Notes from a friend – a tribute by Craig Burgess followed by many more, by many more…
Ian Keith Huckerby – 01 October 1941 to 22 January 2012
Balsall Common finds many of its’ souls mourning the loss of a much loved family man and community figure, following the departure of Ian K Huckerby, in the early hours of Sunday 22nd January 2012.
Ian Huckerby was known to many in the village for his 24 years of dedicated and unstinting service as Youth Manager at Berkswell Cricket Club. He was deeply admired and respected by many children, parents and players past and present, both at Berkswell and Warwickshire County Cricket Club. To many cricketers, Ian’s contribution went way beyond cricket and his loss has been deeply felt.
A family man, Ian leaves behind his loving wife Sue, children James, Charlie, Georgina and grandchildren, Millie, Brooke, Max, Pippa and Lola. He also leaves hundreds of friends, won through his dedication, humour, respect and hard work, but more than that he leaves behind a legacy. Ian transformed youth cricket at Berkswell, which in turn revolutionised the club. Ian’s impact on many of his charges has been so profound they have credited him with shaping their outlook on life beyond the game. Testament to the influence and inspiration of the man, if any were needed, can be found in the voice of current England Under 19 and Warwickshire player Tom Milnes, whom Ian guided through the Berkswell youth system, into senior cricket and beyond into the professional game,
“He wasn’t just cricket, he was life,” says Tom, “I could go to him with anything. I saw him as family. He was amazing to me. I can’t tell you how much I’m going to miss him.”
Ian’s dedication to the cause was remarkable, from the incredible attention he paid to the welfare of his charges, his desire for them to play with a smile on their faces, but with the determination to win whilst playing hard and fair, coupled with respect for the opposition, no matter their ability or attitude. It is this all encompassing ethos, that has stood so many of Berkswell’s youth cricketers in good stead when they’ve gone their separate ways,
“Ian Huckerby was a wonderful coach and a great friend,” explains Sam Grimshaw, as one who passed through Berkswell’s junior ranks and on to success at senior level, before heading off to Oxford University. “I had the privilege of being coached by him throughout my teenage years and what stood out, even beyond his passion for cricket and his technical advice, was his attitude towards competition; Ian always encouraged us to play hard, but also fairly, to never give up, but accept defeat graciously and most importantly to enjoy the game. I really feel that his influence in those years has stood me in good stead throughout my life, in cricket, in sport and in life in general.”
Ian was many things to many people. He defied any single label as his good friend Roger Beesley discovered when suddenly finding himself stumped by a work colleague asking whom he’d lost. Among many things, Roger recalled just a few of the things Ian represented to him over many years,
“He was the Boss Man. He was the father of three of my closest friends from childhood. He was the man that used to pretend he didn’t know we were smoking in the garage even though it was clearly going into the house through the cat flap. He was my cricket coach from the age of 11. He was the man who bought me my first Chinese takeaway on the eve of my GCSE’s results….which made me sick as a dog and started a life-long aversion to Oriental food…”
Ian also possessed a cheeky sense of humour, which remained hidden when the occasion necessitated. Like when he was coaching energetic youngsters in need of a strong hand, as Mark Seabridge recollects,
“As a coach, Ian was usually pretty serious. Messing about during practice or not listening to his words of wisdom wasn’t tolerated. You’d soon know if you’d overstepped the mark in catching practice when the ball was fired quite swiftly in your direction!”
But Ian’s sense of humour was never far from the surface, as England Under 19 cricketer Tom Milnes remembers of an innings in which he scored 99 not out for Berkswell’s 1st team against Knowle and Dorridge in a 20 over match. Tom was pleased with his efforts, having been denied his century, more by the fact his batting partner absorbed most of the strike in the closing deliveries, than anything to do with his own batting. Indeed it had been a particularly destructive and brilliant innings containing 8 mighty sixes. But this didn’t matter to Ian. As Tom was bending down to remove his batting pads he heard this booming voice cry,
Tom turned to see Ian and his faithful dog Josh looking at him. So Tom went to explain how it wasn’t his fault. This didn’t matter. Every explanation was cut down in flames by his demanding coach. Tom had to wait an hour, when their paths crossed again inside the clubhouse, when he got that knowing wink, followed by the words,
Ian was so proud of Tom.
Ian’s character came with the odd paradox. He was affable and caring, yet with the exception of big family occasions, which he loved, found himself preferring to avoid mixing with large groups in a social context. At senior matches at Berkswell Cricket Club, Ian would often opt for lone patrols, avoiding the crowds with his trusty canine friend in tow (once Mitch, latterly Josh). He was capable of saying an awful lot without saying anything at all, yet could just as easily announce “This won’t take long” before talking on a particular subject for hours.
But what was what was Ian’s story?
Ian Keith Huckerby was born on the 1st October 1941, into a household at 22 Westfield Avenue in Wythall, to parents Mable and George. He had one older brother Ivor and attended Silver Street Infant School, before moving on to Redditch County High School. It was here that Ian’s natural sporting talent began turning into success, where he won the Victor Ladorum Sports Award. Unaware that he had won this prestigious award for all-round sporting excellence, thanks to the fact he was bunking off school the day he was to be awarded, he learned of his achievement in unceremonious fashion from his parents when he eventually arrived home.
Whilst Ian enjoyed success at cricket, representing Worcestershire at junior age-group level, his true ability lay in football, where he enjoyed some representative football in junior England colours (even sharing the pitch with Jimmy Greaves and Jeff Astle), before reluctantly turning down the opportunity to sign for West Bromwich Albion, under pressure from his father who wanted him to get a proper job.
So having taken this particular fork in the road, Ian focused on his professional career whilst playing semi-professional football in his spare-time for Wythall FC, Solihull Town and Moor Green, which included service on the Committees of the latter two. Ian’s early career as a quantity surveyor saw him take up spells with LC Wakeman & Sons, then FC Graves & Partners, both at Five Ways in Birmingham.
Ian married Sue, the love of his life, in 1971. And one of the things which really marked out Ian and Sue, from so many others, was how their close bond endured the test of time. This spread throughout their growing family as James, then twins Charlie and Georgina were born in short order, after their marriage. This closeness extended beyond to others they befriended, as former neighbour and Berkswell Cricketer Mark Seabridge recounts from his early years and visits to their home,
“Ian and Sue have such a tight-knit loving family, I immediately felt at home and was always made to feel welcome. As a kid growing up, they felt like a second family to me.”
Ian and Sue came as a package. As did their offspring and furry canine friends, first the legendary high-energy, cricket pitch invading Mitch, followed by the more timid Josh. Having reached 40 years of marriage together in 2011, the family threw a Ruby Anniversary party, with their children all in their thirties, bringing grandchildren and friends together for a wonderful occasion at Ian’s beloved cricket club.
