Bradford League stalwart Mick Robinson has died aged 69. The former Idle, Baildon, Manningham Mills, Windhill and Eccleshill bowler took 940 league wickets.
However, if you include cup games the 6ft 4in bowler is undoubtedly part of an elite group to have taken over 1,000 wickets in the prestigious league.
Mick also won the Tebro Trophy, given to the league by former Bradford City chairman Stafford Heginbotham, of Tebro Toys fame, for the player who takes the most league wickets in a season, with Mick taking 65 in 1979 for Windhill.
Mick’s younger brother Andy remembered one incident: “Mick and I were once playing at Mills and we were walking away after the match and it was absolutely teeming down.
“Stafford drove past in his posh car and we thought ‘he isn’t going to give us a lift’, but he stopped round the corner and said ‘Where do you live?’.
“We lived in Wrose and Stafford lived in Tong, so it was out of his way, but he gave us a lift home. I always had a lot of time for Stafford.”
Mick, described as a gentle giant, was also twice in the winning team for the Priestley Cup, for Mills and Eccleshill, being named man of the match in one of them.
Andy added: “He was medium fast and awkward to face because of his height and the bounce that he extracted, and he was a contemporary of David Bairstow and Phil Carrick at the Yorkshire nets, and of Richard Coates with Bradford Boys.
”Mick had a long run-up but faltered when he got to the wickets, and coach Arthur Mitchell said ‘If you didn’t stop when you ran up to the wicket you would be playing for Yorkshire’.”
Mick also dipped into the Huddersfield League with Lockwood and finished up playing for Idle Upper Chapel in the Bradford Central League, forming a formidable bowling duo with Paul Wiseman.
Meanwhile at Eccleshill, he tutored young pace bowler Andy Wilsdon, who became another Bradford League stalwart. Wilson said on Facebook: “A legend and bowling partner passes on. RIP Robbo.”
Andy Robinson added: “Mick was committed to cricket but he wasn’t win at all costs.”
Mick also took a keen interest in nephews Alex and Jonathan, who have played for Idle, Hepworth & Idle and Yeadon among others.
As for employment, Mick had many jobs, including working for Aluminium Profile and Denby’s. Mick, who latterly suffered from a brain tumour and cancer, leaves a wife Maggie, children Gerald and Sarah and grandchildren Ben (who plays cricket for Leamington Spa), Theo, Archie and Ella.
Words by: Bill Marshall