Tribute To Cricket Groundsman Peter Green: Peter Green was one of Huddersfield cricket’s most popular figures.
The 73-year-old gave a lifetime of dedication to Honley Cricket Club and only last month received the Drakes Huddersfield Cricket League’s highest award, the Fred Stallard Cup.
Presented to an individual who has given long and outstanding service to his club and the game, guests at the league’s annual dinner gave a standing ovation when the award to ‘Mr Honley’ was announced.
The Drakes honour came just weeks after Peter received the Institute of Groundsmanship Special Recognition Award in front of 700 guests at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.
He has been groundsman at Honley’s pristine Far End Lane ground for the past 40 years.
Peter, who was associated with Honley CC for over 60 years, will be sadly missed by the whole Huddersfield cricket community.
Born in Gilsland, Northumberland, in 1944 (because his father, Leslie, was stationed in the north east with the army at the time), Peter moved to Honley at the age of three – the Green family have been part of the village for centuries.
His father and uncles all played for the club and Peter, who went to Honley Junior School and Holmfirth Secondary (now High School), grew up loving cricket.
He couldn’t wait for his 12th birthday when he was officially allowed to join to play junior cricket and once through the gates he was never going to play anywhere else and his love for the club never waned.
After leaving school Peter worked as a painter and decorator before joining David Brown’s at Meltham, but he then joined The Post Office and worked as a postman until retiring eight years ago.
He married wife Isabel at St Mary’s Church in Honley in 1970. They had a guard of honour with cricket bats and hockey sticks because Isabel played hockey for Huddersfield Ladies and then Colne Valley Ladies.
They passed on their love of sport to sons Martin and James, both of whom have followed in their father’s footsteps and become stalwarts of the Honley club.
Peter had been encouraged by his father and uncles, who took a keen interest in his pathway through junior cricket in the 1950s to the Honley first team, and Peter did likewise for his sons.
In addition to his playing career, Peter served as groundsman, coach and committeeman and, having enjoyed a 50-year playing career, he was rewarded with the Lady Sykes Candlesticks in 1983 (son Martin received the same accolade in 2015).
Peter scored at least 6,711 senior runs and took 88 outfield catches. A talented wicketkeeper, he also had 154 dismissals behind the stumps and twice won the league wicketkeeping prize, the Cyril Thorpe Cup.
He became club groundsman in 1977 and continued in that role until his retirement, due to ill health, earlier this year.
Honley won the Greenwood Trophy (for most improved ground) on four occasions and Peter won the Tom Walker Trophy for best groundsman a record four times.
He forged a close working relationship with the Yorkshire County ground staff and his talents and dedication allowed Honley to regularly stage the Sykes Cup Final, league representative matches and Yorkshire junior games.
Receiving the award from the Institute of Groundsmanship really was the ultimate accolade for all that work.
While working full-time, playing every weekend and looking after the ground, Peter also found time to become a qualified junior coach, spending many hours at junior practice evenings and school indoor nets, not only helping his own lads to love the game, but countless other young players as well.
Family holidays have, for the last 38 years, included an annual trip to St Ives in Cornwall with good friends Bruce and Christine Jakeman – the last earlier this summer while Peter was still well enough to travel – but the Greens followed cricket all around the world.
They supported England on five Ashes tours to Australia – their favourite place being Sydney – in addition to watching the national side in the West Indies and South Africa, but they went to many other places to watch the game.
Peter’s funeral will be at Huddersfield Crematorium on Wednesday, December 20 (10.30am) and Isabel, Martin and James would like everyone to wear colour in celebration of his life.
That celebration will continue at Honley Cricket Club.
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