A STALWART of Herefordshire cricket has died after suffering from ill health for the last year

Ken Sharpe was former Herefordshire County Cricket Club secretary and match manager.

Sharpe was a proud Welshman, born in Swansea, where he developed his love of sport in particular cricket.

On leaving school Sharpe joined Barclays Bank, working in insurance broking, a career that took him out of Wales to Maidstone, Shrewsbury and Oxford before retiring to Hereford.

In all these locations Sharpe had helped out with junior coaching including Herefordshire age-group sides and the juniors of Hereford City Sports Club.

On joining the County Club Committee Ken became secretary upon the loss of the stalwart Peter Sykes.

Paying tribute to him HCCC Cricket chairman, Ernie Morgan said: "Ken soon developed a reputation for ensuring the minutes of meetings were properly recorded!

"Sloppiness and inaccuracies were not his thing! He attended the scheduled Minor Counties meetings at Lord’s and soon questioned why such expensive ‘jollys’ were being held in London when a cheaper more central location would seem more appropriate.

"He was never afraid to make his point!

"With the retirement of Derek Hince, Ken also took on the added position of match manager where he soon became a firm friend of the players.

"I guess we all have our idiosyncrasies and his was driving.

"Always starting his car in second gear, whatever the incline, the resultant heavy clutch slipping and kangaroo take- offs entertained players in numerous hotel car parks. "Having travelled with him to matches I can also verify his penchant for getting lost.

"He eschewed the use of satellite navigation, preferring to make his own mistakes, which he regularly did!

"A trip to Devon which started with a ten mile detour to Ross as the result of a wrong turning as close to home as Symonds Yat probably summed it up!

"As he would regularly say 'happy days'. He absolutely loved his time with the county, none more so than when HCCC won the Minor Counties KO Cup in 2016. That certainly was a ‘happy day’!

"He was also an important member of the Hereford Cricket Society, often travelling to other societies to assess the suitability (and affordability!) of a guest speaker for the Hereford meetings.

"Upon leaving his position with HCCC Ken spent more time playing golf at Burghill Valley where he became fixture secretary for the seniors.

"Ken was a good friend who loved his sport and made a contribution at different levels wherever he lived. Would there were more like him."

A private family funeral takes place today.

Donations if desired for Courtyard Young Theatre & Wye Valley NHS Trust for Macmillan Renton Unit. All enquiries to Bayley Brothers, Tel: 01432 272465.

Herefordshire cricket recently dedicated their recent showcase game against Worcestershire to his memory.