One of Pendle’s best-known sports personalities, James Edward Dick (83), has died suddenly. He was admitted at Airedale Hospital, then transferred to Bradford Royal Infirmary where he underwent major surgery and died two days later with his family by his side.
Jim was born in Barnoldswick and went to Rainhall Road School before moving to Barnoldswick Modern. He left school at 16 and worked in the warehouse for textile company Peter Reeds.
At 18 he joined the RAF and served three years in national service. Jim was a keen boxer and while serving became heavyweight champion.
He returned to Peter Reeds where he stayed for the rest of his working life. He quickly worked his way into a senior management position which he occupied for more than 30 years.
His main passion, other than spending time with his family – especially the grandchildren - was football. He was a referee in North East Lancashire for more than 1,700 matches.
He was at the centre of local league football and was affectionately known by players as Jimmy. He had taken charge in the Craven League, East Lancashire League, Ribble Valley League and Pendle Sunday Charity League. Such was his passion for the game he was 73 when he officiated in his last match!
As well as travelling across the region to observe and give advice to other referees and amateur football teams, he also helped raise funds for charity since stepping down from refereeing in 2004. As well as being seen at many football grounds, he was also a keen follower of local cricket and loved to watch Barnoldswick as well as Colne, Nelson, Earby and Thornton.
He was a big part of the Colne and Nelson Referees’ Society and was president for several years, having being elected by its members as a vote of thanks for his dedication to refereeing, and role in ensuring all members were registered with the RA and LRA, and that each member was correctly insured.
After being president, he took on the role of treasurer and had only recently given up this post. His services were also recognised in 2008 when he won a lifetime achievement award at the Pendle Sports Awards.
Jim leaves his wife of 50 years, Pat; brother Alf; two daughters, Sharon and Katherine; and six grandchildren – Matthew, Oliver, Dominic, William, Thomas and Hannah.
Jim’s funeral will take place on Wednesday. There is a funeral service at All Saints’ Church, Earby, at 12-30 pm, followed by cremation at Skipton at 1-40pm.