Supporter, groundsman and inspiration are among tributes paid to Lowerhouse Cricket Club stalwart Geoff Hope who has died this week aged 81.
Mr Hope had such an influence at the club that the family name has become synonymous with Lowerhouse.
His sons Jez, Nicky and Matthew all played, and grandsons Adam, Scott and Corey are involved in different roles.
Adam (25) said: “My grandad was such a big inspiration, not only for our family but for the whole club I think.
“Lowerhouse had famously gone years without winning anything when about 15 years ago grandad realised we had some talented youngsters here.
“At the time we didn’t have a youth set-up and so he got on to Stan Heaton to help bring the kids through and the rest is history. He later also became the groundsman.”
Cricket chairman Stan Heaton said: “Geoff is one of a small number of people who have made such a contribution to the club that it has ensured its survival. He has been responsible for producing several generations of players who have come through the junior ranks. It is very fitting that the team winning the first senior silverware in 2004, featured Geoff’s sons and that his grandsons have gone on to represent the club as well. On a personal note it was Geoff who got me interested in the juniors and I will always be very grateful to him for that.
“Geoff set the standard and was a stickler for playing with the right attitude and an attention to basics. We inaugurated the Geoff Hope trophy which is awarded to the fielder of the year. It is a very sad time as the club has lost a true Lowerhouser.”
Geoff is survived by wife Maggie who ran the tea room for many years.
His funeral is today (Friday) at Accrington Crematorium at 2-15pm followed by a wake at Greenhill Bowling Club, Manchester Road.