Baildon Cricket Club President John Helm has written a personal tribute to Roger Pawson
There are several words that are commonly attributed to Roger Pawson by all those who knew and loved him. The ones I have come across most are Decent, Honourable, Talented and Trustworthy. They are from people who had the privilege of working or playing sport with Roger over many decades.
Roger, who passed away last week, has left a legacy that will be hard to match, serving three different clubs in the Bradford Cricket League with great distinction. During his career he scored 6,524 runs and took 496 wickets so he was a good person to have on your side.
His father Edgar was a fine cricketer and he passed on his talent and sporting ideals to his son who made his mark in the Bradford Grammar School team at an early age.
Soon Roger was playing regularly for Saltaire and had the distinction of playing in the prestigious Priestley Cup final, no doubt learning his trade alongside one of the finest all rounders the league ever knew in Dennis Bateson.
Roger quickly built a reputation as a hard hitting opening bat and lively quick bowler to the extent that former colleague John Wade described him as "the finest amateur all rounder ever to play in the Bradford League"
"I never understood why Roger was never called up by Yorkshire Seconds. He was the finest cutter of a ball I ever played with, and I remember him seeing off John Snow, when the former England opener had a spell at Pudsey St Lawrence. Roger was a good captain and a great guy."
He is fondly remembered at Bankfoot, and at Baildon where he served as player, chairman and treasurer for many years, highlighted by a Bradford League First Division title in 2009, ending Woodlands previous four-year dominance.
A personal highlight was the taking of all 10 Yorkshire Bank wickets for 32 runs in 1974. Another long standing Baildon servant David Abbott recalls: "Roger was never one to boast or sound off about anything but even he was miffed the following day when we played Yeadon and for some reason the captain chose not to open the bowling with him!"
As a young player in that team Abbott recalls how much he appreciated phone calls from Pawson on the morning of a match telling him what number he would be batting. "That was typical Roger and very thoughtful as he knew it would calm me down."
Meticulous in his work as an accountant and club treasurer Roger was just as fastidious in his approach to golf and enjoyed trips abroad with old cricketing chums Geoff Kay, Martin Sherred, Jeff Driver and others.
"I always enjoyed being paired with Roger" recalls Driver. "He was competitive but always scrupulously fair."
Roger Pawson made a huge impact on many people's lives and he will be sorely missed.
League president Keith Moss said: "Jon Helm's wonderful tibute to Roger Pawson has evoked memories for me. The John Snow match he refers to was plaed on Whit Tuesday (we used to play three games over the Bank Holiday then. Roger Pawson kept the great man at bay in his inimitable style and Snowy had to be removed from the attack.
"It was typical of Roger who gave great service to the game of cricket and the Bradford League in particular. I always enjoyed meeting up with him whenever Baildon played Pudsey St Lawrence. He was a charming person and a pleasure to talk to."