Spalding Town Cricket Club has been left saddened by the news that club president Henry Walkers has passed away following his brave and courageous battle with illness.
Those fortunate to have spent time in Henry’s company over the last five decades, whether on the field of play or socially, will agree that his presence was absolutely remarkable.
A talented sportsman, Henry represented Spalding Town over 700 times at cricket and Spalding RFC 400 times at rugby, although his ability shone through at everything sport-related.
Making consistent appearances from the age of 12 for a period of 50 years, Henry was not only the town’s ‘Mr Cricket’, but also captained Spalding RFC.
He achieved early success as school cricket captain to his age group, before some years later this was repeated within the senior ranks of the club.
All levels of office followed, until his proud election to cricket club president and Spalding Sports Club director.
During this same period Henry also excelled at rugby and was selected by the county under-19 side whilst still in school. He went on to captain the Lincolnshire under-21 squad and represented the Three Counties team (Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire) at under-23 level.
Aged 17, Henry made his debut for Spalding RFC’s 1st XV – and went on to amass in excess of 2000 points during his distinguished career.
Henry, a very articulate, funny and highly intelligent man, was deeply respected as a team player – albeit with a competitive nature.
He was a selfless individual, something that was clearly shown when – at the age of 59 – he achieved his highest-ever cricket score of 93 not out.
But instead of taking the glory in an attempt to reach his first-ever century, Henry gave up the last six balls to allow the youngster at the other end of the wicket to get a taste of senior cricket – the ultimate testament to this fine person’s sportsmanship.
A true gentleman in every respect, Spalding Town stalwart Jimmy Clarke reflects the view of everyone involved with the club with the following tribute.
He said: “Henry was amazing. For years he has underpinned our club through the good times and the bad.
“His selfless approach was typical of a man who, to many of the younger generation, became a father figure – times I will treasure.
“Henry will be greatly missed by everyone, but I am confident his legacy will live on for many years to come.
“I consider myself blessed to have known such an inspiring person.
“Rest in peace, H.”