Gloucestershire Cricket Board (GCB) chief executive Steve Silk has paid tribute to Poulton CC secretary Simon Gordon-Walker.
The 58-year-old –who passed away in November – helped transform the club’s fortunes on and off the pitch and was instrumental in setting up the Gloucestershire Youth Cricket League (GYCL).
Steve said: “Every cricket club needs a Simon Gordon-Walker. He was one of cricket’s good guys and in addition to his many achievements at Poulton he was a great person to be around and will be sorely missed.”
Simon first got involved with Poulton in the late nineties when his eldest son Jamie joined the youth section. He initially began helping out with the Under 9s before expanding his role to become the junior coordinator and secretary. In addition to running a thriving youth set-up he organised numerous fundraising events and took on any role that needed doing from umpiring and scoring to making the teas.
As his son’s Jamie and Danny grew older Simon wondered why there was no Under 17s cricket on offer. This motivated him to set up an Under 17 league which became the Gloucestershire Youth Cricket League – a competition that expanded to offer longer formats of club cricket from Under 11s to Under 17s.
Steve said: “Simon was the driving force behind the GYCL and its continued success is a testament to his vision and dedication. He was always generous with his time – which I was particularly grateful for in my early days at the Board – and I know that there are many others who benefited from his help and support.”
Poulton CC chairman David Dunn said Simon was a man of unique talents and irrepressible energy.
He said: “You tend to find people are either happy to help out with the coaching or on the administrative side but Simon was unique in that he did both. He coached and ran teams throughout both of his boys’ time in the junior section, while his administrative skills and ability to sort through reams of paperwork were legendary.
“Simon’s sheer energy and enthusiasm would amaze us time and time again. More often than not work parties would arrive to clear up after the large fundraising events Simon had organised only to find he had already done the work of an entire team overnight. He was like a cricket fairy that performed miracles when no one else was around.”
Some of Simon’s other achievements at Poulton included setting up the national award-winning Cotswold East Chance to Shine project and overseeing a junior section that has gone on to produce more than 20 county age group players. He also looked after the finances for the Poulton Pavilion.
A man of sharp, dry wit who always made time for other people, Simon was often to be found circling the boundary at Poulton with a glass of Stowford Press cider in hand.
David added: “Poulton CC will miss Simon greatly and we will always be grateful to him. The club feel truly honoured for knowing this unique, one-off cricketer and gentleman who was a dedicated, big-hearted and generous friend to all.”