Sadly, the family experience wasn’t all plain sailing. Ian and Sue were struck by tragedy when son Edward, born on 14th August 1975, between the arrivals of James and twins Charlie and Georgina, died a ‘cot death’ on 12th November the same year. The family still reflect and remember Edward often, and always at Christmas when lost ones are remembered at dinner.
Once Charlie and Georgina were old enough to handle the long journeys, the annual family holiday became a monster drive through France, which also comprised a ferry trip in their big family estate cars, complete with beds for the kids ready for the 2 day expedition to their destination.
Despite their knack of staying in places where nobody spoke English, Ian demonstrated an aptitude for transcending the barriers of language. On one occasion when Sue’s limited French enabled her to recognise a question about their dog, but unable to answer it, she turned to Ian for help,
“Ian, I don’t know what to say,” she said, “I’ve no idea how to tell them what type of dog we have. I don’t know how to say Collie, what should I do?”
She didn’t need to do anything. No further discussion was necessary and at once Ian began making some extraordinary sounds,
“Maaahahahahahaha, mahahahahahaaaaaaaa, woof! woof!”
An immediate look of recognition appeared on their French hosts faces, followed by hysterics. It turns out this was quite the perfect way to say “We have a sheep dog”.
Ian’s greatest passion beyond family, was definitely cricket. And whilst he played competitively and indeed was a good player, he particular enjoyed looking after and developing junior players. It was at Dorridge Cricket Club that he first began taking an interest in getting involved, when watching eldest son James playing for the juniors. Ian had a certain respect and admiration for the way John White ran the show and began showing a leaning towards lending a hand. Ian particularly liked the way John wanted the kids to have fun, fostered a team ethos and made sure the kids played the game with a smile on their face.
Ian and family moved to Balsall Common in the mid-1980s and after playing senior cricket for Berkswell for a season or two, offered to take on the running of the junior section. Little did anybody know the transformation that was about to take place. A new era was ushered in when Ian held his first Youth Cricket enrollment meeting for the summer season of 1988.
Ian set about transforming the set up immediately, as Mark Seabridge recalls,
“It was small steps at first and a steep learning curve for us all, but Ian taught us it wasn’t about winning or losing, it was all about learning your craft, getting the basics right and playing the game in the right way. No over-celebrating if you’re victorious and always being gracious in defeat. Basic, fundamental values that are so important when delivered to kids so young and eager to learn. Ian drilled these basic principles into all of us.”
Ian’s emphasis on fair play was always paramount, as George Burgess remembers,
“Ian set a very high standard. He was meticulous about sportsmanship being an essential quality of play and never allowed any form of gamesmanship. Every boy regardless of ability was treated equally.”
And so it was that despite an oft stern-looking exterior, Mark Seabridge picks up on the respect and kindness shown by ‘Coach’,
“What really stood out for me, was despite Ian’s serious ‘coach face’, you would always know if you’d done well. All it took was a glint in the eye, a nudge and a wink and a cheeky smirk. He was an absolute master at this and I think we all felt a tremendous amount of pride and satisfaction if we got this approval.”
Ian also set a new standard from the outset when it came to integrating youngsters into senior cricket. He ensured youngsters were looked after when new to the senior sides and that they weren’t overawed by the occasion. He also took steps to making Berkswell more of a family by ensuring youngsters were made to feel welcome in the clubhouse, he created a sense of belonging where previously most boys had felt more like guests than club members. He also took the radical forward thinking step of ensuring a number of youth players were invited to the annual formal players dinner on Friday 14th April 1989 at the Saracen’s Head. He even secured them their own table, a move which with hindsight proved perhaps less forward thinking than reckless. A bunch of unsupervised 14 to 16 year olds drinking lager, then alternating between copious quantities of red and white wine, was truly special. There were some very ill teenagers in Balsall Common the following day. But despite this, or maybe because of it, inside a period of 12 months, Ian had already installed himself as a Berkswell Cricket Club ‘legend’ in the hearts and minds of his first crop of youth cricketers.
A period of evolution in junior cricket followed, with Ian steering a phenomenally strong Under 16 squad through the consecutive seasons in 1992 and 1993, a side which trampled all before them, with crushing victories over leading sides such as Leamington, Kenilworth Wardens and Stratford upon Avon. Not only was this a successful cricket side, it was an incredibly sociable one two, with the family atmosphere cultivated by Ian over the years turning the club into the hang out venue of choice for so many teenage players and their friends. Richard Blundell recalls how much at home the kids became at Berkswell Cricket Club,
“I remember being very excited every Friday during the Summer, knowing that I would leave the Boarding House at Warwick School and go straight to play cricket with my manager “Boss” and my village mates, whom I would spend the majority of the time with all weekend, day and night.”
Truly the cricket club for those kids back then had become a home from home. And it was all started by Ian.
This evolution was beginning to show great benefits for the senior team, with many of Ian’s charges making match winning performances across all the club’s senior sides. Berkswell was fast becoming a club with great strength in depth, something which would contribute to the club’s progression to bigger things in the years ahead.
Ian wasn’t perfect. Super heroes seldom are. But this lack of perfection made him better somehow, more approachable. More real. There was always a sense of chaos surrounding him, especially when things needed to get done quickly. Not that this was ever a problem. It wasn’t. Ian was always calm, the eye of the storm. Unlike the stressed bunnies around him, Ian always knew everything would come together just fine. His navigation skills were on occasion, horrific. His love of shortcuts in the backwaters of Warwickshire and lack of understanding as to what made a good one, were legendary. The number of unintended magical mystery tours enjoyed by junior cricketers over the years could could well run into three figures.
“Ian may have been a master of the Birmingham A to Z, but finding such places as Hunningham or Long Itchington caused much hilarity!” says George Burgess, his long suffering right hand man in the game of Youth coaching, “If you knew the most direct route you could be sure that Ian knew a short cut involving country lanes covered in cow pats. Parents, often following behind, thought they were on a mystery tour of Warwickshire. With an eye on the clock it was at times nerve wracking but it all added to the days entertainment.”
Perhaps the most telling contribution Ian made was his influence beyond cricket itself, in helping shape the hearts and minds of young lads, such as Josh Audie, a young South African who found himself lost in a strange land,
“At a vulnerable time in my life, as a teenager recently being uprooted to live in England, I can honestly say he especially, along with the club, were the major contributors to happiness and stability in my upbringing and life. Without his constant care and genuine nature, 4 days of cricket a week, and the lessons he taught me, I would not be the person I am today.”
This is the story of a man who gave so much of himself in the service of others and expected nothing in return, a man for whom a story limited to mere words will remain forever incomplete. His impact on the world while he was alive was huge, as is his legacy now that he’s gone. For those of us privileged enough to have known him well, Ian’s is a light that will never go out.
For this witness, Ian’s life contribution has been immense. Since joining Berkswell Cricket Club in 1986, you can forget all the successes and trophies, which have been fabulous and numerous. Ian Huckerby, was… IS… the single most important thing to happen to Berkswell Cricket Club in all that time. He’s the one that started something special, which helped enable that club become my second home, thus lending it a place in my heart forever more.
