Tributes to cricket stalwart George
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George Cowton, pictured holding a photo of the Cayton v West Indies teams who played a friendly game he umpired in 1999.
Published Date: 08 January 2010
TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Cayton cricket umpire who has died aged 82.
George Cowton, of Church Lane, devoted 40 years of his life to the game before calling time on his career in 2007.
Mr Cowton umpired matches in the Beckett and Derwent Valley Leagues and games at North Marine Road, and was a former vice-president of the Derwent Valley cricket league.
Following his retirement, he was made an honorary life member of Cayton Cricket Club, where his sons Bob and Les and brother Dennis all had strong links.
Bob, who is a wicketkeeper for Cayton third team, said his father’s death had come as a big shock to the family and he would be a huge loss to everyone who knew him.
He said his father had a great passion for cricket which was reflected in his long service as an umpire and through his unrelenting support to local teams.
“My father was umpiring when I started playing which was around 45 years ago and we used to go to the games together.
“He was incredibly supportive of everyone at the club and in Cayton itself and always went to the cup matches and as many league matches as possible.
“If there wasn’t a game at Cayton he would go and watch the other teams in the area such as Staxton, Flixton and Forge Valley because cricket was such a big passion of his.”
Mr Cowton said that even after retiring from officiating, his father, who was a former chairman of Cayton Cricket Club, remained active by enjoying his other passions, which included helping to run whist drives to support the Cayton team.
He added: “He also enjoyed doing some gardening in his greenhouse and was a big fan of Scarborough FC and went to the Wembley finals, never missing a match if possible.”
Bernard Goulding, Derwent Valley and Evening League secretary, said he had known Mr Cowton for a number of years and paid tribute to his amazing support for local cricket. He said: “It is a big shock and a very sad loss.
“George was involved in cricket for as long as I can remember and I have known him nearly all my life. He was at Cayton when I started playing for Gristhorpe.
“He always watched cricket and came to all the semi-finals and finals, and from the start of June he would have been out every night watching matches. There aren’t too many who you could say that about.”
Sean Pinder, captain of the Commercial cricket team, added that Mr Cowton was an inspiration to younger cricketers in Cayton.
“I was brought up through the junior ranks at Cayton and George was brilliant. He was always offering us advice and giving us encouragement and he loved the game.
“George will be sadly missed in local sport and it is an extremely sad loss.”