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Crossbank Methodists mourn two stalwarts

Crossbank Methodists mourn two stalwarts

Two long standing and influential members of Crossbank Methodists have sadly passed away in the last few weeks.

On November, 10, Alan Firth died after a short illness aged 51 and that was followed last Thursday by the passing of former club chairman Eric Abbott.

Firth joined Crossbank Methodists in the early 2000s having previously played for Nortonthorpe, Cleckheaton St. John's and Cumberworth United. On the field, he was part of the 1st XI team that won Section B of the Huddersfield Central Cricket in 2012.

Throughout his involvement with Crossbank Methodists, he was a dedicated committee member and most recently assumed responsibility as the steward and ;licensee of the club's facilities.

Alan didn’t feature in the league for Crossbank this season, however he did captain their Sunday XI for their final friendly of the season away at New Farnley on  September 27, which fittingly included Alan's daughter Chloe, meaning they got to play together one final time.

Alan Firth and his daughter Chloe were team-mates

Alan Firth with a group of Crossbank Methodist stalwarts

The death of former former chairman Abbott came as another huge blow to the club. He held the reins from December 2012 and November 2018 and oversaw Crossbank’s move from Huddersfield Central Cricket League to the Bradford Premier League via the Central Yorkshire League.

His greatest achievement was the building of the new pavilion at the Sycamore, which was formally opened by Yorkshire’s Richard Pyrah on April 3, 2015. Eric's contacts, knowledge and sheer hard graft were instrumental in delivering this project and ensuring the cricket club was fit for purpose in the modern day.

Eric Abbott overseeing the build of the Crossbank clubhouse in the winter of 2014/2015.

Prior to his involvement with Crossbank Methodists, Eric was chairman of Batley n the early to mid-1990s.

Rumour has it he housed Dale Burns, the overseas at the time, in the shed at the bottom of his garden!

Similar to his time at Crossbank, Eric was responsible for various improvements to Mount Pleasant during his tenure, including the erection of the pavilion that still stands today.

Eric Abbott with Martin Moxon, who opened the new Batley pavilion in 1993 

Eric's dedication to the local sporting community also extended to Rugby League. He was on the board of directors at Batley RLFC, now Batley Bulldogs, between 1989 and 1996 with responsibility for the playing field and stadium.