A LANCASHIRE League cricket veteran has died, aged 59.

Jack Highley was a renowned left-arm spin bowler and wicket-keeper in his prime, was still making a valuable contribution to Todmorden Cricket Club after more than 40 years.

The father-of-two, who played for the first and second team between 1972 and 1992, was found dead at his home in Oak Avenue, Todmorden.

Mark Clayton, cricket section chairman, said: “For the lads of my age, when we were growing up, Jack was the man. He took us under his wing and was a really good guy.”

Jack, along with former Nelson pro, Derek Parker, had been doing improvement works to the club’s Burnley Road ground.

James Morgan, Todmorden’s record-breaking amateur bowler said: “He always played with a smile, and was the epitome of how to play league cricket – fierce on the pitch and friendly in the bar.”

Tony Gledhill, a former team-mate and club chairman, wrote online: “Truly a sad start to a New Year. R.I.P. Jack, you will be sadly missed by many. Great mate and teammate for many many years.”

Highley named his cricketing hero as Johnny Wardle. The Yorkshire and England bowler had the lowest average of a spinner for any player since the First World War.