Tributes for cricket club veteran Jack

Jack Markland with his wife Margaret
Jack Markland with his wife Margaret

Tributes have been paid to a Chorley Cricket Club groundsman who died earlier this week.

Jack Markland, 79, was often seen at the Windsor Park ground near the scoreboard during the summer watching the action.

Tragically, he died on Saturday afternoon after clearing some snow from the back of the property on Walgarth Drive.

Wife Margaret said: “He was clearing the snow from the garden and then came in.

“He was complaining about having chest pains, and we thought that it was just muscular.

“But it seemed a more serious than that.

“We called the ambulance and he was taken to Chorley Hospital.

“We don’t know whether he died at home or at hospital, but the paramedics did everything they could for him.”

The couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary last year and the family have been amazed by friends and neighbours

Daughter Dawn said: “Everywhere you go in Chorley people knew him.

“They used to ask if you were the daughter (or son) of Jack.

“Everyone you meet has different memories of him and it is hard to pull out just one or two. He was an honest man, always called a spade a spade and very proud.”

Margaret and Jack lived at their property on Walgarth Drive for 31 years and before that they had a property on Moor Road.

The avid gardener played a key part in the town’s history as Margaret said: “He was a joiner until the age of 18 and was also on the water board as well.

“But he was known for being a joiner’s mate for Norweb.

“Jack served in the forces between 1952-54 in Korea too.

“He was involved in building the original market in the centre of town.”

However it was his love of sport that he was known for best for.

In his early days, he turned down the chance of playing for Blackburn Rovers.

Margaret added: “Cricket was one of his passions and he loved to work with the third team.

“There were some days during the summer that I would not see him because he would be at the ground.

“He got me and his kids into tennis as well and we played at Chorley Tennis Club.”

Son Karl added: “You were never allowed to go on holiday during the season. I was going on my first holiday and he told me off.

“He said that if you were part of a team, you should not go on holiday then.”

Among his other interest include oil painting, gardening and looking after his family.

He leaves behind his two sons
Karl and Heath as well as daughter Dawn, and also had one grandchild Chelsea.

Peter Mockett, club chairman, said: “Jack is one of those unsung heroes that over many years Chorley CC has been blessed with.

“He has given up endless hours of his own time on the maintenance of the ground and support of the club in general.

“Many people who have known him a lot longer than I have tell stories of him building new sightscreens and digging drainage ditches, helped out on pitch preparation.

“Our thoughts are with his family but he will also be sadly missed by Chorley Cricket Club.”

The service and cremation is taking place at Charnock Richard on February 6 at 2pm.

The arrangements are being carried out by Kenyons Funeral Directors.

Family flowers only with donations being made to Derian House Children’s Hospice.