Mel Howsam, a fast left arm bowler who played for Pollington Cricket Club in the former West Riding League from the 1950s to the 1990s, has died at the age of 75.
He was known and respected throughout Yorkshire as one of the best club bowlers of his generation.
Former England batsman and pundit Sir Geoffrey Boycott commented recently during an England international that this young bowler from Pollington was one of the hardest bowlers he had faced in his early career.
In partnership with fellow bowler Ken Beaumont, Mel ensured Pollington was the team to beat through the 1970s in the West Riding Cricket League.
Stephen Carr, secretary of the Snaith and District Cricket League, said: “Pollington was the team of the seventies and the West Riding Cricket League was a much better place with him there. His bowling partnership with Kenny Beaumont was much feared in our cricketing society.
“He gave a great deal of pleasure to all cricket lovers and will be sorely missed. I am sure that he will go down as one of the local cricketing greats.”
Pollington CC chairman Mark Punton said: “Wherever we travel to play cricket today, throughout Yorkshire, one question is asked by senior club members, be it in Bradford, Leeds, Barnsley, Wakefield, Pontefract or York. What’s Mel doing now?
“He was a man who loved cricket, loved sport and will be sadly missed by his family, community and club. Mel is one of the main reasons we work so hard at the club today. He gave the club a history to be proud of.”
Mel’s funeral will be at Pollington Church this Friday at 12 noon.