Tributes flood in after death of Longridge sports stalwart

A dedicated supporter of Longridge Town FC and an outstanding batsman for the town's cricket club has died aged 80.

Wednesday, 23rd March 2016, 7:12 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd March 2016, 7:17 am
George Keighley, former secretary of Longridge Town Football Club, has died at the age of 80

George Keighley was Town club secretary for 15 seasons until retiring four years ago.

And he was remembered as a gifted batsman from age 16 at the cricket club.

Longridge Town members were saddened to report his passing after a short illness and chairman Brian Parkinson, paying tribute to his long time friend, said “We lost George too quickly as he had only been with us at the club a week or so earlier.”

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Brian Parkinson, Jim Holding and George Keighley.2303054/1

“We go back a long way and l have to say how much he was dedicated to this club. It was George and myself who in 1996 saw the amalgamation of Longridge United and St Wilfrid’s clubs into Longridge Town FC.

“In 1998 we were chairman and secretary with Jim Holden as treasurer. George was a mammoth strength in the restructuring of the club in all respects.

“It went from the Rec to our own ground, from Portacabins to a new clubhouse and floodlights - and the influence of his work continues.

“Although he had retired, he always kept his hand in and, with just a phone call, would be down helping us there. It is impossible to replace him,

Brian Parkinson, Jim Holding and George Keighley.2303054/1

“It’s a sad day for us as a football club and we send our deepest sympathies to his family at this very sad time.”

Committee member and kit man, Bob Gornall, who has been with Longridge Town for 45 years, said “George was a gentle gentleman. He never had a bad word for anyone and was always ready to help at any time - he will be missed.”

The players at tonight’s match are to wear black armbands in George’s memory, and a minute’s silence will be observed before kick-off.

Recalling “one of the best batsmen we have ever had and a very gifted sportsman.” Longridge Cricket Club chairman Tom Haworth remembers the 16 year old George winning the Bannister Hall League at the first attempt.

“He was opening bat for the first eleven for about ten years, captained it in the early 60s, and with brothers Norman and Alan, all three represented the league.”

George Keighley was born in Preston but grew up and lived all his life in Longridge.

He attended the CE Primary School in Berry Lane and Preston Technical College, going on to work for BAE Systems until his retirement.

His wife Iris predeceased him and he is survived by his son Jonathan, daughter Alison, four grandchildren and one great grandchild.