim chair of the Bradford Premier League Match Officials Association, knew him well.

He wrote on social media: “On behalf of the Bradford Premier League Match Officials Association, can we thank Peter for his efforts in the integration of the Bradford League and Central Yorkshire Cricket League umpires associations.

“He was instrumental in the joining of the two associations, a proper cricket man.

“Thank you for your efforts. An excellent umpire, who was always respected by the clubs and his peers.

“On behalf of the MOA and personally, can I state our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Ann and his family at this sad time.”

Peter’s death is the third sad blow for the Match Officials Association following closely on the passing of Life Members Keith Dickens and Glenn Sewell.