Gentleman. Coach. Friend. Legend. And in everything but name, family too. Gone but not forgotten. Much loved. Sorely missed.
Thank you for all you have done Bossman, farewell and safe journey, my friend.
Craig Burgess – Editor
Keep scrolling down the page for more tributes …
As Berkswell’s England Under 19 and Warwickshire cricketer says of Ian,
“He deserves to be celebrated. There’s only one Coach.”
Ian’s funeral will take place at Oakley Wood Crematorium this Friday, 3rd February 2012. The funeral takes place at 1.30pm followed by a celebration of his life at Berkswell Cricket Club. For full details visit this link:
Ian Huckerby – a message from Berkswell Cricket Club Chairman Patrick Milnes
A friend to us all, mentor and confidant to many.
Typical Ian – such a swell of feelings, thoughts and emotions and he’s watching it all go on from a secret place, hiding from the embarrassment of all this good will –but no doubt endearingly mumbling to us all ,“shut up, and get on with game”!
Well sorry “coach” you’ve had this coming and you’re just going to have to pay attention and listen yourself for a while!
Ian sensed things – he knew when people were upset, lacked confidence, were over confident, arrogant, happy or just downright sad and, as with everything Ian did, he dealt with things in private, with dignity and always with respect and the best interests of the individuals at heart.
Ian saw things – he saw when youngsters were perhaps indulging in activities not appropriate with their age – you and I might have charged in and dealt a level of discipline that meant a youngster might rebel. He explained, understood, set out the facts and left the individual to make their own informed decision. It didn’t always have the desired effect, but one thing’s for sure; every time Ian spoke they listened with respect, holding him the highest esteem. He bridged the generation gap like no one else I know.
Ian knew things – His knowledge of cricket, and indeed other sports, was far deeper than he would ever acknowledge. He knew what made a sportsman tick, taking time on a one to one basis to coach technique, talk about mental approach, and the appropriate approach – often phoning team members before the night of a game to get them thinking about the match the next day.
Unfortunately I just missed Ian’s regime as Manager of Berkswell’s Youth System but very much witnessed it develop. From the running of one U16 side some 28 years ago he has left a legacy of a junior membership running at some 60 members competing at virtually all age groups. It’s an aspect of the club that, in fairness, we’ve all taken a little bit for granted because Ian was always there. Every year, at every opportunity, he’d ask for help and more coaches, he never got it but, true to the man, he just got on with it with the best interests of the kids and the club at heart.
Ian, thank you:
- For your time
- For your thoughts
- For your energy
- For your unselfishness
- For being my and my family’s friend
- For genuinely sharing in the joy of others’ success
- For your big blue underpants
- For the lack of control of your dogs (Mitch and Josh) at around 4pm every Saturday afternoon.
- And most of all – for being you.
We would not have the club we have now without you.
Rest in Peace Ian, you will never be forgotten, and we WILL get on with the game!
Chairman, Berkswell Cricket Club
Ian’s contribution to Berkswell Cricket Club has been immense. The youth section at the club was limited to the Under 15 team playing in the Alpine League (as it was then), a few games for the Under 13’s and some very uninspiring practice sessions. Ian set about putting the development of Youth Cricket at the heart of the club’s affairs. He encouraged anyone with an interest in the youngsters to get coaching qualifications and he put the whole system on an organised and professional basis. Now , thanks to his persistence and hard work over many years, the club runs teams in all age groups up to Under 17’s, attracts up to 50 or 60 young people to the well organised training evenings and runs winter coaching sessions at the Heart of England School. Berkswell Cricket Club would not be where it is today were it not for Ian. We owe him a great deal.
All this was achieved with his unquenchable optimism and genuine care for each of his charges.Of course there were the “stars” and he was justifiably proud of his many success stories, but he also cared deeply about all those who passed through his hands and he encouraged many boys to progress and develop their talents. His respect for these boys and their families was matched by their respect for him.
This was never more apparent than on the annual presentation evenings. He knew each ones strengths and weaknesses and distributed the trophies with humour , honesty, fairness and with a characteristic twinkle in his eye. These events were wonderfully warm and happy occasions which brought everyone in the club together to celebrate the achievements of our youngsters. They provided moments of joy and inspiration both for individuals and for the club to go on to even greater heights.
When the club was asked to host Warwickshire Under 14 matches, it was Ian who took on the organisation, making the place ready, serving food and drinks, providing ground staff and many other jobs often forgotten by others. But in so doing ,he raised the profile of Berkswell Cricket Club in our own community and more widely in the cricketing world.
Ian never sought the limelight, preferring to work quietly in the background, but he always had the interests of Berkswell CC at heart. He has left the club an invaluable legacy.
A note from Peter Hill
I have just read the eloquent tribute to Ian from Brian Brown and would like to add just a very few words of my own. Brian covered Ian’s time with Berkswell extremely well and his thoughts are shared by all who had the privilege of knowing Ian.
I am one of the small band of ex players who actually played with Ian and I was chairman of the club when Ian first joined Berkswell. If memory serves me correctly, one of Ian’s first games was against the Alvis CC at the old Alvis ground in Coventry which is now the Alvis Retail Park. A long time ago indeed. I was keeping wicket and well remember Ian’s accurate medium pace bowling and pleasant but extremely competitive spirit. We were not to know at that time what a true stalwart of the club Ian was to become and the immense contribution he was to make to Berkswell cricket.
Brian Brown, in his tribute, has encapsulated perfectly this huge contribution from Ian over many succeeding years and I would say that in my opinion Ian’s work with youth cricket at Berkswell was probably the single most important factor in where Berkswell cricket finds itself today.
Ian, may you rest in peace in the absolute knowledge that you and your fine work for Berkswell CC will never be forgotten.
Reflections from Tom Milnes, from a conversation with Craig Burgess
“To me he was a father figure, put me on the straight and narrow, put me right. This wasn’t just cricket, it was life. He was a life coach. I could literally go to him with any problem. I could sit down and talk to him for hours. He meant the world to me. He meant everything.
I could phone him anytime he didn’t mind, like when I was in India touring with England. I saw him as family he was amazing to me. Ian was like a father figure, or grandparent. What we had was very special.
We had 4 steps pinned on the inside of his kitchen door.
1) Play for Warwickshire at youth level
2) Win professional contract with Warwickshire
3) Make County Championship debut and win County Cap
4) Play for England
Every time I went round his house we’d look at where we were at in relation to these goals. When I finally ticked off the first one Ian said to me,
“The hard work starts now.”
He never let me get my feet off the ground, he’d keep me grounded. He’s probably the reason they’ve stayed on the ground. You could never get ahead of yourself with Ian. He wouldn’t let you. He’d always have a way of bringing you back to the ground. Like when even if I thought I’d bowled the best ball in the world, it was still too short.
