Tributes pour in as East Lancashire veteran cricket umpire Norman Berry passed away in hospital at the age of 77. The true supporter of the sport particularly in cricket has served as a longstanding umpire for 39 seasons for the Ribblesdale league, the club which was introduced in 1891 in England’s Lancashire.

The avid follower of the game, Berry, who was in best of his spirit to officiate the game while being a true gentleman on the field since 40 years.

The reports suggested Berry was also known by golf and football followers while having the knack for the bat and a ball contest.

“He was wonderful, he was a really great husband and a really great friend, he will be badly missed,” Monica Berry wife of Norman Berry was quoted by Lancashire.co.uk.

At the tender age, Norman participated in different leagues before becoming a referee for over a decade in Lancashire.

“He was always involved with sport at a community level, he loved it. He was just so well respected by everyone,” the 72-year-old Monica added.

An allrounder in sport, Norman, who had played a football too was the member for around 43 years of Golf club Clitheroe.

Norman in the football league for Ribble Valley and was also the member of its committee which came to an end in the 1980s.

“He was very popular in the cricket leagues; he was well-known for being impartial and fair. We’ve had so many comments from people, all of them about what a fair man he was,” Monica concluded.

Cricketing fraternity has paid a massive respect to Norman by calling him amazing figure on-and-off the field including the teams which had participated in the Ribblesdale Cricket League.

Moreover, the league cricket umpires head Mike Bridges expressed that Norman was a great human and has helped him at the very young age while giving him the tidbits about umpiring.

“He [Norman] was a true gent. He helped me at the start when I first became an umpire, he helped so many young umpires when they were starting out,” Bridges asserted.

With the progression, the club has introduced the two-tier cricket league which is comprised of 17 clubs. With the separate two divisions; the A-division include nine clubs whereas, B-division consists of eight clubs which has taken a club cricket to a new high since past two years.

“We’ve had so many condolences and respects paid to him by clubs from all across the league. He was a very popular figure with so many,” Bridges added.

As the tributes poured from the different clubs, Great Harwood Cricket Club spokesperson stated Berry has played a significant role for the game of cricket whereas, he had a cordial relation with the club.

“We are very sad to hear the news of the passing of the umpire and a great friend of the club,” the spokesman for GHCC stated.

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    Tahir Ibn Manzoor is a staffer at Sportzwiki.com, who follows cricket like food after listening to running commentary on a transistor radio when he was only eight, and penned down the scorecard when he turned 11. He Tweets @TahirIbnManzoor

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