Gordon Rishman, who passed away last week, shortly after his 92nd birthday, was Woodlands Cricket Club through and through.

He gave wonderful service both on and off the field to the Bradford outfit and is going to be sorely missed, not just by the Woodlands faithful, but by league officials and visitors from rival clubs who he would always greet with a warm handshake and a beaming smile.

Gordon had time for everybody. He was a true cricket gent who loved being part of the cricketing family. That is probably no surprise as the game has been part of his life for almost all his 92 years.

He was privileged in being able to watch his little village side grow to become a Bradford Premier League giant.

It was a journey he played a huge part in, but Gordon was never one to seek the limelight for his part in the Woodlands success story.

Before Woodlands moved to their present ground, opposing sides would travel to Oakenshaw by tram, and had to walk the half mile or so from the terminus to the original ground in Woodlands hamlet.

This meant they had to pass the Rishman family home, and a very young Gordon would sit on the wall outside checking on the opposition team, which he would then report to his father Ralph.

As he got older, he would make his way to the ground itself to see his heroes in action.

To start with, he turned out for the 2nd XI when they were short and so when junior cricket was restarted at the club after the World War II, he was experienced enough to skipper the side.

He was also skilled enough to head the league batting averages when he led his team to the title in 1949.

He soon established himself in the first XI and continued playing well into the 1970s.

Established as the team's No. 3, he would nudge and nurdle his way along as the backbone of the innings.

In those days of uncovered pitches, little protective wear and no helmets, it took some courage to get behind every ball.

Gordon was up to the task and proved to be one of the most difficult batsmen to dislodge throughout his career, during which he batted throughout the innings on a remarkable eight occasions.

He also skippered the first XI during the 1959 and 1960 seasons.

Off the field of play, Gordon played his full part in the administration of the club and in 1983, having previously been chairman, he became club president.

That was a position he held for over 40 years until his death, meaning he goes down as the club’s longest-serving president.

Gordon was immensely proud to be president and life member of the club and watched it grow from an iconic village cricket club to become Bradford League champions in 2005.

Woodlands have followed that success with nine further league trophies and have go on to become Yorkshire Premier League champions in 2022 and 2023.

He was the perfect ambassador for the club during this golden era and represented it with distinction.

Gordon’s connection with Woodlands was a family affair.

His father Ralph was captain and president, his nephew Tony Throup was a spin bowler and Uncle Sid played for the club as wicketkeeper, prior to a Bradford League career with Bankfoot and Bowling Old Lane.

Privately, Gordon had a major career change during his forties when he undertook a university degree in podiatry.

Such was his determination to succeed that when Huddersfield University opened a School of Chiropody, Gordon was its first principal.

Throughout his life, Gordon was supported by two wonderful wives.

Cynthia gave her full support, particularly during the time of his studies, until she unfortunately passed away.

After some years of living alone, Gordon met Christine, who has given him fantastic support in the latter years of his life, when Gordon often endured ill health.

Gordon will be sadly missed by Christine, his family, everyone at Woodlands and all who had the good fortune to know him.

Once again, the cricketing family has lost one of his finest servants. A man who lived a wonderful life and will be remembered forever for his part in the rise of the club he so loved.