Sportswoman and teacher June Crabtree, 79

JUNE Crabtree, who died on Wednesday, July 21, aged 79, was a keen sportswoman who, between 1952 and 1956, was the mistress for girls' physical training at Todmorden Grammar School.

She was born in Salford, Manchester, on March 25, 1931, the younger of two daughters of William and Kathleen Barrington. Her sister is named Joyce.

Educated at St George's School, Harrogate from the age of five, she later passed the eleven plus and between 1945 and 1948 went to Middleton Grammar School, near Manchester.

From there she attended, and excelled at, Lady Mabel's College of Physical Training in Wentworth-Woodhouse near Rotherham. On graduation she applied to Todmorden Grammar School for the position of physical training mistress for girls and was duly accepted.

She became a member of Todmorden Golf Club, although tennis became her favourite pastime.

She was often seen practising on the courts at Centre Vale Park, though she soon joined the Hollins Club, near Stansfield Hall. Fit as a fiddle, she excelled in a doubles partnership there with local businessman Harold Hirst, who himself had a second sideline, playing lead tenor sax with Ellis Wood's Astorians Dance Band.

The tennis duo proved formidable opponents, winning countless matches for their club, playing in the 'A' Division of the Hebden Bridge and District League.

At the time, the Hollins Club always held an annual dinner and dance in the works canteen at Ferney Mill, owned by Charles Crabtree and Sons. They were a long-standing and much respected firm of cotton spinners and weavers who provided work for hundreds of local people.

At one of those dances June became attracted to Richard, the younger of the two sons of Charles and Elsie Crabtree and on Thursday, July 19, 1956, they were married at St Leonard's Church in Middleton. Just six years short of their golden wedding, Richard died on May 23, 2002, at the age of 71.

During her later career June was a temporary supply teacher at Robinwood and St Joseph's Schools and, for some years, a full-time teacher at Shade School.

She leaves her son Matthew, daughter Kate, daughter-in-law Tricia, grandsons Nat, Sam and Jahvin and grandaughters Hannah and Alicia.