THE BRADFORD Cricket League awards night took place last Friday, with the highest accolade going to Ossett stalwart Bob Schofield.
The 70-year-old received the league’s biggest honour, the Sir Leonard Hutton Trophy, at the annual dinner in the Emerald Suite at Headingley.
Supported at the event by his former colleagues Harry Atkinson and Mick Varley, he is the first person from the old Central Yorkshire League to win the trophy since the merger of the two leagues.
Schofield made his first-team debut in 1966 and has given almost 50 years of service to cricket as a player and official.
The league’s official citation said of Schofield: “This year’s winner may only be small in stature but both on and off the field he has proved to be a giant.
“Determination and tenacity have been two qualities that our winner has shown in abundance both on and off the field.
“He has always been prepared to battle to achieve the outcome he desires whether that be on or off the field.
“As a cricketer he was a solid opening batsman who could be relied on to score 7-800 runs per season. Being short he was a good hooker and puller.
“He wasn’t afraid of taking on the fast bowlers at a time when matches were played on uncovered pitches and batsmen didn’t wear helmets.
“He was fortunate to play in some fine sides and featured in five successive Heavy Woollen Cup finals between 1976 and 1980, including a hat-trick of wins between 1978 and 1980.
“In 1994 a move to Wakefield St Michael’s provided a new challenge and soon produced results. The club won the Clegg Trophy (1st and 2nd Team combined points) in the Central Yorkshire League.
“The team grew stronger in the following years and he also took on the role of chairman before returning to Ossett in 1999.
“As his playing career drew to a close our winner took on a wide range of duties for his club. There is hardly a task he hasn’t performed.
“He has never been afraid of rolling up his sleeves and getting stuck in. He has made teas, worked on the ground and tackled an endless stream of tasks.
“As cricket chairman he was responsible for player recruitment and worked tirelessly to promote his club.
“Whenever there was a cup final or big event at his club he would be directing operations and putting on a show.
“He performed a number of fund-raising bike rides and raised £3,000 last year walking from Headingley to Ossett.
“As well as doing so much for his own club he has also given time to helping others as a member of the Central Yorkshire League Executive and the Bradford Premier League Management Board.”
Meanwhile, Birstall’s Mark Gilman won the Barry Winstanley Memorial Trophy Unsung Hero award at the dinner.
Along with a number of pre-announced awards for the outstanding players in each division, there were two further prizes for Birstall star Josh Haynes.
He received the Jack Hill Championship and Conference First XI All Rounder award and was also named as the Gordon Bowers Young Cricketer of the Year.