A way of Ian’s coaching that was best was he’d test the water. He’d make it hard, then harder. If you didn’t want to do it you didn’t have to do itbut if he thought he’d found a good player he’d test them to see how they’d cope.
Although he seemed to get on your back, I knew deep down it was to my benefit and others. Not everybody would like it, some would moan but what they didn’t necessarily realise as there was always a reason, and always a good one. It was a sign of affection. Proof that he cared.
Yes he helped technically, although George was more the technician. Ian was the one that make you wanted it and test you to see how far you could go. That’s what made them such a good combination (Ian Huckerby and George Burgess).
This is a sign of how special Ian could make you feel. Even though he coached hundreds of kids while I grew up at Berkswell Cricket Club, I always felt like Ian was my coach, nobody else’s. This might sound selfish, it isn’t meant to be, that’s just how it felt.
I want to achieve everything he wanted me to. It’s the only way I feel I could repay him in full. So that maybe one day I can look back and feel maybe I did make him proud.
Who do I turn to now?
It’s almost like it’s his way of saying it’s your time now. I’ve done all I can do, now it’s your turn to go do it, make it happen. You can never see that time coming.
I’m going to do it. I’m going to do those steps. It’s hard but I’m going to do it.”
Tom Milnes, Berkswell Cricket Club, Warwickshire 2 XI & England Under 19s
Thanks for the support you always gave me…..thanks for the laughs…..thanks for the 10p lager…..thanks for making me feel part of your family…..thanks for Sue….. thanks for the beans on toast…..thanks for putting a pool table in your garage…..thanks for the thousands of miles you drove me…..thanks for triggering the opposition pro…..thanks for teaching me your forward defensive…..thanks for NOT teaching me your off spin….. MANY thanks for showing me what a box was for…..thanks for encouraging me….thanks for the Christmas day afternoons…..thanks for taking me on my first cricket tour….. thanks for listening to us chanting ‘Mighty Mighty Berkswell’ all the way to/from and during the majority of my first cricket tour…..thanks for the occasional Lambert…..thanks for teaching Mitch the way to the club on his own…..thanks for the key to your house…..thanks for the clips round the ear…..thanks for leaving kit unattended on your driveway…..thanks for teaching me so much more than just cricket.
By Richard “Ricky’”Blundell
Ian “Boss” Huckerby
When asked to write some words about a special man I have known for 23 years of my
life, of course, I was honoured and privileged.
I want to comment on “Boss” as a successful coach, mentor and manager to me through some of the most successful years of Junior cricket that Berkswell has witnessed to date. Our side at the time was made up of players such as Ian’s youngest son, Charlie Huckerby, Roger Beesley and myself, all of whom are still involved with the Cricket Club today. “Boss” taught us to play our cricket with a smile on our face, as he always had a big smile on his face whenever around any cricket ground, when he wasn’t smoking or telling Mitch the Dog to get off the cricket pitch! His laid back approach to pre match team talks and mid innings strategy meetings, always making us sit in a circle on the grass, was a comfort and an inspiration to us all. (I now make my Under 10 and 11’s do exactly the same!)
I remember being very excited every Friday during the Summer, knowing that I would leave the Boarding House at Warwick School and go straight to play cricket with my manager “Boss” and my village mates, whom I would spend the majority of the time with all weekend, day and night.
“Boss” would phone me on the Boarding House payphone at Warwick School on a Thursday night to make sure I was ready for the Friday match and that I had a lift arranged to get me to the Club, the rest was merely detail. He always cared about my welfare, not just as a player but as a person. Many a Friday summer’s night spent down the old pavilion after a match, with “Boss” discussing the match and the season ahead, amongst personal issues. Nothing was too much for him.
He was always so positive in his outlook to me, and made me in turn be a more positive player around the club that I grew up in – his beloved Berkswell.
We even embarked on a tour one year, with the minibus full of teenagers and “Boss” driving. “Boss” was always willing to share and enter in the spirit of the practical joke, as many a joke was played by our team, even at the tender age of 13!
I now take over the challenging mantle as Chairman of the Junior Section from a true legend of Berkswell Cricket, and if I can reproduce a fraction of Ian’s enthusiasm and passion for the great game of cricket and the Berkswell Club, then the Junior Section will continue to grow from his phenomenal work 30 years ago through his lasting memory.
“Boss” – you will be sorely missed and you will constantly be in my mind as I endeavour to bring silverware to the junior cricket trophy cabinet in seasons to come!
Thank you for everything ….…. You Legend !!
Reflections on a man without labels, by Roger Beesley
I’ve been thinking a lot about Ian over the past couple of days, and like most of us no doubt, remembering some of the many happy times we spent together. Then something happened that threw me….someone at work asked me what was wrong as I clearly wasn’t myself, and after the usual and expected sympathetic noises they asked me the obvious question, as to who had passed….and for some reason this question stumped me.
How do I describe Ian to someone who’s never met him? It’s usually pretty easy to label someone, or explain your connection to them with a few words, but this wasn’t the case.
He’s been so many things to me over the years I didn’t know where to start.
He was the Boss Man. He was the father of three of my closest friends from childhood. He was the man that used to pretend he didn’t know we were smoking in the garage even though it was clearly going into the house through the cat flap. He was my cricket coach from the age of 11 (although for any of you lucky enough to have witnessed my forward defence at close quarters Ian would probably prefer I didn’t highlight this one). He was the man who bought me my first Chinese takeaway on the eve of my GCSE’s results….which made me sick as a dog and started a life-long aversion to Oriental food…..
Then as my dreams of being the next Ian Botham faded quicker than my hair-line my relationship with Ian changed. No longer was he simply my friends’ dad or my cricket coach……he was someone I could talk to. He was someone who listened. He was someone, and I think we can all relate to this, who told it as it was….if ever you wanted a straightforward and honest opinion on something Ian was your man. Once a year he was Santa Claus, distributing the most amazing array of weird and wonderful presents with military control and child-like glee whilst Mitch, and in later years Josh, tried to eat everything in sight.
And of course, he was the head of a family that has played such a massive part in my life, and has been so good to both me and my own father over the years.
He was all these things and so much more.
So, how did I explain who Ian was to someone who had never met him?
I simply told them that he was my friend. That it was a privilege and a blessing to have known him for the last 24 years. And I am so unbelievably sad that he has gone.
Memories of a dear friend by George Burgess
I believe the first recorded reference to Junior cricket at Berkswell Cricket Club was in 1968.
The early years were difficult for a variety of reasons including finance and a lack of resources to permit the development of a dedicated junior section.
In the Cricket Club Centenary brochure of 1996, a certain Ian Huckerby recording the club history of Junior cricket, included the following entry for 1988 – “ Ian Huckerby and George Burgess were elected to take control of the juniors. All matches at Under 13 and Under 16 were lost! Things must surely get better!”
Well, they did get better! A whole lot better!
