8 Oct '14

News Alan West obituary

The position of scorer for a county cricket club would not generally be regarded as one of the more glamorous in professional sport. But for decades it has carried significant responsibilities, not only in the recording of details both for the present and for posterity, but in a range of other administrative tasks, from distributing expenses to players to transporting the county flag to away matches. For my friend Alan West, who was Lancashire's scorer from 1998 until early summer 2014, and who has died aged 76, it was a dream position following his retirement after almost four decades working in education especially when he noted down the runs with which the county sealed a first outright championship title since 1934, at Taunton in September 2011. He was a proud Manchester Guardian reader who became a valued source of information and wisdom to me at numerous county grounds.Alan was born into a mining family in St Helens. His father, Alfred, died when he was two, so he was brought up primarily by his mother, Eileen, supported by a number of aunts. Perhaps the most significant turning point in his life came when he won a scholarship to Manchester grammar school, much to the delight of his grandfather, who wrote him a letter telling him to forget neither the fact that he had started off poor, nor his old grandad. He kept this letter throughout his life. Continue reading...

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