Tributes paid to Heywood Cricket Club's Bob Cross

Date published: 04 January 2024

Tributes have been paid to the president of Heywood Cricket Club, Bob Cross, who sadly died on 1 December.

Robert Alexander 'Bob' Cross first went to Heywood's Crimble ground in 1957 when a colleague in the RAF invited him down to the club after seeing him play.

He would go on to have an illustrious career at Heywood both on and off the pitch and he continued to serve the club as president up to his passing.

As an opening bowler, his in-swing troubled most opposition players and he went on to become the leading wicket-taker by an amateur bowler with 649 wickets at an average of just over 13. His haul of wickets was later passed by David Fare and Chris Kaye but he remains to this day the leading seam bowler in the history of the club.

Bob would captain the First XI to multiple Wood Cup and league titles and, once his playing career was at an end, he threw himself into the administration of the club.

With his influence, the club developed its facilities, the old pavilion was extended and brought up to date, the bar was moved back and changing rooms were added in their present location. The renovation and decoration of the club then allowed the committee to begin opening through the winter months which was key to its financial survival.

Bob also assisted youth development at the club and coached at various levels and was responsible for the creation of the first Under 11 section. Many players that he coached still credit Bob for instilling their love of the game and, among the first players in that squad was Bob's niece, England bowler Kate Cross.

Bob spent his last summer as he would have wanted, with his family, watching cricket at Crimble regularly and travelling around the country watching Kate play.

Away from the club, there was also a deep passion for Heywood itself and the Horrox Cross & Wilkinson insurance brokerage became, and remains, central to the town to this day. Whilst Bob had not been able to take as active a role in the business, he was still often found in his office right to the end.

A keen Rotarian, Bob was active in giving back to the community both in Heywood and in Hebden Bridge and was still actively fundraising and supporting events over the last few months.

Bob sadly lost wife Helen two years ago and is survived by his three children, Alison, Jane and David. He was a very proud father, grandfather and recently great-grandfather. He was also a much-loved older brother of Tom, Bill and David.

Bob served Heywood Cricket Club continuously for 66 years as a player, coach, captain, committee member, chairman and, latterly, as president. A family man who loved Heywood, he will be missed by all who knew him.

Heywood Cricket Club said the club "will not be the same" without him.

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