My coaching partnership with Ian commenced through our own boys, James, Charlie and Craig playing together, but carried on for more than 20 years! In that time it was our privilege to share our love of the game with literally hundreds of boys and the odd girl or two who joined us for coaching at the HoE during the winter months.
Ian set a very high standard. He was meticulous about sportsmanship being an essential quality of play and never allowed any form of gamesmanship. Every boy regardless of ability was treated equally.
There were no favourites and once he felt a boy was sufficiently confident to face a cricket ball they were encouraged to play competitively and develop their natural talents.
He disliked any pressure placed on very young players to perform to adult expectations. He believed in discipline but always insisted on FUN being an essential element of playing. He gave freely of his time through many years. No one was happier when he saw a youngster graduate through the Junior teams and finally play serious cricket in a senior club side. His commitment to the development of junior players was exemplified in 1989 when he took on the captaincy of the Sunday 2nd XI, which at the time relied heavily on junior players. Reading his skippers’ Report for that season you could not fail to be impressed by his praise and encouragement of the juniors who had played for him.
At this point I would like to mention some of the lighter moments which Ian created by his presence. Many of you will recall that as Youth Manager, whether attending Committee Meetings or presenting annual Junior Awards, Ian had a standard method of convoluted delivery which was always preceded by the words “ This will not take long.”
The muttered response from those who knew him well was,
“Oh yes it will” , which was followed by polite sniggering. I am sure that he did it quite deliberately.
Sometimes, away matches offered additional entertainment under the heading ‘ Find the Ground’. Ian may have been a master of the Birmingham A to Z, but finding such places as Hunningham or Long Itchington caused much hilarity! If you knew the most direct route you could be sure that Ian knew a short cut involving country lanes covered in cow pats. Parents, often following behind, thought they were on a mystery tour of Warwickshire. With an eye on the clock it was at times nerve wracking but it all added to the days entertainment.
Practice sessions were always a challenge to organise when dealing with a large number of youngsters. They had been at school all day and were bursting with energy when they arrived. The usual routine was to direct them to do a lap or two of the ground in an attempt to calm them down before getting down to the technical stuff like catching a ball properly. But this did not always work and when the chattering continued Ian was driven to his ultimate method of shock and awe. As he bellowed the words “Shut Up” a stunned silence would descend and even any lingering parents would fall silent – possibly thinking, who is this ogre shouting at my little angel?
Cricket duty was an integral part of the Huckerby household routine and no one could escape. Junior County games meant catering duties for Sue while Georgina was recruited to undertake the temporary role of Under 11 manager. I was always struck by how well the boys behaved while she was in charge.
It is impossible to cover all my experiences of Ian in a matter of minutes but I should mention some of the events which he valued the most during his time as Youth Manager.
His appointment as Team Manager of Warwickshire U14,s in 2000.
His Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding services to cricket which was presented to him at Lords Cricket Ground in 2005.
In particular he was proud to be associated with the development of two junior players. In the early years Stephen Byng, and now currently Thomas Milnes. Both have represented England at different age levels. Thomas is currently a regular Warwickshire 2nd XI player but as part of the County Development programme his ambition is to break into the first team squad.
I am sure Ian would also list as special, the seasons 1992 and 1993, which were outstanding. By this time Ian had a talented squad of players at both under 13 and under 16 level who thrashed all the top Warwickshire junior sides including the likes of Stratford and Leamington. The Under 16 side, captained by Richard Blundell were a joy to watch. Opening the batting with Charlie Huckerby some big partnerships were achieved. Although no longer playing Roger Beesley and Mark Seabridge were part of the same team and still have connections with the club.
Berkswell Cricket Club stands as a tribute to all that is great about the sport.
Friendships through cricket endure for a lifetime and are very special in a sometimes challenging world. Whether on the field of play, coaching youngsters, or socialising in the clubhouse, it is something we should all value, as I know Ian did. He was modest to a fault and happiest when others were enjoying themselves whilst he stayed in the background.
When my coaching days ended in August 2010, I know Ian was looking
for a change and to this end he had qualified as an official Umpire. I will miss him clad in his white coat and doing his best to dissuade his much loved Josh from joining him on the field of play! Josh, of course, was successor to Mitch who many of you will remember had a habit of running off with our practice balls!
On a very personal note, Ian, Sue and family supported Craig and me through difficult events in our lives during the nineties. They were there at critical moments when moral and practical support was much needed. We have not forgotten the extent of their many kind actions.
Ian and Sue enjoyed a strong and loving partnership. Witness the wonderful celebration of their Ruby Wedding Anniversary at the Lant, surrounded by their close family and many friends and in particular their grandchildren Max and Pippa, Millie and Brooke, and Lola.
As his loving family come to terms with their loss, I hope that they can take much comfort from the knowledge that the many friends Ian made through cricket, share their memories with them. I count myself very fortunate to have known him and shared many a happy hour in his company. Ian, your innings may be over but we will all remember and value your contribution to our lives in many different ways. With a special thanks on behalf of all your juniors. Farewell dear friend.
Ian Huckerby – by Mark Seabridge
My first memories of Ian were actually away from Cricket. I was about nine or ten years old when the Huckerbys first moved to the village and I was lucky enough to live just around the corner (literally a stone’s throw). It wasn’t long before Charlie and I struck up a firm friendship and throughout my younger years, I spent many a time at 5 Tudor Close. Ian and Sue have such a tight-knit loving family, I immediately felt at home and was always made to feel welcome. As a kid growing up, they felt like a second family to me.
Around the same time, I’d already started playing for Berkswell Cricket Club (as you can imagine, with Geoff as my Dad it was inevitable!). Well, I say playing, more of a converting my youthful energy into flailing a bat or throwing a ball around at coaching sessions. It was a bit too early for competitive bat flailing. Another legendary BCC stalwart – none other than ‘The Duke’: Mr Glyn Meredith Langton, was overseeing these manic sessions at the time. I remember quite a select number of people attending these sessions, no more than a dozen or so, back in the old days when Berkswell was just another small village club with the main prize being the glamorous Tapster Pennant League title!
After a short time, Glyn decided to hand over the reins and along came Ian to start the revolution. His first mission was to somehow shape up this ragged bunch of super keen ten year olds into something that resembled a team. Initial target; competing in the 8-a-side, under-13 league.
It was small steps at first and a steep learning curve for us all, but Ian taught us it wasn’t about winning or losing, it was all about learning your craft, getting the basics right and playing the game in the right way. No over-celebrating if you’re victorious and always being gracious in defeat. Basic, fundamental values that are so important when delivered to kids so young and eager to learn. Ian drilled these basic principles into all of us – which was probably a good job because a bunch of ten year olds competing with kids 3 years older often meant we ended up on the losing side to begin with!
As a coach, Ian was usually pretty serious. Messing about during practice or not listening to his words of wisdom wasn’t tolerated. You’d soon know if you’d overstepped the mark in catching practice when the ball was fired quite swiftly in your direction!
