Tributes to Walsden’s Peter Green

Peter Green, fifth from the right on the back row, in Walsden CC's 1962 double side
Peter Green, fifth from the right on the back row, in Walsden CC's 1962 double side

Tributes have been paid to one of Walsden’s great sportsmen, Peter Green, who has died at the age of 82.

A cricketer and footballer of high standard and also a keen cyclist, Peter, who died suddenly last Friday, was a member of Walsden Cricket Club’s 1962 Central Lancashire League and Wood Cup double winning side.

He played a key role in clinching both pieces of silverware - including taking the wicket of West Indies legend Gary Sobers.

Peter was born in Walsden, the village in which he was to spend most of life, and after leaving school served his apprenticeship as an electrician at Gatley’s in Todmorden, then working at Cockcroft’s mill.

He undertook his national service in Germany with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) and on his return home worked at a tannery in Littleborough and then, for many years until his retirement, at Walsden Printing Company.

He played football for Walsden, then Lydgate United and had trials for professional outfit Bury.

It was cricket where he excelled, being a member of a talented Walsden side and twice being offered a deal to join Lancashire, which he turned down on both occasions.

A life member at Walsden, he features several times on its honours board, being first team all-rounder in 1963, winning the first eleven bowling award in 1966, 1969 and 1970, and being Player of the Year in 1976.

Allan Stuttard, a team mate from 1962 (and also the Walsden team that won the CLL title in 1964) recalls Peter’s key role, in an era in which Jack Coupe and Len Moss were often Walsden’s spearhead with the ball.

“Peter was always there when it counted.

“It was his effort in the Wood Cup semi-final when Gary Sobers came on that was crucial. Peter got him out and finished with 5-27, which got us through to the final we then won.

“And we had to win the last match to win the league. We were struggling and when Peter came on he finished with 5-22 and took the last four wickets for six runs,” said Allan.

There were some lighter moments too - once playing Rochdale a batsman hit Peter back over his head, the ball sailing through the window of a nearby house.

The batsman said “I’ll be in trouble now” to which Peter replied “Not as much as me - it’s my window!” The ball had landed neatly on his bed and club funds had to find £2 for replacing the broken pane.

His playing career continued after many years in the first eleven. Peter later skippered the second eleven, played bowls and remained a club benefactor all his life.

He was also delighted with the club’s recent CLL title successes, in 2012 and 2013.

Allan said: “Peter was a true sportsman, and he was also a brilliant fielder. It was a pleasure to have played with him and to have known him.”

Peter leaves his wife Audrey, sons Jonathan and Jeremy, grandsons Jamie, William and Edward and granddaughter Maddie. His funeral will be at St Peter’s Church, Walsden, next Tuesday, May 19, at 1.30pm.