Les Bateman who has died aged
92 was a long serving member of Clifton Cricket Club who contributed much
during the transformative years of the 1970’s and 80’s.
A middle order batsman and
slow medium bowler Les played in the second team notably being part of the side
which won the Hardcastle Shield (BDCA 2nd XI Championship) in 1966
and again in 1967. His bowling speciality was, as he described it, “my 23
yarder to kid ‘em”. He was 2nd XI Captain for a season in 1974 and
retired from playing in 1975.
In the late 1960’s he joined
the General Committee and became more involved in the Club and as a local
building contractor he was given the job of constructing the all-new clubhouse
which opened in 1972, and with a new bar and lounge began to generate funds
which furthered the rapid development of the Club.
Les also worked on the ground during
this time preparing the wickets on the square. He was also the BDCA League
representative for the Club for several years and perhaps the role he enjoyed
most was as Cricket Secretary during the 70’s and 80’s which saw the Club win
both Cross Cup and Championship to Les’ great satisfaction and pride. Les
relished the role of talking many good cricketers into playing for Clifton.
He then stood down from the
General Committee to successfully take on the role of Steward along with his
Les was made a Life Member in 1986
for services to the Club and in his later years continued to watch the cricket
at Clifton taking a keen interest in the players and their performances, always
ready to offer advice. In the last few years he would regularly be seen every
Thursday evening quietly enjoying the company of friends in the Cricket Club
that he loved.