When he spoke, everyone listened. We enjoyed all sorts of fielding drills, batting in the nets or hours spent bowling – often at one stump on the wicket, hitting a ten pence piece marker to practice pitching in the right place. ‘Line and length’ he’d always say. Ian’s passion shone through to us all and I think every one of us have such fond memories of going to the Lant on a Tuesday night, learning something new or feeling like we’ve progressed every week.
What really stood out for me though, was despite Ian’s serious ‘coach face’, you would always know if you’d done well. All it took was a glint in the eye, a nudge and a wink and a cheeky smirk. He was an absolute master at this and I think we all felt a tremendous amount of pride and satisfaction if we got this approval.
During this time, one game sticks out in particular that perhaps sums Ian up best. We were still in the under 13s and on an extremely sunny Sunday morning, Charlie was keeping wicket (for anyone who doesn’t know, there was no rigorous selection about this. I remember our very first under-13 game on a wet Sunday morning at Coventry Sphinx and we hadn’t quite figured out this position; ‘Who wants to keep wicket then?’ A few puzzled looks later, Charlie steps up to the fore and that was that!). After one particularly effective cut to the boundary (ok I embellish slightly, we were around 12 at the time…), the ball was gathered up before hitting the rope (the solitary, plastic flag) and released by the fielder in Charlie’s direction like an exocet missile. So far so good you may think, but the problem began when Charlie looked up to follow the ball…. What seemed to him like the exocet rocket of a ball blazing a trail, was actually the burning mid-morning sun… Charlie, somewhat dazzled by this blinding light display, left a rather large hole in his generously fitted wicket keeping gloves and the ball/missile smacked into his little face. A broken nose, two black eyes and maybe even a couple of broken teeth later, Ian, who was the picture of concern and care throughout this entire episode then came out with the immortal line:
‘YER DAFT BUGGER!!!’
We all heard that line ALOT when we were growing up!
That was Ian; warm and caring but knew exactly how to bring everything back down to earth with his wicked sense of humour at exactly the right time, with a comic timing any experienced comedian would be envious of. This made us all feel so grounded and put everything into perspective as a kid. Ian was such a fantastic mentor to us all.
Over the next few years, Ian turned our under-13 ‘whipping boys’ team into the title-winning, all-time classic under 16 team. We defeated anyone who dared face us, including the giants of Leamington, Stratford and Kenilworth. It didn’t matter who we played, we knew we’d prevail. We had a great team spirit and Ian made us all believe in our ability. You could tell he was so proud and loved being around us, he even drove us all down to Bristol on tour! The atmosphere was great to be a part of.
Then, BCC juniors just seemed to grow and multiply beyond all expectations. Word of mouth spread and it wasn’t long before there were around 50 kids of all different age groups, covering all four corners of the Lant (a far cry from the early days with just a handful of people in the outfield!). All having great fun just playing and learning the basics – it was never about winning or losing, just enjoying the game and learning your craft. Tuesday nights at the Lant were a picture of hustle and bustle and at the centre of it all was Ian. By this time plenty of back up was needed and he was ably assisted by his right-hand man George Burgess and several other assistants, including Georgie Huckerby herself! And not forgetting Ian’s other loyal servant, Mitch – as much a part of the fabric of the club as Ian was. Mitch was always in the background chewing his latest stick or even joining in the fielding practice! All worked tirelessly and unselfishly contributed so much of their time and energy to the game they were passionate about, but none more so than Ian.
Before long, the blossoming Berkswell youth policy paid dividends as there was plenty of attention from the local communities, businesses and press, attracting funding from the Lottery commission and sponsorship from local businesses. All seeing first hand just how much Ian had the magic touch.
I didn’t know at the time because I was too busy having fun like everyone else, but being a bit older and looking back on reflection, I realise exactly what Ian was doing – taking care of the club he was so passionate about. Laying the foundations by building up the future generation of players to take Berkswell forward, whilst giving invaluable development and coaching to a huge group of kids, all looking up to him as their mentor.
I’ve no doubt this was the catalyst for where BCC is today. How can you progress without looking after the kids and ensuring the future generation is taken care of? People like Stevie Byng, Graham Drury and Tom Milnes are testament to this. In some cases these guys have hit the highest levels and all started as youngsters under Ian’s stewardship. Not to mention all those guys who were part of the early youth revolution and progressed through the ranks into the senior teams over the years. Guys like Charlie Huckerby, Roger Beesley and Ricky Blundell are still involved with the club now, with Ricky even taking on the mantle of Youth Manager – big boots to fill there mate!!
Overall though, Ian was quite simply a top bloke. A salt of the earth, warm, caring, generous, humourous, family man and special coach. Ian has helped to shape so many people into who they’ve become today for the better. I know because I’m one of them. Personally, Ian meant so much to me, he was my coach and mentor, the kind of influence we all needed at such a tender age. I’ll be eternally grateful for that and I feel very privileged and lucky to have known him.
Ian will live long in the memory for so many people and best of all, his legacy is still there for all to see. I for one, will never forget him.
Ian is a special man and touched everyone he met. The mere mention of his name brought a smile to people’s face. He created a tremendous legacy through family, sport and work. Be very proud Charlie and be strong for Mum and all the family. Love you all dearly and thinking of you all xx
Richard and Hayley
I’m not going to be able to make it back for the funeral or afternoon tea but I will send something along to the donations and it would be great if you could include the following in the tributes.
Ian Huckerby was a wonderful coach and a great friend. I had the privilege of being coached by him throughout my teenage years and what stood out, even beyond his passion for cricket and his technical advice, was his attitude towards competition; Ian always encouraged us to play hard, but also fairly, to never give up, but accept defeat graciously and most importantly to enjoy the game. I really feel that his influence in those years has stood me in good stead throughout my life, in cricket, in sport and in life in general. My abiding memory of Ian is of him sat on a bench watching Berkswell play on Saturday or Sunday afternoons and the pride that he took in watching so many of his former charges, of all ages, coming together to make Berkswell the great club that it is.
I’m sorry I can’t make it back on the 3rd and again my condolences for the Huckerby family. I’ll see you in the summer, speak soon
Having been a Berkswell boy now for probably 10 years it has been a privilege and an honour to have been associated with someone whose love for the game of cricket and passion of bringing up the future of the game has been an enormous part of his life. It is a very rare attribute for someone to give so much and expect nothing back.
How lucky is our wonderful game of cricket to have had such a fantastic cricket fanatic devoting part of his life to coaching the youngsters and teaching them to love a fantastic game.
It is such a sad loss and the game of cricket has lost a wonderful man !!
What such sad news, Ian was known to us through berkswell cricket as he coached our boys. He was a true gent a lovely man who went out of his way for others. God bless all his friends and family and may you all cherish the memories you have and be proud of a man that touched so many lives in a wonderfully kind way. We will miss your smiling kind face. RIP Ian. Launa rich marshall and miles
Just wanted to pass on my condolences. Ian was a fantastic coach who gave me all the basics I needed to enjoy cricket for a long time, for that i will be forever grateful.
