Tributes following death of colourful and controversial Burnley personality Harry Brooks

Harry Brooks
Harry Brooks

A colourful and controversial former Burnley councillor and cricket club stalwart has died.

Mr Harry Brooks, who also stood as an independent parliamentary candidate for Burnley in the 2005 General Election, was well-known throughout the borough for his outspoken opinions.

An avid contributor to the Burnley Express letters pages, Mr Brooks worked as the bursar at Loughborough University, and was a significant benefactor to Lowerhouse Cricket Club in his later years where he founded the Harry Brooks Foundation.

Mr Brooks was a vocal local politician who also authored a book "A Town Betrayed", in the aftermath of the infamous 2001 disturbances in the town. He was a councillor representing Rosehill ward on Burnley Council from 1991 to 2002.

A staunch Burnley Football Club supporter, he was a vice president at the club for many years.

A statement issued by Lowerhouse Cricket Club, where he was president, said: "The club is deeply saddened to announce the sudden passing of our president, Harry Brooks.

"Harry became involved in the club in the 1980s and served on the committee. As the club developed its junior section, Harry became more involved in the club and cemented his involvement in an official capacity by becoming the club’s benefactor and in recent years, president.

"Harry had a great appreciation of the many benefits of encouraging junior cricketers hence the creation of the Harry Brooks Cricket Foundation.

"Under its auspices Harry funded the junior set up and this allowed us to maintain and increase the level of coaching of all the juniors and bring in specialist programmes for individuals through the junior player programme and the advanced player programme. Harry also funded specialist analysis equipment such as pitch vision.

"The ground hitherto known as the West End or Liverpool Road became known as the Brooks Foundation Ground with Harry funding items such as the electronic scoreboard which he dedicated to a previous president Ken Smalley, and the tannoy system.

Harry once described himself as an iconoclast. If he thought someone or something was wrong he would do his level best to right that wrong . He was a very principled man and the club has benefited not only from his generosity but his wisdom and advice on a number of thorny issues.

"Harry has been a generous benefactor for the club and especially the juniors and was determined that the club would be in safe hands . His legacy will continue on both a personal level and under financial provisions made by Harry for the Foundation for years to come.

"Harry has been incredibly generous and helpful to Lowerhouse Cricket Club and we will never forget Harry or his contribution. Harry joins the previous late great presidents in Jack Hayes, Ken Smalley and David Wren in making our club mean so much to us all.

"We send our deepest sympathy to Harry’s close companion, Susan, and to all Harry’s friends within the club and beyond."

Funeral details have yet to be finalised.