The Huddersfield Cricket League regret to announce the sad news of the passing of Roger France, the league’s President following an illness. He leaves behind his beloved wife Judith.
Roger was an incredibly popular and vital member of our committee for many years, serving as Chairman for 22 years from 1979 to 2011. Following the passing of Donald Earnshaw in 2018, he took up the mantle of President and was on hand at meetings to share his wisdom and experience with the rest of the committee.
Roger’s cricketing career spanned for 17 years beginning in 1964 at the now-defunct Lockwood Cricket Club. With them, Roger made one Sykes Cup Final appearance in 1973 during Lockwood's 6-wicket defeat to Kirkheaton where he scored an unbeaten 14. He did however, achieve success with the Elland as he led them to a memorable Paddock Shield and Johnson Cup double in 1979 as 2XI captain. He retired from league cricket in 1981 although he did play for a further three seasons for Old Almondburians in the Huddersfield Central League.
But it was his lengthy stay as Chairman where he reserved his best work for proving to be a steady hand at the wheel. He was a strong traditionalist at heart and held a firm view on maintaining the traditions of the sport. At the end of his spell as Chairman, Roger reflected on his time in an interview with the Huddersfield Examiner:
"After 22 years, I think it’s about time to have a rest and let someone else have a crack at it, with some fresh ideas. I was very lucky when I took over the reins from Raymond (Smith) because when I started I had the two Hedleys (Dawson and Collins) occupying the roles of general secretary and fixtures secretary respectively, while Jim Dawson was president. And in the wings there was Alec Lodge to give me reassurance and support, along with Philip Oldfield, who was always strong for the League, along with current Life Vice Presidents Donald Earnshaw and Roy Kilner, who were also very strong people and gave you all the support you wanted, so it was easy back then.”
Soon after his time as Chairman, he was honoured by the Yorkshire Cricket Board in their 2013 OSCA awards (Outstanding Service to Cricket).
The Committee wish to extend their sympathy and condolences to Roger’s wife Judith, who was a great friend to the league over his many years of service. We will all greatly miss him.