The following have been captured from messages and conversations on Facebook
Totally gutted at the loss of a great friend, a great coach, and above all a truly great man. Ian Huckerby was one of a kind and will be sorely missed by all those who knew him.
It doesn’t seem to make any difference how many loved ones you lose, it’s so easy to slip back into the false belief everyone else will be around forever. Part of the furniture of my life, fabric of my being. Gone but not forgotten. Gentleman. Coach. Friend. Legend. I miss you loads already Ian Huckerby. Rest in Peace Bossman.
Such a top bloke and definitely the Bossman -Ii will always remember the many many fun conversations walking round a boundary and of course the words of wisdom over a few beers. Rest up Ian.
Heart breaking news… The Huckerb’s will be in my thoughts and prayers x
OMG – that truly is heart-breaking. My thoughts go to his family
So so sad, only saw him yesterday at Lola’s party. Such a lovely man.
Awful news Rog. Thoughts with the family
Sad sad news xx
Very sad news Ben can’t believe it love to the family xx
Oh Roger what truly sad news xxxx
Thank you Rog, well said. A true gentleman and friend X
Love to his family xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Love to all Rog
Love to you all Georgie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Love to you and all the family George xxx
Love to all of the family george xxxx
My body may be in Slough, but my heart and thoughts are very much in BC with the Huckerby clan…see you Thursday night xxx
Hi Craig, god wot a crap couple of days! I am in no position to speak of Ian, I only knew him for a very short time but what I can say is; Ian’s commitment to the club and all it’s children will never be seen again. He was everybody’s ‘grandpa’. He had very high standards and tried his best to pass these on to the ‘little buggers’ [an Ian’ism if ever there was one] at the club. I was asked to take care of a few functions for the Huckerby’s and I was very honoured to do so, especially Sue and Ian’s Ruby Wedding. Such a special couple, they made me both laugh and (now) cry alot. Sue must be so lost without him, all the family must feel empty without Ian.
Personally, I think the new balcony should be named the ‘Ian Huckerby Balcony’ and the 1st game of this and every season here on in should be a Tribute to Ian. We should invite all of the family to the club and make it their special day, laid on by the club. Hope you’re ok xx
Was he Sue’s husband? So sorry to hear the sad news.
Sorry to hear this news George, thinking of you all x
I very much doubt there are kinder and more friendly people or coaches with the enthusiam and humour of Ian. Very Sad News, and although havent seen the Huckerby’s in a long time the Byng Clan in the South West send their best wishes and love to all.xx
Sad news, and such a top chap, love to all George and Charlie xxx
So sorry for your loss
omg my mom used to clean for them im so sorry for your loss please pass on my condolences…they would have known us by the name of knowles…
He was truly a gentleman, and always will be – along with a great father, family man and always an accepting person. xtx
My mom asked how sue was…and also sends her condolences…
Gutted beyond words
So sorry to hear this sad news
Incredibly sad, RIP. Hope all the family can be strong for each other
Sorry to hear this news, please pass on my news to Charlie when you see him next as I don’t have his number.
Andrew James Noakes
Top top bloke. RIP Ian
Lost for words. A magnificent man. A tremendous inspiration and coach. A lovely family. Thoughts are in Meeting House Lane. X
This is sad sad news. Ian was and always will be living amongst the fond memories I have of some 20 years ago.
so very sorry babe 4 ur loss, aswell 2 fam. amazing wrds 4 what seems n outstanding gentlemen. x x x x x
Craig, shit I hadn’t heard, that’s awful news, please send my regards to the family, top man indeed who taught me so so much.
Georgina’s Dad? Sorry for your loss, RIP x
RIP Ian. You were a great inspiration and fantastic role model. We loved and valued your friendship. Craig, please pass on our condolences to the family. Tell them our thoughts are with them. x
I did not know him but judging from all your comments he will be greatly missed. I’m sorry for your loss. Big hugs your way. Xx
I was lucky enough to have spent yesterday with Ian and family celebrating Lola’s (Charlie and Beths daughters) 3rd birthday! It was Such a wonderful day filled with so Much love,laughter and happiness and will leave the people who were there with some amazing memories of the fantastic man they have all lost too soon! I was so shocked in the early hours to hear the tragic news from Beth and deeply saddened to hear of the loss of such A true gentleman, never without a smile and always a pleasure to have been around! Such sad times for the family and those lucky enough to have been blessed with Ian as part of their lives at some point! My Thoughts are with them all through this terrible time!
Pierre du Toit
…not sure how to say just how sad hearing this news is….thoughts with Sue and family….RIP Ian Huckerby
Message from Mum, while the tears are streaming, please keep them coming as it helps.
Good on ya mum! Have a bloody good cry and remember the good times. Ian will always be in your heart. Your wonderful children will, eventually, help ease the pain. Kevin and I send love and the deepest respect. xxxxxx
So sad to hear this news but so glad to have had the chance to have been coached by and known Ian. My condolences to all the Huckerby family and all at the Lant. With love, Steve Byng
Matthew Tork (Saghabashi)
Still so sad, still in shock
Why is it that special people are always taken from you
I rememebr Ian as a man dedicated to his family – the cricket club – in fact anyone that needed support
His life was one of joy, always willing to stop and talk, always with a smile (maybe in my case sometimes some firm but fair words of advise)
He would always go the extra mile in making sure everyone was looked after
Ian, you will be so missed by so many people – RIP
Those we love don’t go away,
They walk beside us every day,
Unseen, unheard, but always near,
Still loved, still missed and very dear.
As you say Craig–a really sad day for Berkswell CC and for everyone who knew and respected Ian. Such a fantastic contribution to the cricket club overall and the juniors in particularly over many, many years. A truly generous, warm and unselfish man who will be sadly missed, but never forgotten. Geoff S
Brings back so many fond emories. Surprised I have any, working the bar for you lot. Those were the days. xtx
R.I.P. Hucks! Thank You for everything! Hope your ok CraigyB.
Thanks Louis, it’s been a roller coaster day emotions-wise. Ian was such an incredible influence on my life, especially during those difficult teenage years. Christmas dinner together every year (except one) for about 25 years is the easiest way I guess of explaining with the fewest words, how close a bond we had beyond cricket, which of itself was immense. Craigy B!
So very very sorry to hear this. Ian was an amazing guy who never stopped giving of himself for the whole time I knew him. RIP
Sad news, Balsall and Berkswell wont be the same without him
Very sad news, he was a class act.
