FAREWELL TO SIMON [1966-2015]

GROUNDSMAN's TRIBUTE

FIRST TEAM APPLAUSE

CROSSFLATTS' SUPPORT

FAMILY & FRIENDS

WYNN CUP FINAL BINGLEY CONGS & OAKWORTH PLAYERS WITH THE CROWD EXPRESS THEIR FEELINGS


Simon Howell (1966 – 2015)

Oakworth Cricket Club is shocked and deeply saddened at the passing of its Vice-Chairman Simon Howell at the age of 49. Simon passed away soon after suffering heart failure on Monday morning 3rd August.

The entire club sends its condolences to all of Simon’s family, their grief is shared by all at the club and throughout the cricket fraternity.

At every cricket club in the land are people who go the extra mile in creating the very fabric of their club. Simon Howell was just such a person. A creator in every sense of the word, his legacy at Oakworth Cricket Club is evident for all to see. He was a mechanical engineer with a penchant for DIY improvements and he used his extensive skills to good effect in project management and construction of many of the club’s fine assets. The list is long: the electronic scoreboard, wicket covers, bar ‘cellar’, kitchen and of course the recent refurbishment of the club lounge. He undertook all this whilst a valued committee member and a player for the club, which he joined in 1992.

But there was much, much more to Simon’s character. In earlier years he had been a Junior Team Manager and for 2 years he led the Upper Airedale Joe Lumb Cup squad. That came as no surprise as he was popular with children and young players. For his son Ben, Simon always supported his education and cricketing wishes to the full and Ben along with many, many others benefitted from his mentoring and commitment to their development both as people and players. At work at Ron Hague’s in Shipley, Simon was a hard working manager and director, participating fully in its expansion and growth.

Simon would be the first to acknowledge his batsman-ship skills were limited, with defence his major attribute. He was perhaps also unfortunate as a wicket-keeper to find himself at Oakworth CC in a period when it also had high quality performers behind the timbers in Peter Gallagher, Tim Walsh and Warren Knowles. Nevertheless in 2014 as Second Xl keeper he proudly picked up the Craven & District League’s Fryers’ Wicket-Keeping Prize ahead of club-mate Tim. He shared in Club and Team honours throughout an unprecedented period of success for the club. His first gong came in his first season with the 1992 Third Division Championship under Tom Shields and then from the 2000 and 2001 Keighley Cup Final victories over Steeton and Silsden.  Simon was a member of the First XI which captured the 2003 Wynn Cup from Cowling at Bradley. He played in both first and second Xls and also did his stint helping out the embryonic Third Xl. Simon was very proud to be a playing member of the first Oakworth 2nd Xl to win the Cowling Cup in 2006 against Oakworth’ nemesis Embsay lls. The reclamation of that Cowling Cup in 2008 provided Simon with perhaps his finest playing honour as he captained Oakworth to a 2nd victory over Sandy Lane after a rain-induced bowl-out. In 2011 Simon was again pumped with pride as the 2nd Xl gained not only the 3rd Division Championship, but a first ever promotion to Division Two and a future playing against First Xls. So Simon’s on-field achievements have mirrored his contributions off it.

Simon made his Oakworth debut with the Second Xl on 2nd May 1992 at Wide Lane against Barrowford lls scoring 4 runs. On 27th June that year his first half-century came along with 52 away against Long Lee lls. A fine first 50 for the 1st Xl came in a 2001 Keighley Cup match also against Long Lee and his highest 1st Xl score of 56 came against then title rivals Cullingworth in 2004, but his 5 keeping victims against Haworth Road in the 2011 Wynn Cup semi-final was a stunning element in our progress to the Final. The 78 runs he scored against Ingrow for the Second Xl on 6th July 2013, aged 47, was his pinnacle with the willow in hand.

Competition

Seasons

Appeared

Inns

No

Runs

HS

Average

50s

Catch

K’per Catch

Stumpings

First Xl

1992-2015

194

131

27

1,200

56

11.54

1

71

34

6

Second Xl

1992-2015

188

161

25

2,429

78

17.86

7

51

78

28

Third Xl

2006-2008

9

9

1

374

70

46.75

 

 

3

 

League

 

391

301

53

4,003

78

16.14

8

122

115

34

Wynn Cup

 

26

19

5

156

32

11.14

1

 

16

2

Keighley Cup

 

16

11

1

105

50

10.50

 

 

3

 

Cowling Cup

 

33

23

4

446

76

23.47

2

9

12

1

Cup Cricket

 

75

53

10

707

76

16.44

3

9

                    31

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

466

354

61

4.710

78

16.19

11

131

146

37

Statistics never show the full extent of a playing career but Simon’s input of 466 appearances is exceeded by just a handful of others and his 314 victims whilst fielding or keeping is exceptional.

That Simon will be missed is the understatement of the Millennium.