BRADFORD & Bingley cricket and rugby union club members will be among those paying their respects tomorrow to long-serving stalwart Tom Bairstow, who died earlier this month, aged 83.

Tom was one of a small group instrumental in bringing Bingley and Bradford Cricket Clubs together, which saw them merge in 1988.

He was also involved when the Bradford & Bingley Sports Club was established in a link-up with the town’s rugby club at Wagon Lane.

A memorial service takes place tomorrow at the United Reform Church in Bingley at 1.30pm.

A member of Bingley Cricket Club at birth, he rose to be secretary, then president for many years.

Tom raised funds for the club for most of his life, starting by organising regular raffles at the age of 19, and continuing year after year and also organising sports dinners.

He was a passionate and committed Rotarian with the Bingley Rotary Club, and when a second Rotary club, Bingley Airedale Club, was founded too, he was always there to give support.

In his own club, he was the mainstay of many of the functions organised for charity and was instrumental in helping to raise thousands of pounds.

After a visit to Martin House Hospice at Boston Spa, Tom was so moved by the work and care there for terminally ill children that he volunteered to become a Martin House agency fundraiser.

Despite a lifetime of raising funds for the cricket club, for charities and for Martin House, many Bingley residents will know Tom best for putting a roof over their heads.

For years, Tom was the mortgage manager at the main branch of Bradford and Bingley Building Society in town.

Many stories are told of his help to obtain a mortgage. It was for this that many locals thought of him as ‘Mr Bingley.’ The town therefore waved goodbye to one of its own when Tom sadly lost his latest fight with illness.

After 15 weeks in Airedale Hospital, he was desperate to come home. He was allowed to return for one final time, able to enjoy home comforts, such as his cricket on TV and most of all, his wife Barbara’s cooking.