Love and best wishes to Sue, James, Charlie and Georgie! He was a fantastic man. RIP Sir! Xxxxx
Oh, that’s terrible. Love to all xx
Hi Craig, thanks for the message, hope you are well? I did see the news, very sad. Ian was an absolute legend and if you see Charlie, Georgina or any of the rest of his family I would really appreciate if you could pass on my condolences. Promise I’ll make it back next summer for a catch up, it’s been way too long. Sam
Ian and Sue were so good to me when I was a teenager in the village… When I saw Roger’s update – I felt like time stood still – pure dis-belief. Heartbreaking… :0( xx
I’m so sorry to hear the news about Ian. He was a great guy and a it was a real stroke of luck to be able to be coached by such an enthusiastic and committed coach all those years ago on the Lant.
Paul Mikey Rowe
I hope you are well.
Although my time with Berkswell was not exactly blessed with fine moments I wanted to say how sorry I was to hear about Ian. I had the pleasure of his coaching for the district many moons ago and what a top bloke he was! R.I.P. Ian.
Really sad news for all involved with BCC and the wider community of Balsall Common and Berkswell.
Proud to have been taught by a coach like Ian. Wouldn’t have been behind the wickets if it wasn’t for him. RIP to a man who devoted his time to the future of the club.
Sending you hugs & lots of love xx
Thinking of you and family George xxxxxxxxxxxx
Lots of love Georgie and Charlie and family xxxxx
Sorry to hear the news George, hope you all get through this hard time xx thoughts to the family 😉
So sorry to hear the news, big hugs to u and Charlie and the rest of the family babe..thinking of u all xx
Lots of loves to you and your family xxx
Sorry to hear the news, George. Best wishes to the family!
Hi Matey, so sorry to hear the news give Auntie a big kiss from me XX
Oh George, I’ve only just found out. I am so sorry. He was such a lovely family man. Sending you big hugs xx
Lots of love to you all xxx
a true loss to balsall common and friends and family a legend is the way ian will be remembered R.I.P. IAN an inspiration to so many people
I hadn’t heard about Ian passing away until your post. Like you i have nothing but happy memories of him, especially my early days playing cricket. Love and thoughts to the Huckerby’s during this sad time. RIP Ian
Although I have not known Ian for long compared to some, his impact was without a doubt felt in my life. He made me feel so welcome and effectively was the reason I chose to play for the Swell. I was due to play for Kenilworth Wardens against the Swell in my 1st U15 game in England and I ended up playing for the Swell. At the end of the game, Kenilworth wanted me to play for them, but Ian was having none of it! He demanded I played for the Swell and seemed to go out of his way to make me feel comfortable. At a vulnerable time in my life, as a teenager recently being up-routed to live in England, I can honestly say he especially, along with the club, were the major contributors to happiness and stability in my upbringing and life. Without his constant care and genuine nature, 4 days of cricket a week, and the lessons he taught me, I would not be the person I am today. Thanks Ian. RIP.
Quality words Rog. I never knew Ian as well as you Balsall lot via cricket etc, but have very fond memories of staying round at the Huckerby’s, AND having chinese take aways AND smoking in the garage and thinking we were getting away with it! Also remember going to the video shop and Ian letting us rent nightmare on elm street films and watch them round their house when other parents would never let us! Cant make the service on friday but doing our best to make it to the cricket club afterwards. RIP Ian.
Give a Supergentfatherhusbandleaderfriend salute from me, and my love to the Huckerbys. So sorry I can’t be there. I think all of these messages are such a tribute to such a great man. It only took a smile from Ian to make you feel you were wrapped in a huge bear hug. Forever in our hearts, and forever shaped our lives one way or another. xtx
Well said Rog. My biggest memory of Ian has to be his arm chair… His well and truly warn in arm chair!! I sat in it once when waiting for James en route to the Sara but then got a friendly clip round the ear as Ian came in. Realised I was on his territory! Never did sit in that chair again! Why? Out of respect! Big love to you George and to your Mum, brothers and extended family. Doug’ xxxx
Coach!… The only coach!
So sorry to hear about your dad Georgina sending my love to you, Charlie and the rest of your family xxx
Simon Britton (to Georgina)
My thoughts are with you and your family. I remember your dad being a very funny, friendly lovely man. Lots of love xxxxx
Sad news, very very nice man, rest in peace Ian, you will be missed, thinking of Sue & you all. xxx
Sorry to hear the news George, hope you all get through this hard time xx thoughts to the family 😉
Soo D Nym (to Georgina)
Lots of love to you, Charlie and your family. Thinking of you xxx
So sorry to hear the sad news… My thoughts are with you and all the family x
so very, very sorry. Our thoughts are with you and your family
Janice and Chris
Rachel Roberts Tuckey
thinking of u and family george x
Hi Craig, thanks for the message, hope you are well? I did see the news, very sad. Ian was an absolute legend and if you see Charlie, Georgina or any of the rest of his family I would really appreciate if you could pass on my condolences. Promise I’ll make it back next summer for a catch up, it’s been way too long.
More comments …
Everyone has said what has needed to be said about Ian, my message to everyone at the club is simple, he hasn’t gone, just look across the Lant and you will always see him walking around the boundary with his dogs.
Danny McMahon, Berkswell Cricket Club
A note from James Cassidy
“Ian played a hugely important part in the lives of hundreds of junior cricketers connected to the Club and I am lucky enough to have been one of those people. A wonderful and irreplaceable man whom I am very fortunate to have known”.
James Cassidy, former player, Berkswell Cricket Club
I worked with Ian for a couple of years whilst coaching the younger children and I would have very much liked to paid my respects and celebrate the life of a good man.
However, I will be unable to attend. My sister recently passed away and her funeral is on the Friday.
Please pass on my sympathy and kind regards to Ian’s family.
James Shuttleworth, Berkswell CC
James ‘Jim’ Shaw on Ian Huckerby
I played for Berkswell in the 1990 season and was welcomed by Ian with open arms.
Batting with James Huckerby and seeing Andy Reid firing down some severe bouncers was a true joy!
It’s true, Ian was more than just cricket – at 16 years old he made me realise that I had the whole world ahead of me….actually said just after I was clean bowled for a duck by the way!!!
A man who I looked up to for many reasons, not least because he loved his family and loved the young lads he was pushing to be the best they could be.
I raise a glass to you Ian, thinking of your family and dear friends today, and for many years to come. Cheers.
So shocked to hear the sad news about Ian, my thoughts are with Sue, James, Charlie and Georgina.
Saturday afternoons just won’t be the same for me from now on without Ian coming into the scorebox, resting his hand on my shoulder whilst looking at the scorebook and asking “What’s happening, let’s see who’s done what?” Having glanced at the book and taken in all the details he’d set off on his customary walk round the boundary with Josh in tow.
It’s a privilege to have known Ian, a delight to have shared time at the bar, pint in hand, talking cricket with him, and an honour to have been able to call such a special man my friend. His presence around the club will be sorely missed.
Ian was one of life’s true ‘Givers’ . Berkswell Cricket meant as much to Ian as any of us, but thank you to all the Huckerby’s for everything that has contributed to Junior cricket at the club, the legacy will live on………..Nighters
Matt Nightingale, Berkswell Cricket Club
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