OBITUARY: Jack Birch

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Tributes to former cricket league president

A well known figure on Rugby’s cricketing scene, Jack Birch, has died at the age of 81.

He was a former leading light in the Rugby & District Cricket League, being chairman from 1975 to 1988 and president for many years from 1994.

As a young man he started his cricket with the BTH , which became AEI and GEC, only retiring when he was 50.

He was also a club captain and chairman.

Team mate George Sherman had been a friend since the 1950s and remembers the fast opening bowler with affection.

“Jack had an exceptional knowledge of cricket,” he said. “He always knew about the county and international scene and followed it closely.

“He was a very good man, very reliable and always willing to help people.

“He was a really nice chap, good at his work and got on well with people. He was also a good family man.”

Another former Rugby & District Cricket League president, Fred Mitchell added: “Jack was a gentleman, who gave his all to the league and was very well respected.”

As well as his love of cricket, Mr Birch also enjoyed snooker and played from when he was five to 75, with many years for the GEC Club.

He spent all his working life with the company, apart from a couple of years out on national service. He joined the BTH in 1945 and retired as personnel manager in 1993.

He maintained close links and was involved in the re-dedication of the war memorial in 2010.

Mr Birch, leaves a wife, Maria, and two children, Doreen and Steven.

A thanksgiving service will be held at St John the Baptist Church, Lower Hillmorton on Monday (January 9) at 1.30pm.