Tributes have been paid to a former cricket club president following his death aged 98.
Leslie Pilkington, of Eachill Gardens in Rishton, passed away peacefully in hospital on July 23.
He was a lifelong member of Baxenden Cricket Club and served as president for more than 50 years.
His son David said that despite his age his father didn’t want to go into a home.
He said: “He was still fully aware of everything that was going on. He was a legend and a true gentleman and a lovely man, he never said a bad word about anybody.
“We lost my brother when he was 51 and then lost my mum in 2011 to cancer, but he battled on. We didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to him.
“He was 98 he had a full life and he passed away peacefully in the end.”
Leslie started his working life as a liner type operator at the Accrington Observer where he met his late wife Vera.
Baxenden Cricket Club posted a tweet following Mr Pilkington’s death which said: “RIP Les Pilkington. President of 50 years sadly passed away today.
“Thoughts are with the family. Will be sadly missed by all at Baxenden CC.”
David, formerly of Baxenden, said: “They wouldn’t let him go despite his advancing age, he loved cricket and football but he was a keen cricket player.
“He was good enough to play for Lancashire but that went out the window when war was declared.
“He served in the army during the Second World War as part of the East Lancashire Regiment and he was based up in Scotland.”
David said his dad’s love of sports was passed down to him from his own father.
He said: “My grandfather Samuel Pilkington was chairman of Accrington Stanley, a chief magistrate and chairman of the football league third division.
“My dad followed in his footsteps, but my dad was a better cricketer than footballer.
“When the war finished he captained Accrington Cricket Club, and then went to Baxenden and took them from the junior to senior league and went two years undefeated.
“He loved sports and we got him Sky Sports in so he could watch it.” A service to celebrate Leslie’s life will take place at Accrington Crematorium on Friday July 31 at 12.20pm. See Obituaries on p16.